SAS Global Forum 2018
April 8 – 11, Denver, Colorado, USA
Seven Agile Methods that Help Deliver Visualizations Agilely
(and without resorting to being AdHoc!)
Using Agile methods to deliver applications is a commonplace approach these days. But when you try to apply Agile techniques to delivering data, analytics, and visualizations, a whole set of new challenges arise that affect whether you are able to deliver a production-ready solution every 2–4 weeks.
This paper takes you through seven repeatable Agile techniques that deliver completed visualizations every three weeks.
The paper covers the WHY, the HOW, and the WHAT for each of these steps. At the end of the session, you will have a set of artifacts that you can start to leverage in your next project.
These steps have been discovered, defined, and refined by Shane over the last four years, based on a number of AgileBI customer projects in New Zealand (the land of hobbits and kiwifruit).
The seven Agile methods covered in this session are:
- Defining information products to set the scope;
- Modelstorming business events to identify the data requirements;
- Applying Agile data modeling techniques to structure data quickly;
- Wireframing to gather visualization requirements;
- Using Behavior Driven Development to ensure that you build it right;
- Delivering three visualization iterations in three weeks;
- Developing the T-shaped skills required to build an AgileBI team.
One of the ways to deliver quickly is to focus on what is often termed in Agile as a “Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development.
In the world of data, analytics and visualizations we will typically use “commercial off the shelf software” (COTs) or open source solutions to help us deliver the data or content we need. So, the concept of MVP is often confusing in the BI domain, as we do not see ourselves as building a product as such.
However, if we look at the data, analytical models or visualizations we deliver as “Information Products”, then the concept of an Agile MVP fits well.
Information Products are a way of describing something that bounds together:
- The business outcome or benefit that will be achieved by using the Information Product;
- The business questions that will be answered by using the content;
- The data-driven business processes that are required by the users;
- The audience (persona’s) that will use it;
- The visualisations that might be delivered;
- The features the users will require.
I often think of Information Products as apps on your smartphone, something you click on to achieve tasks or outcome.
At the end of the session, you will have an understanding and a set of artifacts that you can start to leverage AgileBI and deliver a Minimum Viable Producforin your next project.
You can read more about Minimal Viable Products here: