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ExtremeBI Development in the Cloud with Rittman Mead

When you decide to invest in a business intelligence system, naturally you want to realise the benefits as soon as possible. This isn’t always the case with traditional project delivery methods, which usually require long requirements-gathering exercises before implementation work actually takes place, and make it difficult to evolve your requirements once the design has been signed-off. Coupled with the fact that it can often take your IT department weeks, or months, to procure and provision hardware for your project, in many cases it can be some time after your requirement has passed before your BI system goes live.

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Deliver your BI Projects the Iterative, User-Driven Way

Business analytics and information discovery projects deliver the most benefit to users when they’re involved in the development process, delivering incremental application releases every few weeks and using feedback from users to help drive development priorities. But this type of development approach has, up-until now, been difficult to use with business analytics and information discovery projects due to the inflexibility of traditional database and data-extraction tools.

Rittman Mead can take a different approach to project delivery, using our unique, agile methodology together with Oracle’s business intelligence and information discovery tools to deliver ExtremeBI. The more flexible and agile data modeling environment provided by Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) makes it possible to develop the data model incrementally with the involvement of users. Data structures and extraction routines are virtualised as requirements emerge and are formalised, and then potentially transformed into production-quality ETL routines once their value to users is confirmed. This isn’t an approach that suits all customers and projects, and typically works best for clients who have experience working with agile methodologies, but if you’re looking to deliver reports and dashboards for your users in a rapid, collaborative way, ExtremeBI from Rittman Mead could be your answer.

Business Agility through Cloud-Based Collaborative Development 

Many business analytics and information discovery projects start with good intentions and buy-in, but then lose their initial focus and energy as you wait for internal IT to procure hardware, arrange development licenses, provision storage, and allocate DBAs to your team – a process that can often take several months and lead to you missing the opportunity that the project was meant to address.

Rittman Mead can accelerate your project startup by hosting your project development systems in our secure cloud environment, managed by Rittman Mead and powered by Amazon Web Services. Or, alternatively, when it becomes available later in 2014 you’ll have the option to use Oracle’s Business Intelligence Cloud Service, with data storage on Oracle Public Cloud. Whichever cloud platform you use though, our development approach gets you started now with the option to transfer your system back on-premise once its ready for use – or we can continue hosting and managing it for you in production for a monthly fee.

ExtremeBI projects from Rittman Mead typically run in two week cycles within larger sprints, with a clear deliverable at the end of each cycle that delivers business benefit to your organisation. Each cycle is at a fixed-price, so you can build-up your BI application in a modular fashion, certain at each stage as to what you’ll get, and how it fits into a wider plan that we can agree with you. Examples of ExtremeBI project cycles that we have delivered for previous clients, and indicative man-days include:

  • Sprint 0 – “Preparation” – 10 man-days
    • Preliminary Sprint, 2 weeks – 1 lead/architect
    • Data provision and integration
    • Systems Access
    • Identification of product owners and other key stakeholders
    • High level design & identify initial user stories (backlog)
    • Initial prioritisation of backlog
    • Installs of tools and tech in appropriate versions
       
  • Sprint 1 – “Initial Build and Deployment of First Cut-Dashboard” – 20 man-days
    • Sprint 1.1 – first cut of dashboard – 1 developer
      • Deliver first user stories
      • First cut dashboard
      • Basic RPD model built against source database / application
    • Sprint 1.2 – 2 weeks – second cut of dashboard – 1 developer- 
      • Review user story backlog
      • Rework
      • Production of updated RPD model + catalog
      • Release to UAT
         
  • Sprint 2 – “Dashboard Enhancement, ETL, Hardening” – 20 man-days
    • Review user story backlog
    • Rework
    • Enhance existing content and add new content
    • Build ETL refactoring backlog
    • Manage further releases
       
  • Sprint 3 – “Additional Functionality, Mobile, Alerting etc” – 30 man-days
    • Review user story backlog
    • Rework
    • Enhance existing content and add new content
    • Refactoring existing direct report access to source databases, to use ETL and datamart/data warehouse
    • Enhance existing content and add new content, based on user stories
    • Manage further releases

We use a mix of on-site consultancy and off-site development to deliver your project, and leverage our team of experts including two Oracle ACEs and an Oracle ACE Director to ensure you have access to the most knowledgable Oracle BI developers in the industry. We also bring our own tools, accelerators and regression testing tools to the project, so that we can accept new user stories throughout the process and confidently deliver systems that work “first time”.

Ongoing Support after you Go Live

Once your system completes development and is ready to “go live”, we will work with you to manage this transition, either moving the system onto your on-premise servers, or continuing to host and manage it for you in either our cloud environment or Oracle’s Public Cloud, using one of three options:

  1. We’ll host the production system for you, for a single monthly OpEx fee including Oracle and other licensing.
  2. If you’d prefer to acquire the Oracle licenses yourself, we can provide license consultancy to ensure you license just what you need and at the volume that’s required. Alternatively resell you the licenses you need through our partnership with Oracle
  3. Or, if you’d prefer to host the final production system internally, we can work with your internal IT team to migrate the system and data to your on-premise servers.

How Do I Find Out More?

Rittman Mead have offices in the Brighton (UK/EMEA), Atlanta (US), Bangalore (India) and Melbourne (Australia). Contact us at info@rittmanmead.com for an immediate start on your Oracle BI project.

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