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Scrum for BI Development

by Ken Rickard

Jun 24, 2016

Business Intelligence is a different type of development work from your typical software development...but that doesn’t mean that you can’t apply Scrum practices. With 16 years in the BI industry, I’ve seen my fair share of BI projects successfully apply scrum, but also my fair share that have not been successful. Here are a few reoccurring themes that companies seem to get wrong when applying scrum to business intelligence projects:

1. They engage in projects that are too large to be successful

It is a proven fact that small projects are more manageable than colossal ones. Smaller means less complexity, and therefore less risk. It also means a higher likelihood that you’ll complete the project successfully.  Your best approach is to break that large project into small. manageable chunks, providing value back to the business with each iteration.

2. They focus on designing and building the database first

Yes, there needs to be some high-level initial database design done at the forefront, however, you don’t need to design any more of the reporting database than is required to develop the first valuable BI asset.  The focus should be on prioritizing value - in this case the business value of applied business intelligence & analtyics. That value for the business almost always comes from front end visualization of the data.

By envisioning the UI first and breaking your project it into small components, you will be well on your way to using standard Scrum practices on your BI projects.

For more insight into the scrum methodology, contact a data and analytics at info@ccgbi.com or 813.265.3239.