According to many sources, agile data warehousing is the way to go in the future.
Recently, Larissa Moss spoke about this topic at the TDWI conference in Munich, Germany in her session Extreme Scoping: Agile approach for enterprise-class EDW/BI. The main point of her session was the importance of the availability of data that is clearly understood and correctly interpreted by the business users. Based on my experience building data warehouses and business intelligence solutions I couldn’t agree more. Good data is what makes or breaks a BI solution, regardless of how many features and functions we adorn it with.
How does agile fit in all this? It enables us to get the data in and out quickly, so that business users have time to validate the results even before the complete solution is built. This is how data warehousing should always have been done. We must make certain that the data we are using is right before we go any further.
Boris Evelson, analyst with the Forrester Group writes along these lines in a recent article The Agile BI Ship has Sailed — Get On Board Quickly or Risk Falling Behind published in Information Management. One of his points is information agility where he argues that business users should have access to self-service BI. Again, I totally agree. The sooner we enable business users to access their own data, the better they will be able to use it in their own business intelligence solutions.