10 Business Intelligence Pitfalls to Avoid in the New Decade
Avoid these common pitfalls associated with business intelligence 1.0.
Several months ago I sang the praises of IT generalists, saying they add value by helping fill skills gaps and also are better positioned to spot problems and offer possible solutions because they enjoy a high-level view of IT systems that their specialist colleagues do not.
Business intelligence generalists seem to be enjoying great success at Netflix, based on a blog post by TDWI Research Director Wayne Eckerson. As Eckerson writes, the company employs BI developers who build entire BI solutions on their own rather than as part of a larger team. These folks are called "spanners," since they span the entire spectrum of BI tasks, from gathering requirements to sourcing, profiling, and modeling data to ETL and report development to metadata management and Q&A testing.
The chief advantages of this approach:
On the latter point, I can only imagine how tough recruitment can be, since Colson tells Eckerson spanners take on duties usually handled by business requirement analysts, project managers and a QA team.
Spanners should work under a unifying data model and BI platform and a set of common principles, such as "avoid putting logic in code" or "account ID is a fundamental unifier," cautions Colson. A reader named Stray_Cat Italy, who works under this model, says it's alsostill important to gain consensus from users. I imagine that might be a tough task for some spanners, after they've become accustomed to having such a high degree of control over development.