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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Intelligence for an Agile Business Vs Agile Business Intelligence

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Intelligence for an Agile Business Vs Agile Business Intelligence.

Sounds like they are both the same, but not quite!

Intelligence for an Agile Business is even more crucial than Agile Business Intelligence. Let me explain.

Agile Businesses cut short the time to do anything for their customer(s). They make things faster and less expensively, ship faster, provide quick Customer Service and Support over the phone, etc. In other words what they do, they do in a more agile way!

On the other hand, Agile Business Intelligence is all about responding to the changing and imprecisely articulated needs of the BI user. Instead of nailing every detail of BI down to the wall before providing them, Agile BI is all about the immediately clear, and possible BI requirements, provided in a timely way to the BI customer.

That's easier said than done. Many BI users may know that they want some Intelligence but may not know fully the extent to which what is possible and what is not! How many times have you run into a BI user that did not realize that the report they needed wasn't possible because the data needed was not being collected in the first place!

Agile Business Intelligence also allows to a large extent End-user driven BI.  If this is possible (may not always be possible), then it adds a dimension of responsiveness to the IT department that any amount of IT driven BI efforts cannot match. End users are happy, the IT department may be happy, and it has the potential to be a win-win all around.

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator, and change has its enemies. - Robert Kennedy


I personally feel that there is a connection between the two.While Agile BI helps the business users with timely information even before he seeks it he will not be able to act on it unless there is a strong rules based BPM platform available to translate to implement the new rules/processes dictated by the information

Hi Nari,
wouldn't an Agile Business rely on Agile Business Intelligence to inform it of its customers needs etc.

Without Agile BI how would an Agile business adapt to its changing information needs at the speeds required?


Yes. I agree. Agile BI has many connotations and providing BI quickly for a fast changing business is one of those very valid ones.

I come from a software development background, and I would like to add that by being Agile, one's business is necessarily responsive to the its environment and changes in business objective. Hence, it means that one works in an iterative fashion towards the end objective and throughout each iteration cycle, the environment and objectives is constantly taken into consideration and are worked into the actionable for each phase.

Therefore, Intelligence for an Agile business not only has to be end-user driven, but they must also be process-driven and easily expandable.

Btw, nice quote by Robert Kennedy.

Hi Nari,

Great post. At InetSoft, we've been championing 'Agile BI' for several years now. We were even the first to include it in our tagline: 'Easy, Agile, Robust'.

I think you hit the nail on the head- agile business and agile bi are not mutually exclusive processes and simply put, the existence of one relies on the existence and execution of the other.


Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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