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It’s been over a month since I went on the Lawrence Corr Business Events and Analysis Modelling (BEAM*) course. I wish I could say that straight after the course I applied everything I had learned but my current project was not data warehouse related.

It does however give me an opportunity to reflect on the course and see what stuck. There are a few major things that Lawrence covered.

  • How Agile can be used with Data Warehousing.
  • BEAM* provides many different tools and techniques for requirements gathering and refinement in human friendly terms.
  • People love and understand spreadsheets.  They can also be a great way to summarise a lot of information effectively.
  • Post-It notes are a great tool! It’s easy to keep changing your mind when your idea fits on a tiny bit of movable paper.
  • And of course the 7 W’s. Asking questions in words a child could understand.

Agile is the new trendy approach to doing anything, breaking big problems into manageable pieces, delivering frequently so users can change their mind. BEAM* gives you tools to breakdown the user’s requirements into tangible pieces. Delivering things they can understand early to ensure it’s what they really want. There was as strong focus in the course to avoid techy talk. For example I don’t believe the word dimension was mentioned until the third day. Everything was kept in basic terms and all the technical stuff was gathered by stealth. I personally think this a great approach, from experience there’s nothing that kills a conversation with non-technical people as bamboozling them with terms. It might be nice for you to categorise an idea that someone is trying the express but it is a poor way validate that you have understood what they have said.

BEAM* gives you a swiss army knife of templates to use but the great thing is there is no set order that they need to be applied. They each provide a different perspective to allow you to understand the events you are trying to model.

I think it was a great course in common sense techniques, but there a lot of material which Lawrence does his best to cover but you will need the book as well to reinforce all that you have learned and expand on some of the finer points.

Ben

You can book your place on the next Agile Data Warehouse Design Masterclass here.

 

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