January 11, 2005
"People get frustrated," says Bob Tinglestad, business intelligence (BI) program manager for Denver Water. "They can be skeptical. At times they didn't understand that we were in drought mode."
Denver Water is responsible for supplying water to both the city and county of Denver, CO, encompassing over a million people in metro Denver alone.
It's an important utility, and the decisions it makes are very much in the spotlight -- for example, rate increases based on drought conditions, which have been frequent in Colorado during the last few years.
To rectify misperceptions, Denver Water uses a data warehouse from Informatica that helps extract data relating to e.f. reservoir data, stream flows, precipitation, reservoir levels, predicted and actual precipitation, and other metrics that show individual consumers the state of Denver's water supply with only a few hours' worth of latency.
That's a great example of the customer-facing value of data warehouses. Denver Water is also using the technology in an employee-facing way, using it to deliver budget information to different departments.
Right now, the overall system (including reports from Cognos and an Oracle database) cooperates to deliver information about how a department is actually doing budget-wise as compared to where it should be.
In 2005, the system will become more refined, driving real-time budget alerts in case of purchase orders, contract requests, or other actions that could drive a department over budget.
Tinglestad says that the role of BI within Denver Water is strategic and aims to offer a comprehensive view by layering in such projects as budgeting. "It'll expand to give a full picture of what happens from when it snows in the mountains to the delivery of water."
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