Agile Business Analytics: Howa new “Generation BI” isReducing Risk and IncreasingAdoptionAndrew Marks, Vice President Prof...
Agenda• Today’s Agile Business Environment• Getting The Right Start With Your BI Solution• The Agile & Flexible Deployment...
“You have to be fast on your feet and adaptiveor else a strategy is useless.”                              – Charles de Ga...
Business Agility• “An organizations ability to learn, and translate that learning into  action rapidly, is the ultimate co...
Business Agility & Agile BI• Agile businesses need the right data at the right time to make  business decisions• Ensuring ...
The Agile Manifesto• Individuals and interactions – self-organization and motivation are  important, as are interactions• ...
Agility & Technology• A single toolset for delivery reducing the need for product  experts in specific disciplines• A fram...
‘Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness   is doing the right things.”                               – Peter Druck...
Begin With The End In Mind•   Brainstorming to identify data needs•   Stakeholders “What I need to know” (WINK) business q...
Involve Your Stakeholders Throughout•   Stakeholder involvement is required early and often•   They own and should know th...
Take an Evolutionary Approach•   Requirements, Understanding & Focus Will Change•   Today’s focus may not be tomorrow’s fo...
“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles,     the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”                    ...
Model Just In Time (JIT)• Detailed modeling is an iterative process• Requirements will change throughout the project• Disc...
Organize Based on Priorities                Quick Wins                Significant     High                              Pr...
Embrace Change• Adapt a more agile approach to change management  • It’s called “change management” not “change avoidance”...
Limit the Iteration Time•   Limit iterations ideally to 2-4 weeks in length•   Provides more opportunity to govern the pro...
“Make measurable progress in reasonable time.”                                     - Jim RohnDEMONSTRATING PROGRESS      R...
Prove and Demonstrate your ApproachEarly• Everything looks good, sounds great and works flawlessly on  whiteboard & PowerP...
Deliver Working Software Regularly• Stakeholders will be much more interested and engaged• Team members will look forward ...
“Things should be made as simple as possible,     but not any simpler.”                                  - Albert Einstein...
Don’t Overlook Usage• Understand how the stakeholders will use the system to support  business objectives• Leverage use ca...
Validation is Critical (test, test, test)•   Make sure to validate throughout the lifecycle of the project•   Ensure you a...
Training• Delivering the right solution is only half the battle• Adoption is critical• Once the right solution is deployed...
“If you want to succeed you should strike out on newpaths, rather than travel the worn paths of acceptedsuccess.”         ...
Summary / Key TakeawaysThe AgileManifesto  • Be Agile: Today’s rapidly changing business environment mandates    agility, ...
The Birst Agile BI Platform
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Andew Marks Agile Business Analytics How A New Generation Bi Is Reducing Risk And Increasing Adoption

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One of the challenges many companies have in delivering an adoptable Business Intelligence solution is ensuring that the solution meets the “current” and “future” information needs of the stakeholders. Traditional waterfall implementation methods don’t work in the world of BI. The speed at which the business climate moves and changes these days warrants a rapid and agile deployment approach towards business intelligence solutions. This presentation discusses some of the key aspects of taking an agile deployment strategy towards your organizations BI solution.

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  • Charles de Gaulle - French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969
  • “An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” - Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. During his tenure at GE, the company's value rose 4000% and was the most valuable company in the world for a time.“The game of business used to be like football: size mattered. Then it changed to basketball: speed and agility. Today, business is more like chess. Customer priorities change continually, and the signals given by these changes are vital clues to the next cycle of growth... - Adrian Slywotzky, author of The Profit Zone
  • A single toolset: Avoids too many moving parts Provides a more collaborative development environment Offers up the opportunity to enable internal owners and stakeholders much more effectivelyWizards for common tasks: The ability to create a star schema by point and click without coding or the process of surrogate key managementA framework to handle the inevitable changes that accompany an ever changing business landscape The ability to edit reports and dashboards real time (edit the report and update it immediately)Enable an iterative and adaptable deployment approach Being able to quickly make changes and additions to the solution as the business needs change
  • Peter Drucker - was an influential writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist”.
