Monday, March 28, 2016

Starting a New Pyramid Analytics Series

For those who don’t necessarily know, I am a consulting resource to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Over the years, I’ve helped architect the data warehouse environment within the VA, designed the ETL infrastructure and a data distribution application, and generally assisted in various technology arenas as one of the chief architects within the BI organization there. For the last 12 months (or so), I’ve led the implementation of BI Office (from Pyramid Analytics) within the VA, providing an on-premise, self-service analytics reporting and dashboarding environment. At present, we have over 28,000 users, over 115,000 reports, and over 21,000 pages (or slides) within over 2,000 dashboards. Granted, some of those reports and dashboards were created by individual users for individual use (given the self-service nature of BI Office), but a lot of them were created for organizational use.

Given my work with BI Office over the last year, I thought it might be interesting to blog about some of our experiences with it internally at the VA. I won’t necessarily be able to discuss specific report or dashboard designs or talk about specific data used within the VA, but I’ll instead focus on what BI Office has to offer, what its strengths (and weaknesses) are, and how others might be able to take advantage of it if they are looking for a good on-premise self-service analytics tool…

One final note: I won’t necessarily be comparing BI Office to other solutions like QlikView, Tableau, or even Power BI. I don’t have the experience necessary to craft any comparisons to those other tools. If anyone reading this feels the need to comment about how those tools do this or that better, feel free – but I likely won’t take the time to acknowledge or comment otherwise.

With that said, look for my first post about BI Office within the next few days :-)