Data Vault Ensemble Modeling

Human-Centered Design: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

Larry Burns, PACCAR

In recent years, there has been much discussion about the use of Agile methodologies in Data (Agile Data) and Business Intelligence (Agile BI).  But Agile is nothing more than an enabler for IT; it helps IT solve problems for business users more quickly.  The next, and more important, step is empowering business users to solve more of their own Data and BI problems, with IT as a solutions facilitator rather than a solutions dictator.

Human-Centered Design (or HCD) is an approach to interactive problem-solving and solution-development that focuses on helping people identify and solve their own problems, rather than having solutions imposed upon them.  Aspects of HCD include group brainstorming, creative problem solving, modeling and prototyping, and immersion (involvement of the entire group in the solution of a problem).  Organizations like IDEO.org are using HCD to create practical solutions to the problems and needs of developing countries throughout the world.

This talk will explore the application of HCD principles to the work of Data Management, including data modeling, database design and development, Business Intelligence and applied analytics.  Topics for discussion will include:

  • The Seven Core Mindsets of HCD, and how they apply to Data work
  • The Process of HCD (Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation)
  • Tools and Methods for Individual and Group Problem-Solving
  • The process of Iterative Prototyping

This session will include group brainstorming and problem-solving exercises, as participants will use HCD techniques to solve real-world data problems.

Larry Burns is a long-time Agile practitioner whose books (“Building the Agile Database” and “Growing Business Intelligence”) describe Agile approaches to solving data modeling, database development and BI/analytics problems.  He is a long-time member of DAMA International, and contributed to the first edition of the DAMA DMBOK.  He is currently the Data and BI Architect for a Global Fortune 200 manufacturing company, and is a former instructor and advisor for the Data Resource Management certificate program at the University of Washington in Seattle.