Slow BI and the BIG Method Part 1

August 31, 2009
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A while ago, I blogged about what I call Slow BI. With this I am advocating that we take time to analyse data and arrive at better decisions. Better, quicker numbers are only worth something if they are to make better decisions – not just any decision.

In my next few posts I want to present to you a Slow BI methodology for the development of business intelligence capabilities for medium and large organisations. I call this the BIG Method, after the name of a company I run – The Business Intelligence Group.

BIG, and the people involved with us, have been the driving force behind the development of a number of enterprise data warehouses and analytic platforms in Australia, Europe and the US. These experiences have led to the slow evolution of a method that I have now successfully used a couple of times and I want to share the method and see if other’s find any value.

Why the BIG Method? It arose as a solution to the conflicting requirements of many platform development projects: quick delivery and data mastery. Your stakeholders want and need fast results, and if they don’t get them, you won’t be given the time to invest sufficiently in collecting, understanding,

A while ago, I blogged about what I call Slow BI.
With this I am advocating that we take time to analyse data and arrive
at better decisions. Better, quicker numbers are only worth something
if they are to make better decisions – not just any decision.

In
my next few posts I want to present to you a Slow BI methodology for
the development of business intelligence capabilities for medium and
large organisations. I call this the BIG Method, after the name of a company I run – The Business Intelligence Group.

BIG,
and the people involved with us, have been the driving force behind the
development of a number of enterprise data warehouses and analytic
platforms in Australia, Europe and the US. These experiences have led
to the slow evolution of a method that I have now successfully used a
couple of times and I want to share the method and see if other’s find
any value.

Why the BIG Method? It arose as a solution to the
conflicting requirements of many platform development projects: quick
delivery and data mastery. Your stakeholders want and need fast results,
and if they don’t get them, you won’t be given the time to invest
sufficiently in collecting, understanding, transforming and storing
data. If you don’t master your data, then any analysis based on it has
a good chance of being wrong or poorly interpreted. Both can lead to
poor decisions and the failure of the BI platform.

Slow BI is a method to achieve both of these apparently conflicting needs.

The key features that make the BIG Method uniquely suited to BI are:

  • Rapid tactical responses
  • Data centric
  • Analysis intensive
  • Enterprise focus
  • Portfolio project management.

The first 3 features are also why the BIG Method differs from most other SDLCs.
Of course, the BIG Method owes a lot to other SDLCs – especially in
respect to waterfall and rapid prototyping. It also incorporates
aspects of iterative development techniques.

So what is the BIG Method?

Over
the next few posts, I will talk about the stages, key activities and
deliverables of the method. If anyone can contribute with ideas and
criticism, then please do. I don’t have all the answers, but the BIG
Method has worked for me.

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