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Overcoming the Challenges of Agile Business Intelligence

| by Savita Pahuja Follow 2 Followers on Mar 17, 2015. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

These days very different types of projects are using Agile. Business intelligence is one of them. Tony Kenney, Partner at C3 Business Solutions, explains how to get success in agile business intelligence in his recent blog.

The Agile development approach to data management and business intelligence (BI) projects is seeing greater take up by CIOs as public and private sector firms demand faster, more measurable returns on their information investments.

Margaret Rouse, Technical writer and editorial director of WhatIs.com, defines agile business intelligence in her blog as:

Agile business intelligence (BI) is a fast and flexible process that uses agile software development (ASD) methodologies to enable rapid development and allow users to efficiently adapt intelligence-based strategy to business needs.

Tony says that Agile BI projects face some challenges. He mentions that one of the major challenges to a successful Agile BI project is having effective product owners in place to help the project deliver value to the business.

Product owners are essential to the process and success of an Agile BI project…. The challenge we frequently see facing many Agile BI projects is the availability of the product owner. Too often they are still ensconced in their regular role so they aren’t able to make enough time to support the project delivery team.

Tony says that management should take care of the following items while working with product owners:

  • It’s really essential to select right product owner, who is a subject matter expert related to the project, has knowledge of the wider business and knows how the project will affect the business.
  • Gains buy in from senior management to sponsor the product owner role and allow them to allocate the required level of time dedicated to the project.
  • Management should give product owners a level of authority that allows them to make decisions on a daily basis affecting the direction and outcome of the project and resolve any issues as they arise.
  • Product owner should sits with the project team.

Dufrain Consulting, shares their experience of agile implementation in BI projects, in its blog. Dufrain Consulting mentions following principles to overcome the challenges of agile BI:

  • Assembling a diverse team of business experts, data architects and senior stakeholders
  • Empowering business experts to drive data architecture and model engineering
  • Focusing on the best of both – end user requirements and agile development principles
  • Iterative model engineering, quick development cycles and faster deployment of business focused dimensional model

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Business Intelligence by Susan Obi

In the case of BI development and implementation the Agile process makes a lot of sense and can achieve remarkable results b aligning business needs with technology. That is not possible, if your BI tool is not intuitive, or if it lacks a self-service approach that can respond to business needs. Ideally, once higher level needs are defined and some meta data work is done, a BI power user or developer can work with business users face to tweak BI objects like dashboards. That allows the business and its users to see the possibilities and explore what can be done to improve business results and provide meaningful access to the average business user. In the process business users will learn how best to leverage the BI tool and quickly move on to self-serve mode, and the business will achieve rapid, impressive ROI. At ElegantJ BI, we find that intuitive features and hands-on workshops in a live BI environment will assist in user adoption and in creating BI tools that can satisfy the unique needs of the business and business users and achieve remarkable results.

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