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During 2016-06-18-16-30-52my family holiday to London in June we were invited to visit beautiful Yorkshire in Northern England to spend a day with Lawrence Corr, inventor of the Agile Business Requirements gathering method OptimalBI (and many of our customers) have embraced – BEAM* or Business Events and Activity Modeling.

2016-06-18-12-41-55Lawrence collected us from our hotel in Leeds and whisked us off to a Victorian model town called Saltaire – an ambitious project designed to co-locate Sir Titus Salt’s textile Mill workers in the 1850’s with their place of work to increase productivity. His goal as an employer was to raise the state of cleanliness, reduce accident or illness based absences and most ambitiously keep the workforce sober.

While Saltaire was, when established, a dry town we enjoyed it’s cute pubs – including one called “Don’t Tell Titus” and a lovely restaurant in the refurbished multi-zoned Mill building that now houses Tech companies, Artists, Retail stores and museum of the towns history. The town had been left to ruin post World War 2 but a 25 Mill restoration project has brought homeowners back, reinvigorated the local economy and now it’s a Unesco World Heritage site while home to a few hundred families.

2016-06-18-14-34-11When Lawrence visited us in Wellington we took him to the top of the cable car, joking it’s not as steep or long as the hype would indicate. I think the main reason he brought us to Saltaire was to go on their version! quite a wee enterprise run by volunteer enthusiasts, tiny carriage that fits 10 people and the incline well……. I laughed the whole way up the slight hill.

Walking through the parks and streets gave us plenty of scope to discuss topical issues such as the recent retirement of Ralph Kimball, emerging methodologies and trends, the role of Data Lakes, the pending BREXIT vote and so much more.

Lawrence is passionate about Agile Business Intelligence and the benefits organisations can realise in improved stakeholder engagement, rapid development – users seeing new data turn up every sprint, flexibility of design elements and the nett effect on the bottom line. The days of 2-3 year Data Warehouse projects before one user even gets to see a report are gone! Agile completely changes the landscape in this space. So it is fantastic to have had this unique opportunity to spend time with the man behind the method.

Victoria MacLennan is a reformed techo from the data and information management world – who now focuses on creating jobs and opportunities. She is passionate about Open Data, Data Privacy and Governance so will blog on those topics occasionally, you can read all of Vic’s OptimalBI blogs here

We run regular Defining Data Requirments courses, based on the BEAM* methodology, to bridge the technical-business divide when gathering data requirements or visit our Lawrence Corr page for more information and to register updates on the next time Lawrence is in New Zealand.

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