  • Begin with the End in mind – BI projects need to begin with the end in mind. In order to develop an effective BI solution (and supporting data warehouse if needed), you must first identify what data you are looking to expose. The best way to do this is through a series of Brainstorming sessions where you ask your end user stakeholders to identify the information that they need to do their business. For every “What I need to know” question, make sure you ask enough “Why” questions to determine if the information is really of significant value. This will also help you prioritize your data acquisition strategy, especially if there could be a significant “cost” (in development hours or hard $$$’s) to acquire that data.Based on the information gathered develop a matrixFor each metric you can then determine:MeasuresDimensionsFor Example:Which are the most profitable product lined in Area A?Measures = revenue & cost dataDimensions = area (zone), time (week)BI BlueprintDocuments the measures & dimensions for answering business questions and reflects the fundamental requirements
  • Stakeholder Involvement –A critical requirement and doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation. It’s their information you are exposing to perform their business activities. Active stakeholder participation also drives user adoption across the organization.
  • Evolve – As I stated before, requirements will change; your understanding of the data will change; your stakeholders understanding of the data will change; don’t over analyze early, and don’t try and boil the ocean. Keeping the overall needs of your stakeholders in mind, take an evolutionary approach to development. It’s not only important to make sure it is incremental but also iterative. Envision your requirements and architecture at a high level to start but make sure you are modeling and developing using a just in time (JIT) approach. Don’t worry about extending your data model especially when you are leveraging a platform such as Birst that embraces the agility of this approach.
  • Everett Dirksen - American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–1949) and U.S. Senate (1951–1969). As Senate Minority Leader for over a decade, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s, including helping to write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Open Housing Act of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation. He was also one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War and was know as "The Wizard of Ooze" for his oratorical style.
  • Just In Time Modeling – While capturing, documenting and agreeing to the business requirements for the initial rollout of the BI/DW solution is critical, the detailed modeling is typically going to be an iterative process. Like it or not, the requirements or going to change throughout the project. The speed at which business moves these days mandates it. Also, as data begins to be extracting from source systems and initial reports and dashboards are developed for data validation, you begin to not only acquire domain knowledge of the data, but you (and your stakeholders) also begin to discover certain nuances of the data that probably weren’t apparent to you at the time of the requirements gathering process. Your stakeholders who have been engaged in the development process will also be able to give you better answers to your data questions. Also, modeling everything up front has been shown to result in a significant wastage of effort.
  • Organize your work based on priorities – Agile development project teams perform work based on priorities, not based on technical issues such as source systems. Every iteration performed should be focused on fulfilling the highest priority stakeholder requirements that can fit into the pre-defined iteration timeframe. During each iteration you extend the amount of data you extract from your source system and extend your data model more and more. For example, if your iterations (or sprints) are two weeks in length, you pull two weeks’ worth of work from the top of the priority stack. By taking this approach, you are consistently delivering measurable and demonstrable value to your stakeholders on a regular basis and therefore reducing risk.
  • Embrace Change – Don’t just prepare for it, embrace it. Instead of adapting a strict change management process, adapt a more agile approach to change management where your stakeholders can change their minds as the project progresses. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of user adoption. There are two key elements to user adoption: 1) is the application or solution easy for your stakeholders to use; and 2) are they getting value out of the solution. If your stakeholder believes that a change of requirements is warranted because it will allow them to have a better understanding of the data or provides for more intuitive analysis, than it is key that information is available to them. You should still prioritize those changes and follow the Agile process when determining “when” to release those changes.
  • Limit Iteration Time – Typically you should limit your iterations to 2-4 weeks in length. This will provide more opportunity to govern the project effectively due to much greater feedback and regular delivery of working solutions. These shorter iterations allow you to focus on the high value deliverables and also to make adjustments in focus much more quickly and easily as requirements are adjusted and priorities change.
  • Jim Rohn American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His rags to riches story played a large part in his work, which influenced others in the personal development industry. Mentor to Tony Robbins & Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup book series).
