Chapter 2. What Is Agility?

Agility is the power of moving quickly and easily. An agile data system can be defined as a nimble system that can ingest any source data in days or weeks, not months or years. Organizational agility is a huge competitive advantage that positively affects the ability to make strategic decisions and serve users or customers. We can all see the advantages of agility on a daily basis. Whether we’re buying a house, extending a job offer, or working on implementing a centralized data hub for our organization, agility is often the difference between success or failure. With agility comes the freedom to make strategic decisions without having to consider the costs of major disruptions.

Agility and Data

Data is a fluid thing, oftentimes changing at such a rapid pass that we struggle to keep up. As an organization, we must deal with the many different aspects of data, such as the following:

  • Constantly changing content

  • Processing new data formats and schemas

  • Exposing data based on evolving requirements and use cases

  • Synchronization of data across disparate systems

Being Agile

In technology, we toss the word “agile” around quite a bit. For example, we have agile databases, agile software development, agile architecture, and the list goes on. Because of this, we might have some preconceived notions of what agility is. But, in terms of data, what does it mean to be agile, and what might the consequences of not being agile be?

When we fail to be agile ...

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