Anyone working in tech today can feel the cultural shift. Though it didn’t happen overnight, DevOps has already had a permanent impact on the way we all do business. Another big disrupter is Business Intelligence (BI), and it’s closer than DevOps than you think.
To understand how and why DevOps and BI can not only play nicely but complement each other, we need to take a closer look at the DevOps workspace. Previously, an organization kept its development and operational teams separately.
We worked in a culture of silos, every department keeping to themselves. Today, the walls are breaking down. Though Dev and Ops sound like opposites, we’ve all seen firsthand just how powerful they can be when brought together.
So where does BI come in? Business intelligence refers to the technologies and applications of batches of information. It’s a snapshot of past, present, and predictive business operations developed through some kind of data analysis software.
In this article, we’re going to define the ways in which BI is reshaping the culture of DevOps in our modern workspace. More importantly, we’re going to express why this is a good thing, and how you can push BI further in your own organization.
Why Use DevOps for Business Intelligence?
We usually discuss DevOps in the context of software and development. Yet, it’s much more than that. By defining it only in terms of development, we fail to see how it could take businesses much further in all aspects, particularly analytics and intelligence.
Improve data quality
If you want to see results, you need accurate, relevant data. This is the challenge, though, isn’t it? Data streams are evolving constantly, and how do you know you have the best data? With traditional BI, data is processed in batches.
This calls into the question the freshness of all of that processed data. With a DevOps approach, data is automatically tested for “freshness.” Identifying errors in your data will keep you from jeopardizing your entire organization.
Try new things
BI is notoriously a failure-free practice. When you apply the same DevOps principle of trying new things (with the inclusion of some safety features), BI can be used in new ways. DevOps relies on the Agile philosophy of growth through small steps. With automation, testing, and ongoing trial and error, it’s possible to find new BI solutions.
Facilitate layer integration
BI is what serves as the middleman between dashboard visualization and data warehouses. Finding better solutions for these layers will require constant deployments, ongoing testing, and log analysis, log management by Loggly. DevOps facilitates this and more to make sure all layers fit together and function properly.
Data safety is one of the biggest concerns businesses of all sizes face today. It takes an organization an average of 191 days to identify data breaches. This means by the time a problem is noticed, it’s already too late. One of the pillars of DevOps is the push for constant improvements. These improvements include security measures and patches, all of which are vital to a safe BI strategy.
The Culture of DevOps and BI
DevOps and Business Intelligence are an automation match made in heaven. Data science is already embracing DevOps as a way to push forward. According to Forbes, the top technologies and strategies for BI include self-service reporting, advanced visualization, and data warehousing. All of these things have strong roots in an Agile philosophy of constant improvement developmentally and also organizationally.
Using DevOps in the BI world is very much uncharted territory. While organizations everywhere are already taking strides to adopt DevOps to different aspects of operations, BI has been largely untouched. However, the very founding principle of DevOps is to go boldly into this new territory without looking back.
Similar to the transition to a culture of DevOps, creating a culture of innovation in BI will not be an easy one. Yet, it’s more than worth it for the companies willing to put in the work. Not only is there room for more situational awareness as far as data is concerned, but business owners will be better equipped to make better decisions.
The Future of BI in the Modern Workspace
It’s time to ditch the terminology of a “DevOps workspace.” This is simply the modern workspace, and that means a space committed to collaboration, change, and innovation. Both development teams and operational teams can benefit from welcoming business intelligence into their realme. Everyone needs to be equipped with more data in the digital age if we want to see new improvements.
As automation continues to become a reality, BI is evolving with it. It’s only a matter of time before this is the new normal. Designing a BI solution that works for all teams in a DevOps landscape is something we should all be seeking out.