Agile Innovations LLC

Agile Innovations LLC

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Celebrating 30 Years of Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”

June 7, 2014 1 Comment

March of Napoleon There are a few major events in 1984 that stick out in my memory, and this is one.  I just recently opened up my original, tattered copy of the first edition to see the publication date.   I  still keep a copy of the famous poster of  Minard’s “Napolean’s March” on my office wall. I was a young Research Director for the Criminal Justice Statistics Association (Now called NCJA) where we were working on a project with the National Institute of Justice  (NIJ) about improving publications relating to national crime statistics.  Edward Tufte was a consultant. This was quite an eye-opening experience for me. Of course, back then NIJ distributed thousands of copies of printed statistics and graphs.  It is now a Brave New World… Also, you must see Micheal Friendly’s  great article “Re-Visions of Minard”

“Agile Data Warehouse Design” by Lawrence Carr

July 9, 2013

This is the one book that outlines almost exactly what we have been doing at Barquin International for the last 10 years.  Great read It is very eerie we have our W5 acronym, Carr as the 7W.  Read it to find out what that is…

Highly recommended!



Will post more detail later.

REEport goes live an the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

May 11, 2013

REEport is the “Research, Education, and Extension Project Online Reporting Tool.”   This was a great team effort between the Barquin team and the NIFA Federal team.

“Barquin International announced today its partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the development of the recently-launched Research, Education, and Extension Project Online Reporting Tool (REEport). This integrated data collection, analysis and reporting application was successfully developed and deployed by NIFA to provide a singular, consistent method to support oversight and tracking of competitive and formula grant projects managed by the agency.”

For the full press release, following this link:




Hobo 2.0 for Rails 3.2 Released!

March 2, 2013

Use Hobo to build a fully functioning Rails 3.12 app in minutes…

See the tutorials and new website built with Hobo 2.0, which now uses the Twitter Bootstrap  UI as the default.


Knowledge “Management” and “The Black Swan”

January 15, 2013

NOTE.  I enclosed “Management” in the title of this post in quotes. That was deliberate.  If I had used a more appropriate term, say “Epistemology,” or “Theory of Knowledge,” you probably would not be reading this now.  


After recently reading Nassim Nicolas Taleb’s fine new book “Antifragile.” I decided to re-read his earlier book written in 2007, “The Black Swan.”  This time I bought the Second Edition (2010), and spent a part of each day of my recent vacation reading it in depth.

I read it the first time much too quickly.   Let me say first I found an unexpected kindred spirit in Taleb, and I am in awe of his erudtiion and logical clarity. It is a powerful and important work, and deserves reflection on almost every page.   I now plan to read it a third time.

It hasn’t been since I read Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” that I could almost feel my cortex creating new networks and associations, even though I was reading this each morning after evenings in The French Quarter in New Orleans.  Of course, the savory, dark N.O. coffee and Beignes may have helped considerably.

First let me tease you with a few quotes:

“The entire statistical business confused absence of proof with proof of absence.”  – p 281

“This idea that in order to make a decision you need to focus on the consequences (which you can know) rather than the probability (which you can’t know) is the central idea of uncertainty.” – p 211

” The traditional Gaussian way of looking at the world begins by focusing on on the ordinary, and then deals with exceptions or so-called outliers as ancillaries. But there is a second way, which takes the exceptional as a starting point and treats the ordinary as subordinate.” – p 236

“To paraphrase Danny Kahneman, for psychological comfort some people would rather use a map of the Pyrenees while lost in the Alps than use nothing at all.”   – p 367

“The problem of the unknown distribution resembles, in a way, Bertrand Russell’s central difficulty in logic with the “this sentence is true” issue–a sentence cannot contain its own truth predicate…a probability distribution needs to be subordinated to a metaprobability distribution giving, say, the probability of a probability distribution being the wrong one.” – p 353 (footnote)

In subsequent posts I will attempt to summarize the connections and lessons I  think apply to my day-to-day practice of Agile Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence.


Hobo 2.0 Pre-Release 8 Uses the Twitter Bootstrap Theme and UI as Default

December 31, 2012

You will get a “responsive” UI out-of-the-box in a rapid development environment.

See Bryan Larsen’s post:

Hobo 1.4 Beta released to public

March 31, 2012

This is a major release optimized for Rails 3.1.


And the blog post:

Alistair Cockburn’s “Cooperative Game” Principle Applies to Software Development

February 12, 2012

“The primary goal is to deliver software; the secondary goal is to set up for the following game.

Reaching the primary goal is clear: If you don’t deliver the software, it won’t matter how nicely you have set up for the following game.

If, on the other hand, you deliver the software and do a poor job of setting up for the following game, you jeopardize the game.”

I am quoting Cockburn here because it resonates with my experience over the past 30 years, as does much in his writings.

Agile Software Development and Rock Climbing

February 12, 2012

I have really enjoyed re-reading Alistair Cockburn discussing how software development and rock climbing are examples of goal-seeking cooperative games.   See pages 31-33 of  Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition).


So what are the characteristics he sees in common between rock climbing and software development?

  1. Cooperative and goal-seeking
  2. Load bearing
  3. Team
  4. Individuals with talent
  5. Skill-sensitive
  6. Training
  7. Tools
  8. Resource-limited
  9. Plan
  10. Improvised
  11. Fun
  12. Challenging
Alistair Cockburn – Agile Sofware Development and Rock Climbing – Summary

Hobo 1.4 for Rails 3.2 in progress

February 1, 2012

Currently in alpha state.  Check for status and updates at

Rapid Rails 3 with Hobo Book

Rapid Rails 3 with Hobo book is in Beta