I'm really happy to be able to announce that I'll be delivering one full-day workshop and a regular session at PASS Summit 2014. Here's the titles and the short summary of my workshop and session:
Agile Data Warehousing: from Start to Finish
In this workshop you'll learn how to create a Data Warehouse from the beginning to end: from the architectural definition to its building using an engineered and proven process, you'll see how effective and efficient an Agile approach can be.
Agile BI: Unit Testing and Continuos Integration
The Agile principles can be applied to BI projects too, even the most extreme ones like Continuos Integration. In this session, you'll see how you can do that using several tools and processes all together to achieve a common goal: be Agile!
These topics are among the one I love at most and I'm really happy (at, proud J) that they've been selected. I believe that the Agile approach IS the correct approach to make BI project a success, simply because it's the only one that can quickly return value to the business that, in turn, will start to appreciate the BI solution giving feedback to improve it and thus helping the IT department to improve it more and more every day. It's all about creating a virtuous circle that will make sure people will love your BI solution.
Both Gartner and Forrester agrees that the Agile approach is the way to go. The first one, already back in 2011 noted that "50% of requirements change in the first year. […] Adopting Agile delivery allows you to fail fast and fail early, reducing the cost of failure and turning it into something to embrace and learn from", and the second one, in the latest research (Q1 2014) say that "business agility often equals the ability to adopt, react, and succeed in the midst of an unending fountain of customer driven requirements" and thus an Agile BI is needed to support this approach.
Now, this is all nice, but what about costs? Agility can be too costly. In order to be effective all the low-add-value work MUST be automated, since you're doing thing in cycles, and thus each minute spent doing non-valuable work will be wasted over and over again. In the end, to be really agile, there must be a smooth and highly automated "construction yard" where quality is not directly dependent from (the quality and experience of your) people, and where results are testable and measureable.
The workshop will be all about these topics. Agility, engineering, best practices, automation, change management, design patterns, testability.
On the other side, the regular session will focus 100% (and even more) on the testability topics. I'll show that testing is one of the pillars that allow the Agile approach to exists and I'll also show how we can apply it to BI. This is really a frontier topic, and as such there is dedicated tool for that. We'll have to borrow them from Application Development and forge them again to be useful in the BI field. We'll push this concept to the limit, reaching the point where we'll also see how also Continuos Integration can be used in BI development to keep under strict control each change on improvement we do to our BI solution.
Because BI is all about trust, delivered at right time.
See you in Seattle!