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Agile software shapes BI industry

Agile BI is going to shape the future, says Rick van der Lans, international BI consultant and author.

Data virtualisation is one of the more potent technologies for developing an agile business intelligence (BI) environment.

So says Rick van der Lans, international BI consultant and author. With data virtualisation, data stores are decoupled from data warehouses, and data marts from reports, Van der Lans says. This allows the development of more flexible BI architectures, he explains.

Data virtualisation will shape the way agile software is used in BI, especially from a technical standpoint, says Van der Lans.

Most organisations only use classic forms of reporting, and limited forms of analytics are exploited, which is a pity, as BI could be so much more, he emphasises.

Technically, new forms of BI are available; some BI specialists are simply not aware of them and businesses don't know they exist, he says.

The cry for agile BI from many organisations will have a big impact on how BI systems are developed and exploited, he says. Business users need environments that can be adapted quickly, he continues. Organisations are changing – so too is the way decisions are being made, he says.

A study done in March this year, by the Aberdeen Group, showed 43% of enterprises indicated more difficulty in making timely decisions, he says. This translates into less time for decisions, and means that organisations need to generate reports quicker, Van der Lans says. Agility is a necessity; however, some BI environments have the flexibility of a layer of concrete – this need to change, he says.

“Agile BI will have an impact on the tools used in future, the architectures designed, and the techniques and methodologies deployed,” Van der Lans notes.

Van der Lans is a keynote speaker at the ITWeb Business Intelligence summit, taking place on 28 and 29 February 2012, at The Forum, in Bryanston. In his address, Van der Lans will focus on what he refers to as 'The new BI'. This is an overview of the new forms of BI, which include big data analytics, advanced analytics, mobile BI and operational BI, to name a few.

The ITWeb BI Awards nominations are now open until 30 November. Click here for more information.

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