InetSoft Webinar: Agile Reporting Tools

This is the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "What are the Benefits of a Visual Reporting Solution?" The speaker is Abhishek Gupta, Product Manager at InetSoft.

Good morning and welcome to our webinar on agile reporting tools and agile BI. My name’s Abhishek Gupta, and I am with InetSoft. InetSoft is a pioneering provider of business intelligence and data discovery software. Before we begin though I'd like to go over a few quick housekeeping items and questions that we normally get during this webinar, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them anytime, you can type them in the chat panel in the lower right hand corner of GoToMeeting, and we will make sure we respond to you.

If not live, we’ll make we follow up through an e-mail response after the webinar. Also we have a Twitter feed that we’re monitoring, it's #agilebi. After the webinar these slides and the recording of the webinar will be available for download. You can also e-mail us directly at So with those house keeping items out of the way we’ll just jump into the webinar.

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So as we’ve seen in our industry, and I am sure most of you have seen this as well, the topic of Agile Business Intelligence has gained a lot of momentum lately, and I am sure you are all aware of this as we are, and I am sure you are also aware of the many benefits involved with adopting an Agile BI strategy. With that said there still seems to be lot of ambiguity in the market placed on certain elements surrounding the topic of Agile BI.

So one of the main goals of the webinar today is to try to bring more of a clear understanding and definition to the topic of Agile BI and to some of the elements involved in the implementation of a successful Agile BI strategy. So the agenda for this webinar is we’re going to discuss what’s all the buzz about Agile BI. We’re going to talk about that, set up a framework for how to access some of the different aspects of it.

There are a bunch of enablers that help businesses and end users work better. We'll get into that. Then we’ll list some key success factors for implementation and have discussion time at the end. The webinar will take about 30 minutes, and we’ll leave 15, 20 minutes at the end for discussion. So just to start, in preparation for this webinar we did a quite a bit of research, read the industry reports, talked to customers, read some of the blogs and this webinar topic was generated because our customers had been asking us a lot about Agile BI, Mobile BI, all these topics that were out there.

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And I think this eBiz Newsletter Blog which I am quoting from here, captures a lot of it, “According to Search Business Analytics, this was one of the most discussed topics in last year.” We certainly heard it a lot from our clients, but there remains a lot of confusion as to what exactly it is. To synthesize the research there are several aspects to it that kept coming up according to the article at a TDWI Conference.

Some prefer to apply Agile principles, and there are a bunch of Agile development principles applicable to BI environments, things like scrum, extreme programming, and so forth. The other side of that is more of the ability of BI to help an organization become more adaptable, and this is more of an end user, more of an organizational angle. Then some of the responses that people gave showed the different perspectives.

I've seen Agile BI defined in two ways. The first is getting BI implement in an agile manner through iterations. As a user I may not know exactly what might be useful to me, so giving me some draft versions that we can fine-tune as we are going along is important. Now we see this because you know it's hard to understand what the messages are in the data until you see it, and then when you see you realize changes are needed because it's not exactly what you thought it was.

So having a development environment where it's easy to show people something and then change it, to be very flexible and dynamic, is really important. Then I see other side of this which is what they call that self-service BI. The Business Intelligence application, itself, is agile. The user can interact with it and change it. We would say muck around in the data.

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