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>The Right Tool For The Job – Part 2

July 28, 2010

>In continuation of my previous post…I already had a tool to perform the duties I needed to changes the brakes but having just the right tool made all the difference in the time it took to successfully complete the task at hand. Took less time…and time is money!

The same holds true in BI. In the July/Aug 2010 issue of Information Management Magazine they had an articaled called Data Definition, How business and IT can speak the same language, Really. Notice how they added the word “Really” on the end of the title. This is because their is a LONG standing gap in the way IT understands data and the way that information consumers (business users) look at data. I don’t know about you but nothing sounds more boring to me than defining data! I remember having vocabulary in most of my schooling where the teacher would assign a long list of words and your homework was to write out the definitions, not what I want to do on a Friday night. Looking back, that task was much easier than the daunting task for companies to define their data. The article referenced to above outlines what makes a clear or unclear data definition and one thing is certain, it takes BOTH IT and BUSINESS USERS to define data and is often a recursive task.

The article recommends the following strategy for defining your data:

  1. Provide examples of unclear versus clear definitions
  2. Understand what the business user wants to do with the data
  3. Bring all stakeholders together to review the definition

While step one is relatively easy to accomplish, Steps 2 and 3 are very difficult. The main reason is the way that IT and Business have to communicate together. This is where the right tool for the job comes in to play. You can either call it Pentaho Agile BI or simply mana from heaven. Either way you slice it, Pentaho Agile BI gives you the ability to complete items 2 and 3 above more quickly then anything else out there. Agile BI is the LINK that empowers IT and Business Users to “Speak the same language…Really!” In the coming week, I will be making a video demonstration on exactly what this looks like…make sure to check back to see!

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