  • Prove Your Approach Early – Everything looks and works great on a whiteboard or in a PowerPoint presentation but it isn’t until you’ve proven it in a working system that you know your architecture and approach actually works. You don’t need to boil the ocean. You should put together an actual working prototype with real data from real source system feeds and build a couple of sample visualizations in order to demonstrate the system usage. You don’t want to build something that ends up being shelf-ware which nobody wants to use. This is a core element of the Agile development process.
  • Deliver Working Software Regularly – As mentioned earlier, by following short iterations (or sprints), you should be able to deliver working aspects of your system on a regular basis. This will result in stakeholders who are much more interested in the solution and more engaged in the entire project process because they are actually able to use the fruit of the labor quickly. Your stakeholders will “look forward” to the next iteration of the deployment instead of “just another specification discussion.” The Agile approach is all about requirements and solutions evolving through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It not only encourages rapid and flexible response to change, but also rapid delivery of objectives. Typically though, this is at the cost of documentation.
  • Aristotle - Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics.
  • Don’t overlook usage – You need to understand how your stakeholders will potentially use the system to support their business objectives. Leveraging use cases or usage scenarios is key. You need to make sure that your system not only delivers the information that the stakeholders need, but will be available to them when they need it. Delivering a retail sales dashboard to 600 information consumers who are all going to look at it at the same time on Monday morning requires a different strategy than having a customer support dashboard that could potentially be used by up to 600 users at different times over a given day or week. Could be the same amount of data, and the same number of users, but the usage patterns differ dramatically.
  • Test, Test, Test – Make sure to validate throughout the lifecycle of the project. This is particularly critical in data warehouse or BI implementations. Make sure you are validating the right data in the right way as well. You cannot necessarily compare a report from your new system to a report from your old system and expect the same result without understanding the data first. For example;  You have developed a data warehouse from a number of your legacy OTLP source systems from which you will be developing your BI solution. A report for a specific subject area written in your legacy system may not have the same results as the same report written against your data warehouse. The key is to understand where the disconnect is. The first step is to validate that the data coming out of your OLTP system is being loaded correctly into your data warehouse. The next step is to make sure that the report written is using the same formulas and approach for both reports.  It may sound pretty basic, but we regularly encounter customers that are scratching their heads wondering where the issue is.
  • Aristotle - Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics.
  • Andew Marks Agile Business Analytics How A New Generation Bi Is Reducing Risk And Increasing Adoption

    1. 1. Agile Business Analytics: Howa new “Generation BI” isReducing Risk and IncreasingAdoptionAndrew Marks, Vice President Professional Services
    2. 2. Agenda• Today’s Agile Business Environment• Getting The Right Start With Your BI Solution• The Agile & Flexible Deployment• Demonstrating Progress Regularly• Other Things To Remember• Summary• Q&A
    3. 3. “You have to be fast on your feet and adaptiveor else a strategy is useless.” – Charles de GaulleTODAY’S AGILE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
    4. 4. Business Agility• “An organizations ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” - Jack Welch• “Today, business is more like chess. Customer priorities change continually, and the signals given by these changes are vital clues to the next cycle of growth... “ – Adrian Slywotzky, author of The Profit Zone
    5. 5. Business Agility & Agile BI• Agile businesses need the right data at the right time to make business decisions• Ensuring that the data is actionable is critical• What’s important to know today, may not be tomorrow• Agile BI drives the Agile business
    6. 6. The Agile Manifesto• Individuals and interactions – self-organization and motivation are important, as are interactions• Working software – working software will be more useful and welcome than just presenting documents in meetings.• Customer collaboration – Continuous customer or stakeholder involvement is very important.• Responding to change – agile development is focused on quick responses to change and continuous development
    7. 7. Agility & Technology• A single toolset for delivery reducing the need for product experts in specific disciplines• A framework to handle the inevitable changes that accompany an ever changing business landscape• Enablement of an iterative and adaptable deployment approach
