InetSoft Webinar: Contrast with the Traditional ETL and Data Warehousing Only Model

This is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in September 2016 on the topic of "Agile BI Best Practices" The speaker is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

There is a ton of useful information stored in enterprise databases and employees spreadsheets that's really important. And speed of making that data available is key. I mean in hours, not months. This is key to agile BI. This is in contrast with the traditional ETL and data warehouse only model. We are responding to data requirements. This old model takes months to put in place. This is sort of the technical side. In the next few minutes we will build on this.

From the survey results. it looks like the majority of people are not currently implementing an agile BI program in their organizations, and I found that quite interesting. So this webinar should be really helpful to them, and now we are going to move forward and talk about what agile BI means.

For a comprehensive definition, I would say agile business intelligence addresses the broad need to enable flexibility by accelerating the time it takes to deliver value. A key theme is, be flexible and fast, and again, using some of these scrum and extreme programming techniques can get you there.

It can include technology deployment options such as self-service BI, access to cloud-based data, and data discovery dashboards that allow users to begin working with data more rapidly and adjusting to changing needs. There are varied end-user options and there are new technologies that have come in the last few years such as interactive visualizations.


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Then I talk about transforming BI projects to fit the dynamic user requirements, implementing a formal methodology, utilizing agile software development techniques and tools to accelerate development, testing, deployment; ongoing scoping, rapid iterations, working components, evolving requirements, scrum sessions, frequent thorough testing, business development, and communication.

This agile BI development is an IT managed process that uses a bunch of some of the new development techniques and tools that are proving to be really effective at the most successful software companies and IT shops. And then the other aspect that keeps coming up is business intelligence on mobile devices. As we read through the blogs, the conferences, they are coming up a lot.

There is addition to this, there is now hardware platforms that users are getting that allow them to be far more mobile and able to access information basically anywhere, any time, any place. So as we look at the technical side of the discussion, these are the things that seem to come up: flexible, fast, varied access options, an IT centrally managed process, and mobility.

The other side of that is the end-user side, and a lot of the writing has been about the technical side. The end-user side seems to have had less coverage in at least what we surveyed, which is pretty broad. What we see end users wanting is quick and flexible access to data, and there are more and more sources of data, intuitive display and easy interaction.
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They want to be able to consume BI on their own without having to go back to experts for help. They want access from anywhere anytime, which has this whole mobile device trend so hot. What is helping to enable it are web-based BI systems and data mashups. End-users have found legacy BI systems too difficult to understand and interact with.

It's not that they want the same thing developed and deployed faster, which is a key point. It's something different. Rather they are looking for new paradigms with which to understand their information and easily interact with it. So the counterpoint is, yes we want to implement BI faster, more flexibly, but we also want to implement something new and different, something that’s more enabling. So that actually gets into the next section.

We are going to launch another survey here The question is, what is the goal of BI in your company? And if you are indeed using an agile BI strategy right now, we are interested in finding out what is your role in that, so that the survey is up, we are going to wait about 20 seconds for people to answer.

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