Rick van der Lans’ Take on BI Agility
March 19, 2012 3 Comments
Is BI too slow? Rick van der Lans thinks so. Author of the upcoming book “Data Virtualization in Business Intelligence Architectures: Revolutionizing Data Integration for Data Warehouses,” believes “The biggest challenge facing the industry today is how to develop systems that have an agility level that matches the speed with which the business evolves.
How Slow Is BI Today?
According to the TDWI Benchmark Report: Organizational and Performance Metrics for Business Intelligence Teams, on average it takes eight weeks to add a new data source and another seven to develop a new complex report.
- How can BI become more agile?
- Will agility come from new BI tools?
- Or will the answer come for the new approaches to data integration such as data virtualization?
Look to the Data, not to the BI Tools
In a recent white paper, “Data Virtualization for Business Intelligence Agility”, Rick advises IT organizations to think broadly about their BI agility challenge. “It’s not simple to pinpoint why most of the current business intelligence systems are not that agile. It’s not one aspect that makes them static. But undoubtedly one of the dominant reasons is the database-centric solution that forms the heart of so many business intelligence systems.”
Long Chain of Data Stores Reduces Agility
The architectures of most business intelligence systems are based on a complex chain of data stores starting with production databases, data staging areas, a data warehouse, dependent data marts, and personal data stores. Simply maintaining this complexity is overwhelming IT today. In addition to Rick’s description of this chain in the white paper, he also addresses the same subject in a video chalk talk.
According to van der Lans, “While these classic systems have served business well for the last twenty years. However, considering the need for more agility, they have some disadvantages:
- Duplication of data
- Non-shared meta data specifications
- Limited flexibility
- Decrease of data quality
- Limited support for operational reporting:
- Limited support for reporting on unstructured and external data”
Data Virtualization Delivers BI Agility
Rick van der Lans’ white paper discusses how data virtualization products can help to make business intelligence (BI) systems more agile. According to Rick, data virtualization simplifies and thus improves BI time-to-solution in through aspects such as:
- Unified data access
- Data store independence
- Centralized data integration
- Transformation and cleansing
- Consistent reporting results
- Data language translation
- Minimal data store interference
- Simplified data structures
- Efficient distributed data access
The financial benefits of these data virtualization capabilities are significant. And they can be applied flexibly to fund additional data integration activities and/or other business and IT projects.
Learn More from Rick
Rick will headline the March 20 broadcast of The Briefing Room discussing “Stay Flexible: Five Ways to Harness Information Assets” at 4pm ET. Go here to register for the March 20 Briefing Room broadcast.
You can also watch Rick’s three data virtualization videos at http://www.compositesw.com/resources/videos/.