Using Business Intelligence to Support Strategic Sustainability Information Management

  • Ross Haupt, Brenda Scholtz, Andre Calitz
  • January 2015, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • DOI: 10.1145/2815782.2815795

What is it about?

The concept of sustainability has become an important phenomenon globally with many organisations being affected by the heightened awareness in sustainability. Organisations are more aware of the importance of promoting sustainability in all areas of operations. This is no different in the higher education sector, with a number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) playing a leading role in promoting sustainable initiatives. Effectively managing these initiatives however can be a complex task and requires data and information from multiple aspects of operations. In an HEI, operating sustainably means ensuring financial sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability and educational sustainability. In order to manage sustainability effectively, HEIs require an integrated tool that can provide information on all areas of sustainability. This paper highlights the importance of effectively managing sustainability information and the challenges HEIs face in sustainability reporting. Business Intelligence (BI) is a solution to overcome the challenges and effectively managing sustainability information. However, HEIs need to overcome a number of challenges associated with BI to ensure a BI solution is correctly implemented and is effective in solving the problem of effective sustainability information management. This study focusses on the management of sustainability information in South African HEIs. The results indicate that there are many challenges to managing sustainability information in South African HEIs, including siloed data and information as well as poor sharing and communication of information. These two challenges can be overcome by a correctly implemented BI solution.

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