You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
I think we have a lot to learn from this. We can write all the nifty data definitions but what really makes for a good understanding is seeing and experiencing. One of the things that has been difficult to overcome on my highly-distributed work teams has been the tough time we having trying to truly understand the business and share that understanding.
Data and Process models are a fabulous method for capturing the understanding, but models aren’t for attaining that understanding. It is faster and easier to understand a business process by watching it take place.