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The Greening of Business and Government
BI as a catalyst

by Peter Traynor, Editor in Chief, Dashboard InsightWednesday, February 25, 2009

Sid Adelman

Dashboard Insight recently spoke to Sid Adelman about the realities of green BI in government and industry. The following is a condensed version of his comments on the matter.

There are several important questions when it comes to green business intelligence, or green BI, that we have to consider: What kind of things are going on with green BI apps that are actually helping the planet? What kind of contributions does BI make to IT infrastructure that make it smaller? And is BI keeping track of what organizations and government are doing to get their green credentials?

Well, we know that CEOs and CFOs love to put this kind of stuff in their annual reports now, because everyone is falling over each other to show how green they are. As for government, organizations now need to understand what the corporations who are bidding on their projects are doing in terms of green. It has become part of the check list of qualifying a supplier as a suitable vendor. This is the case on the municipal, state and federal levels now. So it has a pervasive effect on all kinds of businesses that bid for that kind of work.

In the old days there were huge reports, tons of wasted paper, and massive electronic infrastructure. Business intelligence has changed that. Today we can push only the salient intelligence out electronically – and to only those who need it.

Companies that are smart enough to control their inventories take advantage because there is much less to be produced and shipped. If you think of manufacturing and retail sectors, and others, there’s less spoilage and less waste. And they capture both cost control and savings from being green.

As for people who do marketing, if I’m producing a lot of fliers and brochures then I ought to be thinking about campaign effectiveness because this kind of output doesn’t pay off proportionally. Huge dollars are involved, and people are gradually getting it.

Green BI is all about analysis and good numbers. Everybody now is trying to save money while continuing to market. The heavy message is on to make that happen. But many marketers are not yet doing a good job of analyzing the results of their projects. The ones who are doing that badly will lose budget. Those who hit their ROI – and can prove it – are keeping their budgets. Green BI is helping them do that.

The companies that have figured this out, and how to best market and lower their inventories, are going to kill the competition.

About the author

Sid Adelman is a principal in Sid Adelman and Associates, an organization specializing in planning and implementing data warehouses, in data warehouse and BI assessments, and in establishing effective data architectures and strategies. He is a regular speaker at the Data Warehouse Institute.

Sid is a founding member of the Business Intelligence Alliance. Its members include Colin White, Herb Edelstein, Larry English, David Foote, Douglas Hackney, Pieter Mimno, Neil Raden, and David Marco. Sid is also a frequent contributor to journals that focus on data warehouse and data-related topics. He co-authored Data Warehouse Project Management with Larissa Moss. He is the primary author of Impossible Data Warehouse Situations with Solutions from the Experts and Data Strategy along with Larissa Moss and Majid Abai.

Sid can be reached at sidadelman@aol.com. His web site is http://www.sidadelman.com.


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