Companies look to BI to reduce energy cost

Companies are looking to BI tools for help with rising energy costs, says Dan Esty, co-author of Green into Gold and the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University.

In this slumping economy, he said yesterday, he’s seen companies defer advertising campaigns and factories in favor of investment in BI.

“They’ve concluded that there is a very substantial return on energy efficiency,” he said, “and the way you find that is with BI tools.”

Energy savings in companies he’s worked with, he said, are no less than around 10 to 15 percent, and have reached 60 percent. IT departments usually yield some of the most improvement.

Collecting the data is for most companies a problem. Will Sarni, CEO of Domani, says that even as companies have done a good job of rolling up their financial data, they’ve done a poor job of collecting energy data.

“You’d be surprised to see how archaic it is for some companies,” he said yesterday. “In some ways we’re still moving out of the Stone Age.”

There’s a big scramble now for tools that can be used easily within an organization to collect and understand and to make rational decisions—and that are relatively painless to use.

What’s missing most, he says, is a way to monitor company-wide energy consumption in real time.

Energy expense is becoming important in smaller and smaller companies. It used to be that an annual expense of less than $1 million was considered unimportant. “Now it’s significant.”

It’s a story in progress for BI This Week.

Leave a reply

Other recent posts

End of one-size-fits-all data stories

This appeared originally on the TDWI site in September behind a paywall. It’s still there, but today they’ve had the 90 days of exclusive use that I agreed to. Survey after survey reveals that about 80 percent of business users don’t use data analysis—despite all the marketing and “easy to use” tools. As if in… Continue Reading

Qlik finally set to leapfrog Tableau?

Who’s your rival? I carelessly asked a Qlik person at the company’s annual analyst reception Monday night in Miami if she hadn’t once worked for Tableau. Her revulsion was immediate. “No! Never!,” she said. We smiled. There was so much more to talk about. For one thing, how will private equity change things? Qlik wasn’t… Continue Reading

Five Tips for Better Data Stories

Originally published on September 22, 2015 in BI This Week, a TDWI publication. A “data story” sounds like such a great idea. You just mix data with storytelling and you’re done — except that most data storytellers get one thing wrong: they drown out the story with data. Such storytellers, I believe, assume that audiences… Continue Reading

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading