Thursday, September 25, 2008

The New Breed of Data Warehouse Appliance

Saw a story from Wednesday on an announcement made at Oracle Open World this week on the new HP / Oracle Data Warehouse Appliance offerings:

We are starting to see more of these hybrid models coming out, where the definition of the Data Warehouse Appliance is blurring.  Traditionally, vendors in this space offer software and hardware solutions bundled together (i.e. Teradata).  We have seen offerings in the past year and a half where storage only solutions are being sold, and in other cases just some software supercharging below the database level.  In these solutions, you keep your DBMS (Oracle, MS, etc) the same, the software integrates at a low level in the DBMS software architecture.  It is like dropping a V8 in your compact car, your controls stay the same, but your have a tad more power...8)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How can BI get agile?

image We are hearing a lot about how Agile software development techniques deliver more value quicker to the end user. The market and competition is changing faster every day, software development must be able to change with it. In our world today, we can't afford to wait for results from a traditional waterfall approach, when what we deliver will not meet current requirements.

Anyone that has been exposed to agile methodologies sees why this is such a powerful approach. I have to ask myself... Why don't we see more BI projects leveraging agile? Agile has been more prevalent and quickly adopted in the SOA / App / User Interface areas than in the data side of the world.

If we think back on the history of BI projects, we are not too far from the time when we had a failure rate of 50%! Why did they fail? Long duration, high complexity, high cost, and not delivering what the business needed, when they needed it. Sounds like a recipe for Agile to me!

I challenge you to shake off the dust and find how you can deliver in new and innovative ways. The excuse that "We don't have that data in the warehouse" is simply not acceptable in today's world. We need to be able to gather requirements, profile data, data model, build ETL routines, build reports / dashboards / visualizations, and deploy to production in the space of 2 weeks. Or why not 1 week?

Here is some reading:

Agile Data - DW Best Practices

Agile Manifesto

Monday, September 01, 2008

Follow up article to it Just Has to Work

I was catching up on my reading, and ran across the below article that had a similar view as my post on "It Just Has to Work".  Tom Hudock at Business Intelligence for Business People has a great post about a similar concept.

Now imagine what BI would be like if you could simply stitch your information together? Pull your customers. Drag sales volumes. Drop products into an information pot. Then BI does the rest. You then navigate the answers. Repeat with new information when ever you need to.

This is a personal weblog, and does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.