Guest article by Steven Offen

Can we deliver BI and data solutions Agile? Not doing things the way we have been!

I have spent many years trying to perfect agile delivery in Enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) environments. What I have always struggled with is how you line up all the teams needed, at the same time, to be truly agile.

Usually, you have to get the source system team to build some extracts, which they will only let you run in the middle of the night to avoid impacting their online users. You also have to line up the integration teams to change existing integration components. Then the ETL team would need to consume and conform that data before finally presenting it for the BI team to work their magic with the consumer. Given the time it takes to build all the components, chances are you have missed one or more data items, which only becomes obvious when the users look at the reports.  Which takes you back to the beginning of the chain to get that data.  Sound familiar?!

Thankfully with the new federated data solutions such as fraXses, users can combine disparate data sources into a single data view without any coding – just configuration.

Using a federated approach enables a user to build the entire data solution from source to report on the fly. So if you missed something, or discover that is not what you want, or you want more, you simply source additional fields (or even change the data source) using the simple user interface, all within a few minutes.

Finally, the technology has caught up with the expectations and needs of the business users.  We can have real agile-enabled BI.  No more waiting in line for multiple teams in the data food chain to make changes to get the data to the people who derive the insight that drives your business.