Better BI

Chris Gerrard – Exploring the world of Better Business Intelligence

Beware BDWUF – Big Data Warehouse Up Front

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Data warehouses are good, useful, and tremendously valuable in relationship to their contribution to providing the data-based information essential to making timely, high quality business decisions. Properly designed and implemented, fronted with useful and meaningful reports, user-operated analytical frameworks, dashboards, scorecards, and the like, data warehouses effectively fulfill their fundamental purpose.

There are, however, far too many examples of data warehouses that have consumed large, even enormous, amounts of time, energy, effort, money, executive attention, and other resources, without delivering a reasonable return on these investments. Why has this come to be?

One recurring theme is the phenomena of the BDWUF – Big Data Warehouse Up Front.

BDWUF (pronounced bee-dee-woof) refers to the practice of investing tremendous amounts of effort into deep analysis of the business along with designing and implementing a comprehensive enterprise-wide data warehouse that completely addresses the wide variety of considerations and constraints involved in delivering the “one version of the truth” to business decision makers.

The emphasis on creating the whole enterprise-wide data warehouse-based environment and systems has the overall effect of shifting the emphasis away from delivering high quality, timely, effective information to the activites required to design and construct the technological artifacts. There is a very real danger, and high liklihood, that building the technology, and maintaining the technology-constructing bureaucracy, becomes the whole point. And that the outputs finally delivered to the business decision makers will be of relatively little real value.

If not BDWUF, then what?

Assuming that BDWUF is a less-than-optimal approach to delivering business intelligence to business decision makers, is there an effective alternative?

The answer is yes. Better BI is an approach to business intelligence that stresses the importance of delivering timely, high quality business information to business decision makers. Better BI is a superset of data warehouse-based business intelligence that recognizes the importance of working intimately with business stakeholders throughout the entire process of developing and delivering the information they require.

Learn more about Better BI here. The Better BI manifesto is here. Better BI’s home is here.


Written by Chris Gerrard

May 22, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Big BI, Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] in practice it failed to deliver. Much has been written on Big BI’s problems, including here, here, and […]

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