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Adopting a Real-Time Mindset

How SAP Helps Companies Take BI to New Heights

by Clemens Prändl | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 4

October 9, 2015

Clemens Praendl, Senior VP and GM, Analytics, SAP, examines how companies can achieve the full potential of analytics in the enterprise by using it as a differentiator to drive innovation. Learn how SAP is delivering technology that provides state-of-the-art analytics to the enterprise.

 

In a real-time enterprise, business intelligence (BI) is freed from the technology limitations that for decades have prevented meaningful analytics from forming the basis for true insight. In the not-so-distant past, built-in latencies from having to query data combined with batch-oriented processes devalued analytics; it was anyone’s guess whether a dashboard could be built or a report could be run before the information it returned was obsolete. A finance organization that did planning and budgeting based on a week-old profit and loss (P&L) statement was in all likelihood on the cutting edge of what an organization could do from an analytics standpoint.

This is no longer the case. The organization that still makes assumptions and decisions for the enterprise based on anything but up-to-the-minute information runs the real risk of falling behind a competitor that embraces the vast opportunities afforded by adopting a real-time mindset.

Innovation That Drives Results

Organizations in a variety of industries as well as in the public sector are partnering with SAP for state-of-the-art analytics that drive innovation.

An organization that has garnered a lot of well-deserved attention is the State of Indiana, which is using SAP HANA and SAP Lumira to combat what for decades had been an unusually high rate of infant mortality in the state.1 Analyzing the root cause of this problem was difficult, with 92 state agencies running about 800 individual systems. The state deployed SAP HANA to store and process data from 15 critical data sets — including unstructured data — that resulted in a diverse volume of nine billion rows.

With SAP Predictive Analysis and SAP Lumira providing advanced analytics and powerful visualizations, the state discovered that while high-risk groups accounted for just 1.6% of all births in Indiana, they accounted for 50% of all infant deaths. With this new insight, the state approved $13 million in funding for targeted programs to address the issue. Indiana launched the “Labor of Love” program with a goal to reduce infant mortality to 6.0 deaths per 1,000 births by 2020.2

Closed-Loop Decision Support

Data-driven insights are a real possibility for any organization willing to make the transition to a new technology platform that brings live transactional and analytical processing together in real time without having to always call on IT, breaking through the constraints of the past.

Achieving the full potential of analytics as a powerful differentiator for the enterprise requires more than a diverse set of enabling tools from a technology partner. At SAP, we recognize that with analytics becoming integral to an overall business strategy, the enterprise also requires integration capabilities. This is why we place a priority on closed-loop decision support, where technology and the insights it delivers are connected to planning, performance, and governance, promoting a robust, end-to-end analytics platform.

It all starts with trusted data discovery resulting from having the powerful, agile visualizations that SAP Lumira delivers embedded in the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite. This ensures data consistency — everyone now has access to the same real-time data in an easy-to- understand format that can easily be shared throughout the organization. The business can build a long-term plan that determines how the data will influence business decisions and track progress against a set of predetermined key performance indicators (KPIs). And with SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), the organization can adjust the plan as needed against any new regulations as well as ensure and track access.

BI has always been about digging around to find value in an organization’s data. Closed-loop decision support brings in enterprise performance management (EPM) tools to translate this data to meet financial goals, with GRC functionality to manage the business risk.

 

While there is not a one-size-fits-all model that leads to trusted data discovery, all paths share a common denominator: SAP HANA as the unifying technology that brings about a single source of truth.

Your Business, Your Choice

To realize the potential of an analytics transformation, businesses must rethink their entire architecture, and this is why SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) has come along at the perfect time for companies to embrace analytics as part and parcel of a sound business strategy.

In this next-generation business suite, in-memory capabilities are enabled across both applications and database technology. This establishes effective operations based on a single source of truth, and because standard processes are optimized against SAP HANA, the business has a more rapid path to data discovery. Data that drives insight already resides in SAP HANA.

Editions of SAP S/4HANA for the cloud and on-premise are now available, with planned quarterly and yearly innovation cycles, respectively. SAP will support both editions, ensuring that closed-loop decision support is available to customers in whichever path to deployment is most appropriate for their organizations. A business could choose to integrate SAP Business Planning and Consolidation with cloud applications, including SAP Lumira, or it could deploy SAP Cloud for Planning with on-premise BI tools, for example.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all model that leads to trusted data discovery, all paths share a common denominator: SAP HANA as the unifying technology that brings about a single source of truth. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform offering in-memory power in a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) deployment model, organizations can be up and running with advanced analytics capabilities in a matter of hours, and even build applications that integrate with SAP systems as well as third-party tools.

Many trusted SAP partners are using SAP HANA Cloud Platform to develop state-of-the-art applications that include advanced analytics as a matter of course, creating another avenue for enterprises across a number of industry verticals to quickly bring analytics into the fold. This underscores the importance of partners in bringing analytics to the forefront as a key component of the real-time enterprise.

Look Forward — or Move Backward

SAP’s forward-looking view of analytics and the comprehensive analytics platform that supports this view enable any organization to identify untapped opportunities hidden inside a vast amount of data, all while allowing for strategic decisions and minimizing business risk. Whether a business wants to increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction, explore new markets, or even change its business model based on trusted data discovery, SAP is the partner that can best bring about this transformation.

The real-time enterprise is here, and for any organization anxious to make that transition SAP is ready to engage as a partner to help define an analytics roadmap as a springboard to true innovation. If you’re not looking forward, you’re at risk of falling behind.

 

 


1 In 2011, the rate was 7.7 deaths per 1,000 births; the US average was 6.1. [back]    

2 See www.in.gov/laboroflove. [back]

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Clemens Prändl
Clemens Prändl

Senior Vice President
and General Manager
SAP Analytics



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