BI Pathfinder Requirements Methodology

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BIReady Australia BIReady Pty Ltd 143 Aiken Road, West Pennant Hills NSW 2125 Australia Email info@biready.com.au  Telephone +61 (0)2 8880 5111 www.biready.com.au ABN : 57 167 132 112

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BI Pathfinder and the Legacy of Dr. Cyril Brookes.

by Ian Nicholson, October 2014. Dr. Cyril Brookes was a distinguished professor, engineer, businessman, student, and author.  A lover of travelling, fly-fishing, good wine and spicy laksa, he was the first CIO of BHP and he made the Bulletin’s list of the 100 Smartest Australians. Back in 2004, I had the honour and pleasure of working with Cyril, who had then just founded his new company, EIS Pathfinder. Cyril recognised the high failure rate among BI projects and discovered that poor requirements gathering was a key problem. He devised a process he called Pathfinder, which has been designed to ask the right questions during the requirements elicitation stage of the project. Unfortunately, Cyril is no longer with us, but his methodology lives on, and we are proud to continue its use here at BIReady Australia. The process is elegant in its simplicity, and the structure of the process is shown here. Getting the right requirements from the outset is very important. Most Business Analysts ask the question: “What do you want?” – and that’s the first step on the road to disaster. The problem is quite simple:- Business users do not know what they do not know. Asking a business user what they want, writing some specifications for them to sign and agree to can be a complete waste of time. Often, it is only when the user sees the returned report that they begin to understand their true requirements. By then, of course, it is too late and the result is another iteration of expensive changes to the data warehouse and the report. So how can your business mitigate the risk of poor requirements gathering? At BIReady, we believe this problem can be resolved by using three tools at our disposal:- 1) Using the Pathfinder Requirements Gathering process 2) Using an Agile Development methodology 3) Using a Data Warehouse Automation tool for rapid prototyping and eventual data warehouse delivery. Pathfinder’s objectives are to:- Highlight valuable information needs Capture the IP related to BI reports Guide BI designers through the steps of a project Link meta-data of existing DWs to reporting needs Find the missing gaps in existing data resources Pathfinder isolates the high return information elements making for an effective systems specification. Pathfinder guides the analysts by telling them what to do next and when to finish, so less experienced staff can review and specify reporting systems effectively. To find our more about BI Pathfinder, read Cyril’s whitepaper, "A Structured Method for Specifying Business Intelligence Reporting Systems"
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BI Pathfinder Requirements Methodology

Exclusive to BIReady Australia
BIReady Australia BIReady Pty Ltd 143 Aiken Road, West Pennant Hills NSW 2125 Australia Email info@biready.com.au  Telephone +61 (0)2 8880 5111 www.biready.com.au ABN : 57 167 132 112

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To hire an ETL developer for three months at $1500/day will cost you around $90,000. Data Warehouse Automation tools from BIReady cost a fraction of that, and deliver in days. Call us today to find out how you can get started within a realistic budget for your business.
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Name:
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BI Pathfinder and the Legacy of Dr. Cyril

Brookes.

by Ian Nicholson, October 2014. Dr. Cyril Brookes was a distinguished professor, engineer, businessman, student, and author.  A lover of travelling, fly-fishing, good wine and spicy laksa, he was the first CIO of BHP and he made the Bulletin’s list of the 100 Smartest Australians. Back in 2004, I had the honour and pleasure of working with Cyril, who had then just founded his new company, EIS Pathfinder. Cyril recognised the high failure rate among BI projects and discovered that poor requirements gathering was a key problem. He devised a process he called Pathfinder, which has been designed to ask the right questions during the requirements elicitation stage of the project. Unfortunately, Cyril is no longer with us, but his methodology lives on, and we are proud to continue its use here at BIReady Australia. The process is elegant in its simplicity, and the structure of the process is shown here. Getting the right requirements from the outset is very important. Most Business Analysts ask the question: “What do you want?” – and that’s the first step on the road to disaster. The problem is quite simple:- Business users do not know what they do not know. Asking a business user what they want, writing some specifications for them to sign and agree to can be a complete waste of time. Often, it is only when the user sees the returned report that they begin to understand their true requirements. By then, of course, it is too late and the result is another iteration of expensive changes to the data warehouse and the report. So how can your business mitigate the risk of poor requirements gathering? At BIReady, we believe this problem can be resolved by using three tools at our disposal:- 1) Using the Pathfinder Requirements Gathering process 2) Using an Agile Development methodology 3) Using a Data Warehouse Automation tool for rapid prototyping and eventual data warehouse delivery. Pathfinder’s objectives are to:- Highlight valuable information needs Capture the IP related to BI reports Guide BI designers through the steps of a project Link meta-data of existing DWs to reporting needs Find the missing gaps in existing data resources Pathfinder isolates the high return information elements making for an effective systems specification. Pathfinder guides the analysts by telling them what to do next and when to finish, so less experienced staff can review and specify reporting systems effectively. To find our more about BI Pathfinder, read Cyril’s whitepaper, "A Structured Method for Specifying Business Intelligence Reporting Systems"
Download Whitepaper Download Whitepaper