Business Intelligence & Analytics

Agile BI vs. Lean BI

At the TDWI Europe Conference, I gave a three-hour presentation on agile business intelligence. Therefore, I have a view on the definition and meaning of agile BI.
agile BI

This week I ran across the term “Lean BI.” I had to dig into the details to understand the term a little better. In summary, lean BI and agile BI have different emphasis on delivering BI solutions, but both focus on how to best support the business.

agile Business Intelligence lean Business Intelligence
Definition “BI that can rapidly and cost effectively adapt to meet changing business needs.” (Aberdeen Group, 2012) “Lean BI is about generating additional value by accomplishing more with existing resources by eliminating waste.” (Steve Dine, 2013)
  • Agile Software Development
  • Self-service Business Intelligence
  • Adaptable, scalable architectures
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Systems Thinking
  • Agile Software Development
Iterative, incremental software development according to the values and principles in the agile manifesto, enable the users to do more on their own, and have adaptable, scalable data warehousing and BI architecture. Limit the different types of waste that occur in BI projects (Lean Manufacturing), focus on the interdependencies of systems (Systems Thinking), and develop based on values and principles in the agile manifesto (Agile Software Development).
Key outcome “Information available within one hour of the timeframe required for decisions.” (Aberdeen Group, 2012) Delivering more value with the existing resources.


Dine, Steve. An Introduction to Lean Business Intelligence . May 5, 2009. (accessed 06 28, 2013).

White, David, and Matthew York. Agile or Fragile? Your Analytics, Your Choice. Aberdeen Group, Inc., 2012