Expand +



The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 14, Iss. 1)

by John Schweitzer | SAPinsider

January 1, 2013

The massive amount of data available today presents companies with both challenges and opportunities. In this piece, SAP’s John Schweitzer shares how SAP is helping customers take advantage of the latest technology trends, such as analytics and mobility, to make sure that their data is insightful, actionable, and accessible.

John Schweitzer
Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP Analytics


The volume of data available to a typical organization is growing at an astounding pace. In all companies, industries, and geographies, there are new data sources available that didn’t exist even a year ago. This presents both challenges and opportunities. The companies that will thrive in this new environment will be those that can leverage the latest technologies and transform this “commodity” data into “intelligent data” that will help business users make informed decisions.

There are three technology-driven trends that will enable companies to use data to make more informed decisions. First, the consumerization of IT, including mobility, continues to put powerful decision-making analytics in the hands of a much broader set of users. For example, a field service technician equipped with an iPad can access data — around parts and products, customer information, or payment information, for instance — at a job site, allowing that technician to make a much more informed business decision than what was previously possible.

Second, data is now gathered and processed in real time thanks to technologies like SAP HANA, so users can make decisions based on the latest information, not on what happened weeks ago. In fact, many users want to base their decisions on what’s going to happen in the future. Predictive analytics and scenario modeling drive those informed decisions, and the use of in-memory technology is the springboard to providing that level of intelligent data.

The third trend is the emergence of a more collaborative decision-making process, which requires that the same data be shared and accessible by all of the stakeholders. For data to be made truly intelligent, it has to be put in the right hands at the right time. Executive-level KPIs won’t help that field service technician fix a piece of equipment — he or she needs service records and parts descriptions. So SAP is working closely with our customers to ensure that they have created centers of excellence, and that they have the right data governance in place to deliver the most intelligent data to the most appropriate employees to help them make more informed decisions that align with the broader business goals.

As data becomes more intelligent, users can leverage it to adapt to real-time trends and optimize their business processes. For example, SAP is currently working with a big-box retailer in the US to track and improve the effectiveness of the retailer’s marketing campaigns in real time. The day after a specific promotion is launched, the retailer collects and analyzes point-of-sale data to identify which products are selling the best as a result of that promotion. It’s happening so quickly that a store on the West Coast can analyze three hours’ worth of East Coast data before it even opens its doors, and can use that data to determine the best combination and positioning of products.

Intelligent data is helping organizations be more informed, more aligned, and more adaptable to change. Data alone doesn’t improve results — the decisions made based on the data are what make the difference. 

An email has been sent to:

More from SAPinsider


Please log in to post a comment.

No comments have been submitted on this article. Be the first to comment!