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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Category Archives: Agile Business Intelligence


Spotfire 5.5 Release Addresses Growing Market Trends

Companies that want to be competitive, productive as well as innovative have to get the right information to the right people in real time. But at the same time, they have to control access to their sensitive business data.

business intelligence foto Spotfire 5.5 Release Addresses Growing Market TrendsWith the Spotfire 5.5 enterprise-class data discovery platform companies can secure their corporate assets, and provide instant self-service analytics to support the competitive, agile organization.

In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll delve into the major issues companies are facing accessing data – especially unstructured data – from different data sources.

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Data Warehousing Development Standards = Efficiency, Quality and Speed

business man writing graph of industrial product and service improvement concept by increased qualit 150x150 Data Warehousing Development Standards = Efficiency, Quality and SpeedBuilding a data warehouse by following established standards will help your organization achieve a competitive advantage, lead to quicker development cycles, and realize a higher ROI.

Have you ever tried to fill every corner of a box with a single ball? The ball might fit but there will always be gaps.

Have you ever compared the characteristics of an apple to an orange? The results will always be the same, but the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they are different. You can’t glean any additional information from the apple-to-orange comparison.

Now think of a data warehouse design. The data warehouse will leave gaps, make comparative analysis difficult, and it won’t lend itself to self-service business intelligence if it’s built without:

  • a properly formatted physical structure
  • data that’s been subjected to a rigorous filtering and transformation process
  • a data warehousing schema that’s easy for an end user to use and understand

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Is Your Organization Ossified? Here’s How to Find Out

change ahead nimble 150x150 Is Your Organization Ossified? Heres How to Find OutIs your company ossified or nimble?

You need to figure out which camp your company falls into before you can even consider using business analytics to try to gain new actionable insight, argues Brian Sommer, CEO of strategy consultancy TechVentive and a research analyst with Vital Analysis.

The companies that are ossified are unwavering champions for the status quo, “so rigid in their world view, their processes and business practices that they choose to ignore the very suggestions that could save their firms. They’ve not only ossified, they’ve turned deaf, too,” he says.

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The 7 Most Important Sections of a BI Business Case

back to square one sign 150x150 The 7 Most Important Sections of a BI Business CaseAlmost one-third of all business intelligence projects fail to “meet the objectives of the business,” according to Gartner Research Inc.

Andy Hayler echoes that sentiment by noting that high failure rates are also associated with data management projects in general.

He contends that nearly every one of these failures can be attributed to the lack of a business case that should include, at minimum, information regarding the total cost of ownership, the potential risk of failure, and the benefits to the organization as a result of success.

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Top Five Ways to Advance Agile BI

spped2 150x150 Top Five Ways to Advance Agile BIThe need for management to receive timely information has steadily increased during the last few years, according to a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group.

As the trend continues, IT departments will be subject to increasingly tighter decision-making windows and they’ll struggle to deliver data with greater speed and increased accuracy.

Referencing a compilation of studies, the Aberdeen Group reports that 42% of decision makers participating in the agile business intelligence research need data within one day of the event, 10% within the hour and 18% within minutes.

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From the Experts: 3 x 3 Tips for Implementing an Agile BI Strategy

agile BI 150x150 From the Experts: 3 x 3 Tips for Implementing an Agile BI StrategySometimes when you want answers to important questions you have to ask the people who’ve been there, done that.

And that’s exactly what Michael Schmier did when he wanted the answer to this question: What are your three tips for implementing an agile BI strategy?

Schmier, a product, marketing, and customer experience professional, asked his question on, a business professional social network whose members offer advice on a variety of business and IT subjects.

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Using Analytics to Handicap The Masters Golf Tournament

golf 150x150 Using Analytics to Handicap The Masters Golf TournamentWhen Bubba Watson made par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to defeat Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa at The Masters Golf Tournament on Sunday, he wasn’t the odds-on-favorite to win.

