Here's an Altruistic -- and Intriguing -- Use of BI

Ann All

We are suckers for innovative uses of business intelligence -- especially those that involve broad societal issues, like how to reduce crime or how to improve crop yields.


So we were quite taken with a recent Intelligent Enterprise article describing how an organization called Wildtrack is using BI software from SAS to help document a declining polar bear population.


Making it even more intriguing is Wildtrack's recruitment of Inuits in northern Canada to collect digital photographs of bear tracks and other information that will populate the project's database. Thus, the technology should help preserve the knowledge of a society with roots that date back to 1000, and which has now dwindled to some 150,000 people. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)


The software is more commonly used to help companies visualize product production and sales data, according to the article. Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with improving sales. But Wildtrack hopes to use the insights gleaned from its project to put pressure on global governments to reduce their carbon emissions and thus hopefully slow global warming.


We don't know about you, but we like our BI with a healthy dose of altruism.

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