Is your data warehouse ready to dance?

By Wendy Lucas,

Ag•ile (adjective) pronunciation ˈa-jəl – able to move quickly and easily: quick, smart, and clever1

When I hear the word agile, I think of dancers. Whether it’s a graceful ballet dancer or a fast and nimble hip-hop dancer, dancers are very agile. The thing that would not immediately come to mind would be a data warehouse. Perhaps that’s because I was a BI Consultant 16 years ago advising clients how to build data warehouses and BI applications. There were long cycles of requirements analysis, enterprise modeling, analytic application development, configuration of hardware and software, extensive tuning, administration and a little duct tape. Then, when you got all that done, you iterate and start over because business requirements likely changed during the time it took to do all that.

While those long development cycles made for lots of long-term consulting engagements, they did not lend themselves to responding quickly and easily to business requirements. In short, they were very far from agile.

Along the way, data warehouses became even more mission critical. The amount of data in the world began to explode and insight from that data drove competitive advantage. The drive for competitive advantage drove the need for organizations to adapt. They needed more adaptable methodologies, more flexible architectures, faster to implement technologies, and solutions that were more simple to manage allowing system administrators, DBA’s and developers the chance to spend more time on value–add activity and less time cabling servers together and turning knobs.

In today’s world, agile BI is no longer a foreign concept, it’s a goal some have achieved and others aspire to attain.  The TDWI World Conference in San Diego, September 21-26, 2014 is a conference dedicated to the theme of “Managing Agile BI for the Enterprise.” There are various courses related to agile analytics, data warehouse automation, agile project management, agile architectures and many more. There will also be the chance to learn about technology that enables agile BI such as IBM’s new DB2 Cancun Release.

IBM’s new DB2 Cancun Release takes DB2 with BLU Acceleration, the next generation of in-memory computing, and adds even more features to help organizations become more agile. The ability to take advantage of BLU Acceleration directly in the transaction processing system for “in the moment” reporting is accomplished via BLU shadow tables. Shadow Tables, powered by BLU Acceleration, automatically maintain column-based versions of the row-based operational data in the transaction-processing environment. The database seamlessly routes analytics queries to those shadow tables for reporting directly on the transactional data. Based on internal testing of a sample transactional and analytic workload, performance of analytical queries can improve by 10x or more and your transactional performance may benefit from the removal of secondary analytic indexes. How much more agile could your environment be if you were able to do analytic queries in your transactional system?

The DB2 Cancun Release has Oracle SQL compatibility for low risk migration from Oracle to BLU Acceleration. Other enhancements include even more comprehensive support for SAP Business Warehouse, allowing SAP clients to maintain investments in their existing environments and skills while adopting BLU in-memory database technology. The combination of these features along with “load and go” simplicity, no need for indexes, aggregates or tuning, and flexibility to deploy on premises or in the cloud enables DB2 with BLU Acceleration to provide the database foundation for your agile data warehouse.

Is your data warehouse ready to dance? If not, read more at and join us at TDWI.  IBM Data Warehouse solutions will featured at booth #201 and in a case study at 1:00 on Wednesday in room 313, “New Get Answers You Need in the Moment: Adopting in-memory technology without disruption.”

Register for TDWI and I look forward to seeing you there.

About Wendy Lucas

Wendy Lucas is a Program Director for IBM Data Warehouse Marketing. Wendy has over 20 years of experience in data warehousing and business intelligence solutions, including 12 years at IBM. She has helped clients in a variety of roles, including application development, management consulting, project management, technical sales management and marketing. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Capital University and you can follow her on Twitter at @wlucas001



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