However, he was among the top seven golfers in the event picked by Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the tournament at 30-to-1. Tiger Woods was the odds-on favorite among Las Vegas bookmakers to win this year’s Masters at 4-to-1. Irish phenom Rory McIlroy was next at 5-to-1 odds, followed by Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood at 10-to-1 and 18-to-1, respectively. Oosthuizen, the runner-up, was given 100-to-1 odds to win.

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Does Your BI Project Consider “Other Types of Data”?

unstructured data and BI Projects 300x198 Does Your BI Project Consider “Other Types of Data”?Wayne Kernochan (@wkernochan) wrote this week at Enterprise Apps Today that IT buyers need to “look at the ‘other’ category to determine which BI vendors are flexible enough to keep up with fast-changing data sources.”

In essence, he’s talking about the “other types of data” that affect Business Intelligence projects. The other data comes from the social landscape (Facebook, texting, Tweets and other social networks/devices) as well as maps, videos, bar codes and photographs. Much of the data originates on mobile devices such as a smartphones or tablets.

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The ABCs of Agile BI

j03995511 239x300 The ABCs of Agile BIA. What is it?

Agile BI increases a company’s flexibility by delivering value to BI projects at an accelerated pace, according to The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). Agile BI includes self-service BI, cloud-based BI, and data discovery dashboards that let users begin working with data more quickly so they can better adjust to changing business needs.

Agile BI is a “fundamental rethink about how BI should work,” says analyst David Norris in a recent article. And it means giving users the tools to access the data they need—without IT intervention—to pull the necessary bits from that data, manipulate it to address their needs, then present the results so that they and their co-workers can use it to rapidly address business problems.

B. Why does it matter?

According to Gartner, 70 to 80 percent of business intelligence projects fail. According to a recent InformationWeek article on the 5 Factors in Agile BI, much of the failure can be attributed to a methodical and painstaking BI system development life cycle. Just as companies need to be agile to succeed, the process by which we deliver BI analytics also needs flexibility baked in.

Remaining flexible as your BI/DW environment matures is one of the keys to being successful and profitable, according to the blog Agile Scout (@agilescout).  The popular blog also states that agile development supports techniques that use “iterative development for rapid delivery of systems with a minimum of rework and risk.” In fact, the agile concept applies to your BI/DW environment in a number of areas including team structure, project management, system design, development, and analytics techniques. The bottom line is agile BI can help you quickly respond to changing business conditions even when you’re asked to do more with less.

C. What’s next?

If you want to learn more about agile BI, TDWI is holding its World Conference in San Diego, starting today and ending on August 12th.

The focus of the conference is the evolution of agile. You’ll learn about the latest thinking on agile project management, methodologies, and modeling, and you’ll also have a look at the ongoing controversy: Does agile really work for BI and data warehousing?

You’ll be treated to six days of courses covering a wide range of BI/DW topics, including developing the agile BI environment, business analytics/performance management, data modeling, and data asset management (quality, governance, master data management, and integration).

You’ll also hear keynote presentations from Ken Collier (KWC Technologies) and Ralph Hughes (Ceregenics Inc.) And leading vendors in the field will be demonstrating BI/DW solutions.

This conference is the place to be if you want to know how these technologies are being implemented and the impact they’ll have on the future of the industry.

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

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The ABCs of BI Implementation

abc blocks 150x150 The ABCs of BI ImplementationA:  What is it?

“Implementation” covers the start-to-finish activities associated with any Business Intelligence project.  That includes projects of every size, from replacing a single report to building a BI infrastructure from the ground up.

Implementation can be viewed in terms of four typical phases:

  1. Planning and discovery: Defining the need(s), deciding on solutions, detailing what to do, how to do it, and who will be involved.
  2. Project preparation: Risk assessment, budgeting, purchasing, staffing, establishing project management, etc.
  3. Development: Requirements, installation, coding, documentation, testing, etc.
  4. Deployment: Training, roll-out, support, etc.

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