ABISSA is the name we have given to our framework for realizing value for our clients that combines Agile Business Intelligence and Self-Service Analytics. While we did not invent either of these corpuses of knowledge and methodologies, we have developed world class offerings that empower our clients to get the most value from their data by:

1.  Being able to deliver value from data faster than ever before

2.  Empowering the business to achieve self-reliance to perform increasingly more complex analytics.

ABISSA is a stark contrast to how traditional Business Intelligence (BI) is done. Traditional BI is primarily waterfall-based: the business must first define their analytic requirements, which are then translated into specifications for data warehouses, analytic models, reports and dashboards by IT, and then built and delivered to the business. The whole process often takes months and is often too late to be valuable as the business has moved onto the next problem. ABISSA also stands in contrast to how business analysts and decision makers rely on other departments to provide data and analytic assets with ever changing business needs. This traditional framework ultimately means decision makers are not able to keep up with the pace needed for innovation, an absolute necessity in this new data-driven reality we operate in. ABISSA better empowers decision makers and analysts by utilizing agile concepts to improve communication, increasing self-reliance, and more fully incorporating data into decision-making.

Let’s now decompose the two components of ABISSA to see how they help change this paradigm.

Agile Business Intelligence

There are three outcomes we need from Agile Business Intelligence:

  1. Accelerating the pace of introducing new data and analytic capabilities to answer business needs.

  2. Improving the communication and collaboration between the different groups in the business and IT to increase the pace of innovation.

  3. Organizing the way we work and manage analytics projects to focus on generating value and decreasing less valuable activities. 

The way the ABISSA framework achieves these outcomes is by using concepts such as MVP, requirements and defect backlogs, automated tests, cross-functional teams, and continuous improvement. Our ABISSA framework also promotes the implementation of lean, agile project delivery frameworks like Kanban or Scrum that are specifically adapted to analytics projects and our clients’ organization, allowing for a method of prioritization and for continuous delivery of value.

Self-Service Analytics

There are two outcomes we get from Self-Service Analytics:

1.  Empowering the business to be self-reliant with the majority of their analytic needs and to become what’s known as “Citizen Data Scientists”.

2.  Fostering a corporate culture that encourages data informed decision-making.

Self-Service Analytics builds on the important concepts of data literacy and user enablement to fully bridge the gap from analytic project to end user. The use of the term Self-Service Analytics is not new. Traditional BI players have offered software tools and structures like BusinessObjects Universes, Cognos Framework Manager, or even OLAP cubes. However, these solutions only partially empowered users because the software was not intuitive enough for broad deployment to decision makers nor flexible enough to be able to quickly add in new data capabilities. True Self-Service Analytics more powerfully enables users through more holistic capability building and more seamless culture integration.

This is the first in a series of blog articles that will go much deeper into some of the concepts we’ve raised here.

Next: Central Role of Value in ABISSA


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