Oct 152013

The amount of data available to organizations to analyze and use in decision making is exploding. “Big Data” is all the rage and organizations of every size from every industry are struggling to make valuable use of the information available from their operational systems, business partners, and social networks. Organizations, seeking to respond quickly in an ever-changing marketplace, are hungry for current and useful information about their ecosystems. Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DW/BI) teams are working as fast and hard as they can to meet this ever-increasing demand with limited resources and time. Fortunately, DW/BI teams who embrace an “agile” approach are finding they can meet the top priority needs in short time frames and with higher quality than they could using a traditional “waterfall” approach to project management.

However, like many disciplines in life, agile concepts are relatively simple to explain yet often difficult to master. For example, what are the risks and rewards of asking DW/BI specialists to become Agile DW/BI generalists? What concerns do we have about designing a DW solution in an iterative fashion, and how can we ensure the benefits outweigh the risks? What is the “vision” of a successful Agile DW/BI team, to which teams in transition can aspire?

An upcoming issue of Cutter IT Journal addresses Agile Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence and invites practical advice, insight and actual case studies on how an agile approach increases the value DW/BI teams deliver to their organizations. We also seek insight on the possible challenges and risks faced by DW/BI teams working in an agile framework, and specific practices that can ensure a DW/BI team’s agile transformation goes smoothly.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

* What are the benefits and pitfalls of using an agile approach to DW/BI?
* Why do DW/BI teams find agile transformation difficult and how can they overcome those concerns?
* How will the roles/dynamics of the BI department and its stakeholders be affected by an agile transformation?
* Do agile DW/BI teams basically “look and feel” the same around the globe, or do cultural differences impact how data teams embrace agile frameworks?
* What cultural/organizational challenges must be overcome for a successful DW/BI agile transformation?
* What lessons have you learned, and/or best practices would you share, based on your own DW/BI agile transformation?
* What new business models or technological capabilities can be enabled with an agile approach to DW/BI?
* What does agile look like for Big Data, compared to traditional DW/BI?
* How do DW/BI departments effectively scale their agile practices as their departments grow?
* Which agile approach is best suited for a DW/BI Team — Scrum, Kanban, XP, or others?
* What are the key considerations for a DW/BI team in determining which approach to use?
* In which business scenarios have you found an agile approach to DW/BI to have the most impact?
* How can stakeholders benefit from supporting their DW/BI team in an agile approach?
* What infrastructure issues must be considered for a DW/BI team to successfully deliver in iterations? What are the hardware and software implications of an agile approach to DW/BI?
* How can Agile DW/BI lead to higher ROI, better decision making, and market responsiveness?
* What can a DW/BI team learn from other IT teams who have already gone through an agile transformation?
* What is the role of external consultants and coaches in an agile transformation?
* Which non-functional requirements (the “ilities”) are most impacted by an agile approach to DW/BI?
* How can an Agile DW/BI team mitigate risks and embrace opportunities that occur with an agile approach?
* What are the intangible benefits of transitioning to an agile approach to DW/BI?
* What are the challenges faced by a DW/BI product owner and how can the organization mitigate these risks?
* What is unique about testing data? Which automated testing practices and tools work best for agile DW/BI teams?
* Is there a minimum set of agile skills a DW/BI team should have, and is there a certification path or a standard?
* Will an agile approach only work for large established DW/BI teams? Is there a size limit on which teams can effectively take an agile approach?

SEND US YOUR ARTICLE IDEA by 31 October 2013.

Please respond to the Guest Editor Lynn Winterboer at lwinterboer[at]cutter[dot]com, with a copy to Christine Generali, cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com no later than 31 October 2013 and include an extended abstract and a short article outline showing major discussion points.

Accepted articles are due by 12 December 2013.

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