Green on the BI horizon

Oracle OpenWorld’s strong theme of sustainability made me wonder if I might find something green on the exhibit floor. I went to the usual BI vendors and asked about aiming BI tools at carbon footprints.

If there’s anything afoot, no one told the booth people. Most of them replied with some form of “Huh?” One guy, perhaps misunderstanding my question, actually told me it couldn’t be done. Too hard to collect the data, he said.

Over at MicroStrategy, someone finally had a promising answer. “Absolutely!” she said and referred me to the company’s PR manager. Dead end again: that spokesperson is “not aware” of any such application of their tools.

I await word from Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. But so far only SAS has supplied specifics. Plenty, in fact. Last April, they announced something they call SAS for Sustainability Management. It sounds impressive.

SAS is sure to have more competitors sooner or later. It just takes time for some business people to see the obvious.

BI is a natural. Though it’s good to be green, it’s more complex than putting up a bunch of windmills. All the disparate techniques and technology have to be rolled up into a big picture in a way that only BI can do it. Without BI, it’s all like the Web without Google. They’re just trees, not a forest.

Look to green, BI.

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