Operational BI = Common Sense?

Spotted in a ComputerWorld/SAS Operational BI document called “BI @ the Speed of of Business”:

“Mark Moorman, Advisor to the Office of the CTO at SAS… cites one government agency that was required to buy only low-grade lumber for construction projects. When a supplier offered to significantly discount a large stockpile of high-quality lumber in order to clear its warehouses, the agency had to turn him down, even though it meant paying more for an inferior product. It didn’t matter; that was the policy.”

The document implies the answer to this problem is “operational BI”. I think there are lots of great examples of where companies can provide information to front-line workers to improve decision making, but this is not one of them.

BI and transparency can, and should, replace policies in many cases — e.g. see “BI Instead of Expense Controls” — but this is independent of operational BI.