Clear and Present Danger

The economic downturn is hitting hard in Europe, but Business Intelligence endures its upward trend.  However, a danger lies inside projects and budgets. While still on the rise, budgets are no longer a comfortable fit. It's not bad, as a special care to avoid wasting time and efforts is welcome. Though, planning has become much harder.

Companies managing their IT environments have always acted upon a formal plan. Less structured companies have built upon existing structures, with little to no care for planning. Reacting upon business solicitations is sometimes called agile development just to justify the lack of planning (I know well that agile is not lack of planning, I am not saying that. I just say that the Agile name is abused for political reasons.). So how a BI environment grown on lack of planning looks like?

Data are not synchronized. Each single silo will be updated according to the natural pace of the source system. Those data will not match with other data, likely.

It replicates the siloed transactional systems background. It will likely feature an array of disjointed datamarts or unrelated tables. Few to no dimensions will be shared.

Technical design will be sub optimal. Often, while reacting to business requests, there's simply no time to properly integrate new data.

In my experience I have seen system which recall to memory baroque churches. They are based on different technologies, with no management features, scarce to no documentation, different and unrelated people responsible for different areas, no master data or data quality etc.

So the risk is building, upon time, a less than optimal environment that doesn’t serve well the business. These systems, at same point in their history, become so unstable to force a global rewrite. In this case, those who sponsored their growth had better to have an escape hatch somewhere before suffering the dire consequences of having wasted money and efforts.

So, don’t be easy-going when you are requested for a new piece of analysis, stick to your global vision and strategy. Because you have a global strategy, don’t you?