Monday, March 09, 2009

The Tactical Data Mart Advantage

image The capabilities of current BI tools allow us to drive down the costs to develop BI applications / data marts.  This means that we can quickly develop tactical applications leveraging standard tools and methodologies to reduce development cycles.  This enables the deployment of applications to support specific decision making problems that would normally not be supported by a quality BI environment due to the short turnaround required.

Some people get upset about building these so called silos that aren't integrated.  I take a different perspective that these tactical data marts expose the power of tactical Business Intelligence, and if you manage it well they are a great complement to your core infrastructure.

"A good solution applied with vigour now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.” - General George S. Patton

It is critical that you have a checkpoint or a regular environment review that you can rely on to take one of the following actions at the end of the decision making life cycle:

  1. Decision has been made and there is no need for continued access to the data mart.  Simple response, retire the data mart and free up system resources for the next initiative.  Celebrate the success.
  2. The information within the data mart has continuing value to the organization.  In this case you need to have room in your requirements funnel to incorporate the data mart into your permanent BI infrastructure.

Don't hold your business back by sticking to a traditional release cycle.  Build a team within your BI program that can quickly spin up the appropriate BI solution to support tactical decision making.  You can't win the war if you don't win a battle now and then!

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