Recently I read the book “Agile Analytics: A Value-Driven Approach to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing” by Ken Collier. Having little experience with the Agile way of working I thought this book would by a convenient introduction to Agile practices applied to my working area.
The book is divided in two parts; ‘Management Methods’ and ‘Technical Methods’. The first part discusses the agile impacts on the organization. Like how to manage an agile project and the roles within an agile team. User stories for BI Systems are explained and compared with the traditional waterfall model requirements. Ken adapted the Agile Manifesto in order to make it more appropriate to Agile Analytics:
- Individuals and interaction over processes and tools
- Working DW/BI systems over comprehensive documentation
- End-user and stakeholder collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The second part discusses the technical impact of agile development. The following concepts are covered; Evolutionary Design, Test-Driven Data Warehouse Development, Version Control for Data Warehousing and Project Automation.
Ken Collier wrote an interesting book with lots of references for further reading. The first part is a nice introduction to agile practices applied to Business Intelligence projects that anyone can read to polish up on the Agile philosophy. The second part gives you hands on experience from Ken on tools that can help you become more agile. To sum up a few; SQL Unit, DbFit/Fitnesse, Subversion, NAnt. Because a lot of examples are given in this part of the book, it doesn’t read as easy as the first part. The examples discussed in the book are mostly related to a project where MS SSIS is being used as ETL tool. Because I mainly use SAP BO software, not all examples can be applied to my project(s) without any further investigation. But of course I don’t mind exploring and investigating into new areas!
You can expect the following post to cover my experiences on applying Test-Driven Data Warehouse Development to our NemisFs project… to be continued!