I'm looking forward to attending the Gartner BI Summit this May 2-4 in Los Angeles CA. The content looks great and of course I want to attend all the sessions, but as is usually the case at conferences I'll have to pick and choose carefully. One session I am looking forward to is "Does Agile BI deliver Agility?". Agile is a great tool for delivering BI solutions and I am very curious to learn what Gartner is hearing from the industry on how widely it is being adopted. In my experience, Agile lends itself particularly well to BI development projects because of the iterative nature of delivery. I also see it being used more and more frequently, with prospective customers requesting it as the preferred delivery methodology.

I am also involved in CapTech's growing healthcare vertical so I'll also be attending the healthcare industry sessions and moderated discussions throughout the week. There are so many different BI related data challenges and privacy concerns within the healthcare vertical. I'm hoping to get many perspectives on how people are solving these issues in their organizations. For example, what best practices are being used to deal with diverse data sets (claims, lab, pharmacy, clinical etc) and how are people handling data standardization across different healthcare vocabularies (HL7, ICD, HCPCS etc)?

As a Business Intelligence practitioner, one of the things I enjoy most about these events is getting to network and learn from other leaders in the industry. My favorite question to ask people at BI gatherings is – "what is your definition of BI?" I have found that there are a wide variety of answers to what seems like such a simple question. For example, does it refer to reporting and if so what kind - operational or analytical. Does it mean analytics and if so what kind - historical or predicative? Where do dashboards and KPI's fit in and are those considered BI? The answers vary widely and the question always leads to good conversation. If you are attending the BI Summit let me know, I'd love you get your thoughts on the definition of BI.