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Vice President, Research at Gartner, focusing on Data Management and Integration. Three decades in the IT Industry, most recently running his own IT Market Strategy, prior to that with Forrester as Senior Vice President, earlier with the Giga Information Group.

4 responses to “TDWI Event Focuses on Agile BI. What’s That?”

  1. Wayne Eckerson

    Merv,

    You must have been too busy tweeting to listen to what i was saying. Your comment “Orwellian structure is freedom” is the exact opposite of the point I conveyed in my “cede control” principle. Since your primary focus is consulting to vendors, I’m not really sure you understand what resonates with users and what they need to do to really succeed with BI. So, I must say, I found your blog as unsatsifying as you found my keynote. And I’m very sorry about that.

    Wayne

  2. Merv Adrian

    I listened carefully, Wayne, and the comments (especially the part about “Orwellian paradoxes”) were intended to be light-hearted. The ceding of control you described came after discussions of control structures far beyond what in my experience – admittedly not as extensive as yours – is typical. (Though their usefulness is hard to dispute.)

    In general, I liked the speech – what I said in full was “In general, the discussion was well structured, illustrated with quotes from real users from TDWI’s research, and paced very effectively. . But the agile part – reference to a formal approach to development that has principles of its own and methodological guidelines associated with it – was missing.”

    I thought a keynote for an event with Agile as its theme ought to have used agile as more than an adjective, and made reference to the body of thought and practice that exists for the benefit of the attendees. “Agile” is a reserved word to development folks – it doesn’t just mean fast, flexible, effective and other good things. I know you know that. And I think there is an opportunity for a more formal mapping between the two communities.

    As for what I understand about users, I began my own career decades ago building Information Center and EIS applications before we called it BI, and followed the market for over 15 years as an analyst at Giga and Forrester working with both users and vendors. I don’t think the last 15 months of vendor-focused work have erased what I learned.

    Let’s continue the conversation. Maybe a debate at an upcoming event about whether Agile BI is real, or just a convenient marketing label to sell products (and tickets to conferences) is in order.

  3. Boris Evelson

    Guys, please kiss and make up. When you do, I’ll send you a free copy of our latest Agile BI report http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/agile_bi_out_of_box/q/id/56722/t/2.

  4. Wayne Eckerson

    In a pre-conference Webcast in July, Boris, Steve Dine, Ralph Hughes, Paul Kautza, and I discussed the meaning of Agile BI. Like any commonly used (and abused) word in our industry, defining agile BI is a quixotic task: everyone has a different perspective. TDWI’s definition takes at least 10 minutes to explain (4 themes covering organization, methodology, infrastructure, and delivery.) I find users don’t care so much about definitions as how to get things done. So I’ll let you and others debate the semantics. I prefer to focus on offering prescriptive advice, like I did in my keynote.