Allegient Blog

Inside The World of Agile - Agile 101

Posted by Brian O'Neal | January 23, 2015

"To Agile or Not to Agile?". That is the question.  Have you ever wondered or better yet, been confused by exactly what it means when your project manager mentions the fact that his/her projects are "Agile"? Have you ever questioned whether Agile software development truly has quantifiable benefits? Is the Agile trend ultimately leading to the downfall of "Waterfall".  Well, this post will provide you with enough information about the basics of the Agile methodology with a focus on SCRUM, to help you continue your search. 

History of Agile:

The Agile Manifesto was a document written in 2001 by a group seventeen people at a ski resort in Utah.  At this meeting were software development professionals well versed in development methodologies such as SCRUM, Xtreme Programming, Feature Driven Development, and others.  The main goal of this meeting was to come up with an alternative approach to documentation driven, long and heavy software development methodologies. This group named themselves the Agile Alliance and essentially came up with what's referred to as the "Agile Manifesto".  The core of the manifesto states the value of the items on the left over those on the right.

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An Open Apology to Future Maintainers of my Code

Posted by Jim Garlick | January 20, 2015

The other day, I encountered a particularly awful programming situation. I was working through finding a bug in a multi-thousand line program, we’ll call it FinancialCalc. It is full of tricky calculations, database calls, and middleware messages. The original developer had literally copied FinancialCalc, renamed it to something else like FinancialCalcTwo, tweaked a few lines, and then used FinacialCalcTwo from FinacialCalc. This is the same as buying two copies of a novel in order to read it twice. I jumped out of my chair, shuddering as if I was covered with spiders and asked a coworker, “is there a device that reaches back in time and strangles a developer when he makes horrible design choices?” Without missing a beat he replied, “If there was such a thing, we’d all be dead.”

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Going Beyond Collaboration: Top 5 Reasons to Attend PEXWeek 2015

Posted by Claire Wybrow | January 15, 2015

Allegient is excited to be at PEXWeek2015, and I'm thrilled to be leading an interactive workshop on January 19th with Steve Scott, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Allison Transmission. Before diving into the specifics of the event, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Claire Wybrow, Business Architect for Allegient. I am a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies and have been delivering value as a business process management expert for over 20 years. I have worked with a wide range of companies in terms of size (40 000 employees to 20 employees) across multiple industries including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, non-profits, government, financial and insurance.

Currently, I'm leading a Global Automotive Manufacture through the process of adapting, developing and implementing an Enterprise Process Framework (EPF). This EPF, adapted from APQC, SCOR, ITIL and ISO, is approved at an executive level across all areas of the business, with governance and implementation now underway. I am also founding member of the Certification Committee for the Certified Business Process Professional from ABPMP (Associate of Business Process Management Professionals) where I played a key role in developing the examination that is recognized as the International Business Process Professional certification standard. I continue to serve on the Certification Committee that is currently finalizing a new Associate level certification (CBPA). You can read my complete bio on PEXWeek.com, here.  

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Visio Lessons in a Changing IT Landscape

Posted by Sarah Boswell | January 7, 2015

A few days ago I was watching a tutorial about Visio, a diagramming software, and wondered, “How does Microsoft decide what to update between its major releases, and why?”

I was watching a series on Plural Site, which only has lessons for Visio 2007, and I have Visio 2013 installed on my machine.

I was making some neat diagrams – like a process flow, a company org chart, and a city map of Chicago – and I found that several times, I had to do some Internet research to find certain tools that had been hidden from the 2013 version.

I started to wonder how the Visio team had determined what to show and what to hide. But then I realized, since 2007, business priorities have changed, and the way we interact with technology is always changing. In Visio’s newest version, the most useful tools and templates are presented up-front, and it only takes about 2 minutes to add more tools to the ribbon.

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Portals Are Good For More Than Just Traveling To Other Dimensions

Posted by Jimmy Burkhart | December 17, 2014

When you hear the word Portal what comes to mind?  A many years ago I would have talked about how portals allow people to travel between different dimensions, time travel, or something related to sci-fi.  A portal by definition according to Oxford Dictionary is “a doorway, gate, or other entrance, especially a large and elaborate one.”

Now think of a portal from a technology standpoint.  Throw the word “Web” in front of the word “Portal”.  Now what comes to mind when you think of a web portal?  The definition from Oxford above still applies.  A Web Portal is still a doorway or entrance.  However, a Web Portal is a doorway for other users to access another application or platform’s content without actually logging into said application or platform. 

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Business Intelligence is a Marathon

Posted by Brittany Poore | December 10, 2014

I have a confession to make.  I’m a data geek.  Yes, my professional area of expertise is Business Intelligence so that probably isn’t news, but I also apply it to my personal life.  Whether it’s budgeting, retirement planning, nutrition, fitness, or even my Christmas shopping list, I use data to tell me where I stand and how I can improve.

May 19th, 2014 was a big day in my life.  Not only did I join Allegient, but I also agreed to be part of the 26strong program and commit to running my first full marathon by the end of 2014.  Naturally (for me), I set up a training log so that I could track my progress.  Now seven months later it’s the week of the race, and I’m needing some extra confidence in how prepared I am so I took a look at the data.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 4

Posted by Sara Wagner | December 2, 2014

We’ve made it through the last week of the online course! In previous weeks, we covered the basics for each of the Power BI Tools: performing ETL on source data using Power Query, pulling the data into a Power Pivot model, and creating visualizations using Power View and Power Map. Last week our focus was on descriptive analytics using the tools I just mentioned, as well as pivot tables and pivot charts in Excel. This week we will take analytics a step further by focusing on predictive analytics. Before we could begin using predictive analytics to build a model, there were a lot of distinctions to be made between some key statistical terms. These distinctions are summarized below.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 3

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 24, 2014

I mentioned in my first blog post that I am a recent graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and my master’s degree in Statistics. When I saw “Descriptive Analytics” in the title for the first slide deck this week and “Statistics” on the next slide, the statistician in me starting jumping for joy. However, I was a bit disappointed at first when the professors breezed through the first slide deck and immediately switched over to a demo on pivot table functionality with Power Pivot models.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 2

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 13, 2014

I ended my last blog post with a brief description of Power Query. I described Power Query as a mini-tool for ETL (Extract Transform Load), which happens toward the beginning of the overall BI life cycle. Not only does this online course give an overview of the Power BI Tools, but it is structured in a way that mirrors the BI lifecycle—introducing each tool in the order in which you would use them. Naturally, building a data model in Power Pivot is the next step in our condensed journey through the BI life cycle. Power Pivot is an add-in for Excel that allows the user to import data from multiple sources (including Power Query) and build data models that can include calculated columns and measures that the user defines.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 1

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 6, 2014

I am a recent college graduate on Allegient’s Business Intelligence team, so I was excited to have the opportunity to sit in on Allegient’s online BI course that partners with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. One thing I noticed about the online course was its title: “Business Analytics with the Microsoft Cloud BI Stack.” My first thought was, “So wait—what’s the difference between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics?” I guess I had never really thought about it before. The first session started out by explaining this difference: BI is described as “backward thinking” and descriptive, whereas BA is more “forward thinking” and predictive. The link between the two is that they both use historical data to accomplish their individual purposes. Over the next few weeks, this course will address both cases and introduce the Microsoft tools that work with each of them.

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