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Global Warming and Business Intelligence

By Steve Jones,

I'm an energy guy, doing the bimonthly Energy Updates, and advocating more energy efficiency and alternative power generation (outside of fossil fuels). I'm also a car guy, I love driving and having different cars, which are two things that are hard to reconcile. On one hand I'd like to see more efficient, electric basic vehicles, on the other I don't want to give up my Porsche and it's manual transmission. I'm still working on how to make sense of this in my mind.

What does this have to do with Business Intelligence? I'm getting there.

Global warming has been talked about since I was a kid in the 70s. With the energy crisis we had then, people were concerned we would not only run out of fossil fuels (wasn't that supposed to happen by now?), but that we would irreparably harm the environment and melt the polar ice caps, flood the coastlines, change the weather and more. There is a lot of research that talks about changes in the environment and the potential consequences.

At the same time, I see some interesting research that perhaps global warming isn't taking place, or that it's not significant enough to affect our lives. Or, what I tend to believe, that the Earth is longer cycles of change than we realize.

What does this have to do with Business Intelligence? I'm getting there.

I mentioned this article on real time business intelligence awhile back, and I do think there is some potential here, but I also think that we need to constantly be questioning the results that come from our models. After all, our models are based on human interpretation of causality and are very fallible. Just look at the issues in our financial economies that risk models have contributed to.

Getting information quicker, and making quicker decisions can help or hurt your business. The important thing to remember, like the global warming debate, is that sometimes we move too quickly on that information and make decisions that might not be appropriate.

And we have to remember what I've always thought. Computers help us get more work done, but they also allow us to make mistakes very, very fast.

Steve Jones


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

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The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

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Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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