Business Intelligence in the Bayou: Recovering Costs in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Business Intelligence in the Bayou: Recovering Costs in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Gregory Smith (Xavier University, USA), Thilini Ariyachandra (Xavier University, USA) and Mark Frolick (Xavier University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0279-3.ch003

Abstract

During the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans. Significant damage to the Gulf region forced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin an unprecedented cleanup effort. The removal and disposal of debris was not only a challenge for landfill capacity but also for the administration of drivers, trucks, and debris type. With the debris removal workforce and certified hauling vehicles changing rapidly, record keeping and fraud detection proved difficult. This paper introduces the results of a data driven manpower audit for one parish in the greater New Orleans area that consolidated records and reconciled multiple record keeping systems. The authors’ findings bring to light the failings in record keeping during this disaster and highlight how a simple business intelligence application can improve the accuracy and quality of data and save costs.
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Business Intelligence

Much like past trends in information systems, BI has a rich background that is several decades old. BI’s background can be traced back to decision support systems (DSS) in the mid 1960’s (Power, 2003). The purpose of the first decision support systems was to help managers make key decisions. Since then, its functionality has been repackaged with new technology added.

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