Posts Tagged ‘BI Tools’

IBM Cognos Concepts: Choosing the Right Tool

A common point of frustration with business intelligence and analytics reporting users is the inability for one tool to do everything they imagine. This is often referred to as the ‘BI silver bullet’ myth. There is not one specific tool that will do everything you want, but most everything can be accomplished using a series […]

Strategic thoughts when choosing new big data storage technology

Before 2000, primary challenges for companies were to enable the systems so that transactional data could be captured faster for organizational productivity, now gear is shifted towards delivery of information to the business users through reporting, analytical system and actionable drill down dashboard etc that organization have stored in files, data, audio and video stream etc on propriety clustered and […]

Probing Questions to Identify the Right BI Tools to Use

Recently, a colleague asked me if I had a list of solid probing questions about the state of business intelligence within an organization. Moreover, because I was at the time part of our IBM Business Analytics Practice, he wanted to know if I had questions that specifically related to the IBM stack. What he wanted to […]

PowerDesigner Table Object Hierarchy

PowerDesigner – Standards in Action

I love PowerDesigner.  It’s the Cadillac (Mercedes, BMW, etc.) of the modeling tools.  I love that I can do conceptual, logical, and physical data modeling.  I can do business process modeling with direct linkage to my data models.  And I can model mappings between everything for both data flow relationships (ETL mappings) and design flow […]

BI Tools – Data Entry

Data entry isn’t something most would put on a list of BI tools.  But here’s my thought: I have yet to see a BI system of any size that doesn’t have some need for data entry of some kind, whether maintaining a small reference table or pulling the system’s configuration levers or correcting erroneous inbound […]

BI Tools – Scheduling and System Automation

Way back at my first full time job, maintaining the system automation program was one of my primary duties.  It was written in C, could launch one thing at a time, and documented dependencies in a cryptic text format.  And I loved it because the alternates were way worse. Fast forward to today where system […]

BI Tools – Continuous Integration

Automate everything!  The mantra of the real developer – I’d rather spend 2 hours automating a task than 30 minutes of repetitive typing!  Continuous integration finally legitimizes that innate desire to automate during the development process. Continuous Integration (CI) tools automate the application build process and automated tests on a regular interval (or on demand […]

BI Tools – Test Fixtures

In order to know the expected “after” of a test, you need to know the “before” (usually!).  Testing in BI requires test fixtures, a defined state of the system in the “before” state.  In BI, this is almost the same as a test data set, but we add in non-data system configurations, user sets, and […]

BI Tools – Test Data

BI is built on a foundation of data.  Therefore, testing in BI requires test data, and that means we’ve got to get it from somewhere! I’ve seen two general strategies here: Load the test system directly with production data, meaning that the contents of the test system change with each “refresh”. Generate test data sets […]

BI Tools – Test Management Overview

“Our BI system needs better testing.  How?” always piques my interest.  The breadth of the BI ecosystem means that testing the system end-to-end involves crossing many technologies, areas of responsibility (functional competencies), and physical systems.  This covers most (all) the tool classes in this series, at very least: Data extracts/data acquisition – wide variety of […]

BI Tools – Documentation Management

Documentation management (not document management!) is the rather narrow topic of how a development team manages the system specifications that are used throughout the life of a system.  In most teams, this is a huge blind spot with some teams simply not documenting much of anything and others spending an enormous amount of time (money) […]

BI Tools – Data Modeling

Ah – my favorite topic in BI tools – data modeling and the modeling tool.  An effective data modeling tool is the primary design tool for the database tier of the BI stack and may be extended to capture the design of nearly any system component.  It’s an essential tool in the belt of all […]

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