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Growing Business Intelligence: An Agile Approach to Leveraging Data and Analytics for Maximum Business Value

Book Description

How do we enable our organizations to enjoy the often significant benefits of BI and analytics, while at the same time minimizing the cost and risk of failure? In this book, I am not going to try to be prescriptive; I won't tell you exactly how to build your BI environment. Instead, I am going to focus on a few core principles that will enable you to navigate the rocky shoals of BI architecture and arrive at a destination best suited for your particular organization. Some of these core principles include:
  • Have an overarching strategy, plan, and roadmap
  • Recognize and leverage your existing technology investments
  • Support both data discovery and data reuse
  • Keep data in motion, not at rest
  • Separate information delivery from data storage
  • Emphasize data transparency over data quality
  • Take an agile approach to BI development.
This book will show you how to successfully navigate both the jungle of BI technology and the minefield of human nature. It will show you how to create a BI architecture and strategy that addresses the needs of all organizational stakeholders. It will show you how to maximize the value of your BI investments. It will show you how to manage the risk of disruptive technology. And it will show you how to use agile methodologies to deliver on the promise of BI and analytics quickly, succinctly, and iteratively.

This book is about many things. But principally, it's about success. The goal of any enterprise initiative is to succeed and to derive benefit--benefit that all stakeholders can share in. I want you to be successful. I want your organization to be successful. This book will show you how.

This book is for anyone who is currently or will someday be working on a BI, analytics, or Big Data project, and for organizations that want to get the maximum amount of value from both their data and their BI technology investment. This includes all stakeholders in the BI effort--not just the data people or the IT people, but also the business stakeholders who have the responsibility for the definition and use of data. There are six sections to this book:
  • In Section I, What Kind of Garden Do You Want?, we will examine the benefits and risks of Business Intelligence, making the central point that BI is a business (not IT) process designed to manage data assets in pursuit of enterprise goals. We will show how data, when properly managed and used, can be a key enabler of several types of core business processes. The purpose of this section is to help you define the particular benefit(s) you want from BI.
  • In Section II, Building the Bones, we will talk about how to design and build out the "hardscape" (infrastructure) of your BI environment. This stage of the process involves leveraging existing technology investments and iteratively moving toward your desired target state BI architecture.
  • In Section III, From the Ground Up, we explore the more detailed aspects of implementing your BI operational environment.
  • In Section IV, Weeds, Pests and Critters, we talk about the myriad of things that can go wrong on a BI project, and discuss ways of mitigating these risks.
  • In Section V, The Sustainable Garden, we talk about how to create a BI infrastructure that is easy and inexpensive to maintain.
  • Finally, Section VI presents a case study illustrating the principles of this book, as applied to a fictional manufacturing company (the Blue Moon Guitar Company). 

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Introduction
  3. Section I What Kind of Garden Do You Want?
  4. Chapter 1 The Promise and Peril of BI
    1. The Question of Data Management
    2. Importance of Process
  5. Chapter 2 Data as an Asset
  6. Chapter 3 Processes of BI
    1. BI as Asset Management
    2. BI as Risk Management
    3. BI as Opportunity Management
    4. BI as Process Management
    5. BI as Stakeholder Management
    6. BI as Knowledge Management
  7. Chapter 4 Achieving the BI Vision
  8. Chapter 5 BI and Business Agility
  9. Section II Building the Bones
  10. Chapter 6 Reality Check
  11. Chapter 7 Pattern-Based BI
    1. Pattern 1: Quick Wins
    2. Pattern 2: Forklift
    3. Pattern 3: Operational Data Store (ODS)
    4. Pattern 4: Data Lake
  12. Chapter 8 “Working Toward”
  13. Section III From the Ground Up
  14. Chapter 9 Data and Dirt
    1. Data Management Misconceptions
    2. Some Inconvenient Truths
    3. Meaning of Metadata
    4. “Non-Invasive” Approach to Data Quality
  15. Chapter 10 A Room With Many Views
    1. The Problem of Over-Consolidation
    2. The Problem of Under-Consolidation
    3. The Value of Information Views
  16. Chapter 11 Perennial BI
    1. What Is “Perennial BI”?
    2. From Insight to Action
    3. Characteristics of Perennial BI
    4. Examples of Perennial BI
  17. Section IV Weeds, Pests and Critters
  18. Chapter 12 Weeds and Mulch
  19. Chapter 13 Mole Holes
    1. Data Bias
    2. Mis-Application of Analysis
    3. Misunderstanding of Data
    4. Process Impediments
    5. Data is the New Water
    6. “Citizen” Data Scientists
  20. Chapter 14 Thugs and Slackers
  21. Chapter 15 Dealing With Pests
    1. Agile Principles for BI Bottlenecks
  22. Section V The Sustainable Garden
  23. Chapter 16 Sustainable BI
    1. Sustainable BI Architecture
    2. Sustainable BI Design
    3. Sustainable BI Implementation
    4. Sustainable BI Process
    5. Sustainable BI Governance
  24. Chapter 17 BI Critical Success Factors
  25. Section VI Case Study
    1. Identifying the Data
    2. Data We Have (And Can Get Easily)
    3. Data We Don’t Have (But Can Get Easily)
    4. Data We Don’t Have (And Can’t Get Easily)
    5. Designing the Solution
    6. Acquiring the Data
    7. Provisioning the Data
    8. Managing the Data
    9. Managing the BI Process
  26. Afterword
  27. About the Author
  28. Notes and Resources
  29. Acronyms and Terms
  30. Index