When it comes to decision making, what you exclude can be just as important as what you include. It isn't just that making a decision involves conscious or deliberate evaluation, discrimination, and selection -- it's that decision-making has an unconscious aspect, too: certain alternatives might not occur to you, or you might simply rule out or dismiss options without even considering them simply out of force of habit.
It might sound corny to say it, concedes Donald Farmer, vice president of product management with business intelligence (BI) software vendor QlikTech Inc., but context really does matter. It's all part of what QlikTech calls "business discovery," he explains: when a QlikView user interacts with a data set, the items the user is working with are highlighted in green; items that are "related" to the data set are highlighted in white. (QlikView determines or establishes relationships when it imports data.) So-called "unassociated data" -- data that's specifically excluded by the selection -- is highlighted in grey, he points out.