Agile Analytics to the Rescue!

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A Cutter Consortium Success Story:

Agile Analytics for Reliable and Timely Operational Reporting

A division of an $18B dairy company needed reporting and analytics on a new specialized route management system that was going live in three months. The opportunity to significantly benefit the business with reliable and timely operational reporting led Cutter’s team, headed by Lynn Winterboer, to embrace an agile approach to meeting top-priority information needs as quickly as possible, while ensuring the architecture can scale to meet future analytics needs as well.

How did they do it?

Cutter designed a 2-stage architecture that allows the operational reports to be delivered as quickly as possible, while enabling low-impact follow-on expansion to full analytical capabilities. The Cutter team:

  • defined the conceptual architecture
  • reverse-engineered the source system model
  • designed the change data capture mechanism, and
  • prototyped the top four reports in Excel.

This pre-work led to the design foundation upon which the client’s developers could quickly build out the solution, and provided a head start on the top priority requirements.

Prototyping helped the business stakeholders understand business process and data quality issues that would prevent certain requests from meeting the business need. They further prioritized the reports once they could see what each would really deliver to support key business decisions and operational processes. The delivery team welcomed the changes in priorities because each change ensured that the next-most-important-thing we tackled was truly the best use of our limited time before go-live.

Cutter's team, along with the client team, stepped back to think creatively and looked at values and principles. Our goal was to deliver value to the business — value that was defined by the business, not by IT — value that the team can deliver frequently and consistently.
Lynn Winterboer


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