Wrapping Up TDWI – Agile? You Bet. And You Should.

I’ve posted twice about TDWI’s San Diego event, and I still haven’t exhausted the thoughts I wanted to share. That’s a measure of just how important and successful I think the show was. Three things jumped out at me:

  • The audience is back, and it’s ready to spend. The event was buzzing; I was told by organizers that the numbers significantly exceeded expectations. That was easy to see; speeches, booths, and hallways were packed. Vendors told me booth traffic was great, and that visitors (although typically not budget holders) were in or preparing for projects and product acquisitions.
  • The hunger for content continues. In my session and in others, I saw show-of-hands responses to questions like “how many of you have been here before?” “How many of you have built this kind of system?” “How many of you have been trained on [pick a DW-related topic]?”  The responses made it clear that like other TDWI events I’ve been to, this one was packed with people who were new or intermediate users with training in mind. TDWI’s basic training mission has never been healthier.
  • Agile matters. A lot. My first post on the event was put up rather quickly and as the event progressed, I heard the theme flesh out well, with real stories from users who applied the techniques to their projects. My initial impression that we might be looking at another buzzword poorly applied was wrong. Agile’s real, and TDWI’s coverage and guidance is rich and well worth investigating. The vendors? Well, they’re doing what they always do. Caveat emptor. I repeat: it’s not an adjective.  Learn what it means and apply it. You can’t buy it. Read more of this post

TDWI Event Focuses on Agile BI. What’s That?

I’m at the Data Warehouse Institute’s San Diego conference this week, and experimenting with an incremental approach to blogging for this event; I’ll try to get on a few times in the next 2 days (unfortunately that’s all the time I’ll have here) and communicate some quick thoughts, as opposed to my more typical style, which is longer and more in depth. That will no doubt follow on many of the topics later.

I begin with the keynote from Wayne Eckerson this morning, where he offered his thoughts on Agile BI. Agile is a loaded word; for developers it means a very specific set of techniques and methodologies. Data folk are not part of that culture in most cases, and they use the word as an adjective. Wayne attempted to bridge the gap in a few places, but by and large, his hints at best practices were not particularly new, or surprising, or tied closely to the Agile playbook. Read more of this post