Ethics in Business Intelligence

From the loss of customer information to ownership rights of pop music, ethical issues about information are cropping up in many unexpected places. The ethical issues involving business intelligence and data warehousing are particularly subtle in their complexity and implications, but they share some common characteristics with other IT-related issues.

In the past, IT professionals have been able to pass these issues on to executives, saying simply, It s not my problem let the boss decide. However, for many companies that approach is no longer acceptable, as the number and complexity of ethical issues have become a veritable tidal wave that no one can ignore. We must first recognize that ethics is a touchy subject. Ethical issues are messy in our diverse and global culture. Most want to avoid the subject altogether, evading controversy that may cause ill will among colleagues. It is difficult and sometimes impossible to find compromises that provide a balanced solution for all aspects in a given ethical issue. There is uncertainty as to where an ethical discussion will lead. Resolutions of an ethical issue may be inconclusive, complex or confusing. And, of course, discussions of ethics can degenerate into one-sided arguments driven by people with strong, predefined opinions. The world is changing rapidly, and so is the technology that drives that change, especially with BI and DW. There are many analysis activities that were inconceivable a few years ago. Now, these analyses are possible and performed daily at an acceptable cost. We are able to do so much more with BI/DW technology that we have not taken the time to determine where the boundaries really are?or should be. With declining levels of trust for corporations, there is a great anxiety to be squeaky clean about any ethical issue. Source and full article: www.teradata.coma>

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