Off to a Fast Start

BI system development hits the ground running with efficiency and flexibility using the agile methodology.

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Feeling like your business intelligence efforts are a bit sluggish and out of touch with what the company needs? Maybe it's time to try agile BI, a rapid development methodology that solicits end-user input early and often and delivers BI systems fast.

While the use of the agile software development methodology is a big component of agile BI, it's by no means the only attribute, says Boris Evelson, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Forrester defines agile BI as an approach that combines processes, methodologies, tools and technologies, while incorporating organizational structure, in order to help strategic, tactical and operational decision-makers be more flexible and more responsive to ever-changing business and regulatory requirements.

Very few organizations have implemented agile BI as Forrester defines it, Evelson says. Based on anecdotal evidence and discussions with clients, he estimates that out of all the organizations that use BI applications, probably less than 20% of the BI user population within those organizations is leveraging some kind of agile BI. But he predicts that this figure will climb to about 80% in the near future.

Business intelligence is particularly well suited for agility and the agile development methodology, says David White, an analyst specializing in BI at research firm Aberdeen Group.

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