The ABCs of Agile BI

August 8, 2011
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j03995511 239x300 photo (agile business intelligence)

Author: Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

A. What is it?

j03995511 239x300 photo (agile business intelligence)

Author: Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

A. What is it?

 Agile BI increases a company’s flexibility by delivering value to BI projects at an accelerated pace, according to The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). Agile BI includes self-service BI, cloud-based BI, and data discovery dashboards that let users begin working with data more quickly so they can better adjust to changing business needs.

Agile BI is a “fundamental rethink about how BI should work,” says analyst David Norris in a recent article. And it means giving users the tools to access the data they need—without IT intervention—to pull the necessary bits from that data, manipulate it to address their needs, then present the results so that they and their co-workers can use it to rapidly address business problems.

B. Why does it matter?

According to Gartner, 70 to 80 percent of business intelligence projects fail. According to a recent InformationWeek article on the 5 Factors in Agile BI, much of the failure can be attributed to a methodical and painstaking BI system development life cycle. Just as companies need to be agile to succeed, the process by which we deliver BI analytics also needs flexibility baked in.

Remaining flexible as your BI/DW environment matures is one of the keys to being successful and profitable, according to the blog Agile Scout (@agilescout).  The popular blog also states that agile development supports techniques that use “iterative development for rapid delivery of systems with a minimum of rework and risk.” In fact, the agile concept applies to your BI/DW environment in a number of areas including team structure, project management, system design, development, and analytics techniques. The bottom line is agile BI can help you quickly respond to changing business conditions even when you’re asked to do more with less.

C. What’s next?

If you want to learn more about agile BI, TDWI is holding its World Conference in San Diego, starting today and ending on August 12th.

The focus of the conference is the evolution of agile. You’ll learn about the latest thinking on agile project management, methodologies, and modeling, and you’ll also have a look at the ongoing controversy: Does agile really work for BI and data warehousing?

You’ll be treated to six days of courses covering a wide range of BI/DW topics, including developing the agile BI environment, business analytics/performance management, data modeling, and data asset management (quality, governance, master data management, and integration).

You’ll also hear keynote presentations from Ken Collier (KWC Technologies) and Ralph Hughes (Ceregenics Inc.) And leading vendors in the field will be demonstrating BI/DW solutions.

This conference is the place to be if you want to know how these technologies are being implemented and the impact they’ll have on the future of the industry.