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DC Business Intelligentsia January Meetup: Agile BI and Data Chaos


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Eric Nelson of Synaptitude Consulting led a discussion on Agile BI and Data Chaos at the January 2014 meeting of the DC Business Intelligentsia held at Excella Consulting's headquarters in Arlington, VA.

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DC Business Intelligentsia January Meetup: Agile BI and Data Chaos

  1. 1. How does Agile prevent common BI problems?
  2. 2. January 2014 2
  3. 3. Business Intelligence and The Enterprise Reporting is useful at the department level. Business Information is useful only across the Whole Business. January 2014 3
  4. 4. Enterprise BI Architecture January 2014 4
  5. 5. Diminishing Returns Increased costs associated with collecting, processing and disseminating data, relate to the increase in benefits. What is essential is to evaluate where the cut-off point is for optimum benefits at a realistic economic cost. But to provide actionable intelligence across the enterprise don’t you need to capture all the data in the enterprise? January 2014 5
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  7. 7. Traditional Approach to Building the Factory – The Data Warehouse June 2012 7
  8. 8. Traditional Approach to Building the Factory Traditional DW/BI methodology has a heavy emphasis on requirements gathering, because you want to precalculate/pre-model all the answers. You need to know all the questions that might get asked. But if you are working with new information, new data, new business dynamics – how do you know what you don’t know? Understanding the quality of the data, and the effectiveness of controls, is critical to maintaining the underlying DW environment. January 2014 8
  9. 9. But I need information now!  Building data warehouses takes years and $millions  But I have to deliver ROI on all this new gear and systems soon than that, and I need information to do so…..Can I just get some reports?  And maybe a dashboard or 2?  And maybe then some analytics/forecasting/predictive… June 2012 9
  10. 10. A simple 5-step process to avoiding data chaos while building the factory Find your data 1.  Current systems, other capabilities (available data that is not currently collected, or is being collected but not utilized) Evaluate your data 2.   Understand how your data is actually behaving vs. how you expected it to behave Agile Assess data quality across stacks/domains BI 3. Start with some departmental initiatives 4. Transform your data into information  Repeat periodically 5.  June 2012 Turn data into information by mapping to the enterprise model (the data warehouse thing…) Your company doesn’t stand still, and neither does your data… 10
  11. 11. So, what to do – Agile BI  Deliver actionable results in weeks vs. years  Discover how your data is behaving before you design your information factory Because as we know, Agile is the cure for everything IT June 2012 11
  12. 12. BI Characteristics and Goals (Kenochan 2year study)  Data entry — accuracy  Data consolidation — consistency  Data aggregation — scope  Information targeting — fit  Information delivery — timeliness  Information analysis — analyzability January 2014 12
  13. 13. Common BI Issues (Kenochan)  20% of data has errors in it (accuracy)  50% of data is inconsistent (consistency)  It typically takes 7 days to get data to the end user     (timeliness) It isn't possible to do a cross-database query on 70% of company data (scope) 65% of the time, executives don't receive the data they need (fit) 60% of the time, users can't do immediate online analysis of data they receive (analyzability) 75% of new key information sources that surface on the Web are not passed on to users within the year (agility) January 2014 13
  14. 14. Agile addresses BI Issues  Data Entry - Processes need to re-evaluated and corrected to minimize data     entry errors. Data Consolidation - Often companies have multiple data stores and data is scattered across multiple data stores. "Agility theory emphasizes autodiscovery of each new data source, and automated upgrade of metadata repositories to automatically accommodate the new information". Data Aggregation - Is a process in which information from many data stores is pulled and displayed in a summary report. OLAP is a simple type of data aggregation tools which is commonly used. Information Delivery - One of the key principal of Agile BI is to deliver the right data at the right time to the right individual. Historical data should also be maintained for comparing the current performance with the past. Information Analysis - One of the largest benefits of Agile BI is in improving the decision-making of its users. Real Agile BI should focus on analysis tools that make an operational process or new product development better.[ Agile BI Key Principals January 2014 (Kenochan) 14
  15. 15. Agile Best Practices also address the Data Issues  A program charter should be created, which will set the stakeholder          expectations on how Agile BI system will work. Start with the business information needs to provide context for scope. Iterations should be time-boxed. Stress on data discovery through the requirements and design phase. Use the Agile process of incremental and iterative development and deployment. Validate the BI Architecture and get approval on the proof of concept. Data validation and verification should be completed for each development iteration. Use flow charts or diagram to explain the BI process along with some documentation. Any change that will be deployed to production should be thoroughly tested in regression environment. Have a formal change control; this will minimize the risk as all changes have to be approved before it goes into production. (Larson) January 2014 15
  16. 16. (Kolko) So, if Agile solves the BI Data Issues, why do we continually fail to deliver Quality, Actionable Data ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE? Enterprise BI vs. Departmental BI January 2014 16
  17. 17. Agile Limitations Since Agile cannot deliver across the Enterprise, Agile BI cannot deliver across the Enterprise January 2014 17
  18. 18. Enabling Enterprise Action vs. Departmental Intelligence – Some Observations for Discussion  Agile Development is fairly straightforward to execute at a departmental level  Therefore, Agile BI is fairly straightforward to execute at a department level  Generally, Agile Development falls apart at the Enterprise Level  Scaled Agile Framework  Generally, Agile BI falls apart at the Enterprise Level  Solution? January 2014 18
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  20. 20. Torture the data, and it will tell you anything… January 2014 20