    8. 8. ‘Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter DruckerGETTING THE RIGHT START WITH YOUR BI SOLUTION
    9. 9. Begin With The End In Mind• Brainstorming to identify data needs• Stakeholders “What I need to know” (WINK) business questions• Develop a matrix of Measures & Dimensions• BI Blueprint documents the matrix for answering the WINKs• Focus on initial “WINK Wins”
    10. 10. Involve Your Stakeholders Throughout• Stakeholder involvement is required early and often• They own and should know the data• Active stakeholder participation drives user adoption• As program evolves so does Stakeholder knowledge and buy-in
    11. 11. Take an Evolutionary Approach• Requirements, Understanding & Focus Will Change• Today’s focus may not be tomorrow’s focus• Don’t over analyze early and don’t try to boil the ocean• Development should be incremental and iterative• Envision at a high level to start but model using JIT approach
    12. 12. “I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.” – Everett DirksenTHE AGILE & FLEXIBLE DEPLOYMENT
    13. 13. Model Just In Time (JIT)• Detailed modeling is an iterative process• Requirements will change throughout the project• Discovery will occur as reports are developed and data is exposed• Engaged Stakeholders will give you better answers to your data questions as the project progresses• This is a core concept of the Agile method
    14. 14. Organize Based on Priorities Quick Wins Significant High Priority Value Matrix Really? Low Fill In’s Seriously? Are you sure? Low High Effort• Perform work based on priorities• Every iteration should focus on fulfilling the highest priority stakeholder requirements• Each iteration increases the amount of data you extract and extends your data model• Delivering measurable and demonstrable value to your stakeholders on a regular basis
    15. 15. Embrace Change• Adapt a more agile approach to change management • It’s called “change management” not “change avoidance”• Stakeholders should be able to change their minds as the project progresses• Drivers of user adoption include ease of use and solution value• Therefore, constantly be validating and adjusting to assure adoption
    16. 16. Limit the Iteration Time• Limit iterations ideally to 2-4 weeks in length• Provides more opportunity to govern the project effectively• Facilitates greater feedback and delivery of working solutions• Maintains focus on high value deliverables• Allows for adjustments in focus more quickly as requirements and priorities are attuned
    17. 17. “Make measurable progress in reasonable time.” - Jim RohnDEMONSTRATING PROGRESS REGULARLY
    18. 18. Prove and Demonstrate your ApproachEarly• Everything looks good, sounds great and works flawlessly on whiteboard & PowerPoint• Develop working prototypes with real data from source systems• Build a couple of sample visualizations to demonstrate system usage
    19. 19. Deliver Working Software Regularly• Stakeholders will be much more interested and engaged• Team members will look forward to the next iteration of the deployment• Being Agile is all about collaborating• Encourages rapid and flexible response to change and delivery
    20. 20. “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.” - Albert EinsteinOTHER THINGS TO REMEMBER
    21. 21. Don’t Overlook Usage• Understand how the stakeholders will use the system to support business objectives• Leverage use cases or usage scenarios• Solution needs to not only deliver the information but be available to do it when users need it
    22. 22. Validation is Critical (test, test, test)• Make sure to validate throughout the lifecycle of the project• Ensure you are validating the right data in the right way• What’s easy for the team to understand may not be for all users• Validate: • The User Experience – Should be easy to understand & navigate • The Data - Nothing worse than invalid data to tarnish a user’s faith in a BI solution
    23. 23. Training• Delivering the right solution is only half the battle• Adoption is critical• Once the right solution is deployed you need to ensure the end-users are trained• End-User adoption is often overlooked
    24. 24. “If you want to succeed you should strike out on newpaths, rather than travel the worn paths of acceptedsuccess.” - John D. Rockefeller
    25. 25. Summary / Key TakeawaysThe AgileManifesto • Be Agile: Today’s rapidly changing business environment mandates agility, especially with your BI solution • Iterate: Begin with the end in mind, but don’t try and boil the ocean • Collaborate: Take an evolutionary approach and make sure you involve your stakeholders throughout and demonstrate progress • Integrate: Information from many different source systems into a holistic view and make sure to validate • End User Experience: Be open to adjust based on greater awareness and changing business needs • Educate & Train: Enable your end-users to drive adoption and mitigate risk
    26. 26. The Birst Agile BI Platform
    27. 27. Questions?

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