My father was a BI system

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As I really enjoyed Chris Hemedingers blog: My mother the Computer, I want to share a similar one: My father was (until he retired about 20 years ago) “head of central company economics” of a large steel company. His job was business intelligence and performance management. And yes they were using computers for some of the calculations already, but most of it was a fairly manual process performed by a group of financial and technical experts getting the right numbers together for the board to support good decisions.

A good example would be trying to do what-if-analysis for an investment of $200 million to build a new steel oven in order to come to a build/not-build decision. As there were many factors to take into account this was not a push-button job, and conditions changed on the way. Steel prices, transport costs, labor cost, interest rates, energy costs just to name a few. If one of those changed late in the process, I usually didn’t see that much of him for a couple of weeks, as it meant redoing a lot of calculations and analysis.

BI as we know it today would have made life a lot more productive for this team.

What about your parents? Were they computers, BI systems or data integration platforms?

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Frank Leistner

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