What is the Cycle of Pain?

The "cycle of pain" goes one of two ways:

  1. I have a question which my reports don't answer. So, I go back to IT to run a query. Takes them a week. I get my answer but it's not what I was expecting, so I rephrase my question and go at it again... and maybe again..
     
  2. I have a question which my reports don't answer. So, I get data downloaded into Excel and try to play with it. But, I don't have all the data, I can't cut across many dimensions, it's really hard to see what's going on, and it's hard to explain my answer to anybody. And, if it worked I keep my Excel spreadsheet because it was hard to get in the first place and now I have outdated data. 

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