In the Business Intelligence (BI) world, there’s a great deal of focus on long-term report development without much focus on ad hoc as a unique development process. As new tools such as power BI, PowerPivot, and tabular models now allow for significantly improved self-service BI experiences, some of the need traditionally served by ad hoc reporting has become outdated. However, ad hoc analysis is still very much needed for situations such as exploring new data. Luckily, most of the principles of reporting development apply to ad hoc equally well, but there are a few differences that I find helpful to keep in mind when approaching ad hoc problems.



The NFL season is right around the corner, which means that the few weeks prior to the start signifies a time of hardcore analytics for the competitive fantasy football player like myself. I’ve been a frequent and competitive fantasy football player for about 15 years now and I’ve come to realize that the logic that most of us use to select our draft picks really mirrors how an organization should leverage data for business decisions.


As an Information Architect, I have built Conceptual and Logical Data Models (CDM and LDM, respectively) for different business applications and infrastructures for many years. On these projects, I have experienced many different kinds of data abstraction and normalization scenarios.  (more…)