On June 25, industry experts, data management practitioners and visionaries convened on Twitter to discuss trends in lean BI during our bi-weekly #IMChat. Startups and smaller business often find an easier path to “lean” practices compared with their enterprise and big-business counterparts, where the methodologies can really shake things up.  But first things first: Hhow can enterprises implement lean BI? And how do you even define it?

Information Management Digital Content Developer Whitney Eden (@WhitneyAEden) moderated a lively chat, with featured guest Steve Dine (@Steve_Dine), which addressed these questions and more, some of which is encapsulated below: 

How do you define “lean BI”? 

@pisarose: Lean BI focuses on customer value & generating added value, minus the waste. 

‏@steve_dine: I define Lean BI as a set of principles & practices to increase value by eliminating waste in BI programs.

@WhitneyAEden: Simply focusing on customer value, while eliminating waste. It sounds way more complicated/amorphous than it really is 

‏@IMJustinKern: "Lean" should be the "sprint" / "journey" the old waterfall approach. Make a run, regardless 

So, what’s the most important first step for lean BI? 

@steve_dine: The first step is to learn to see value. Not just short term, but also long term. 

@WhitneyAEden: Take an inventory of what resources you have and see what’s being underutilized or completely forgotten about. #IMchat

@pisarose: Look for duplicated effort, multiple definitions for the same data. #imchat

What are the biggest roadblocks to lean BI? 

@steve_dine: BI teams are so busy maintaining ETL mappings, creating new reports, etc, that they don't feel that they have time for Lean BI 

@TonyCarrini: Knowing when to "let go" is part of being successful in business...and in life! 

‏@WhitneyAEden: Getting executives to let go of a precious (but failing) pet project. Is that enterprise social initiative actually successful? 

How can you get executive buy-in for lean BI? 

‏@steve_dine: You don't necessary need executive buy-in to get started. In fact, you can achieve much of LeanBI without it. 

@IMJustinKern: Not a silo/rogue element to bring in mgrs later. Rather, early dirty work & biz application ironed out before pitching BI change 

‏@adrianh: Find a tiny win. Show value. Leverage that win for more change. Repeat :) 

What’s your list of do’s and don’ts for lean BI? 

@steve_dine: Do create metrics & measures, implement Lean initiatives, work as a team and pursue perfection 

@steve_dine: Don't treat LeanBI as a project with a start and end date. 

@WhitneyAEden: Do: Iterate quickly. Strive for perfection. Make sure that everyone’s on the same page (from biz to analysts to developers etc.) 

@pisarose: DO expect to make constant adjustments to your lean BI plan. Two words: feedback loop. 

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