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Review of Keynote from SAPinsider Reporting and Analytics 2013

by Ken Murphy, Editorial Director, Data & Analytics

November 20, 2013

SAP Senior Vice President and General Manager of Analytics Christian Rodatus discussed the three pillars of SAP’s analytic solution roadmap during his keynote presentation at the SAPinsider Reporting & Analytics, Managing Your SAP Projects and Enterprise Mobility conference this morning.

A recurring theme of his presentation was that data analytics is no longer the sole purview of business analysts or line managers but is now intended for use at the enterprise level, which underscored the relevance of the material for all attendees, regardless of which SAPinsider event they were attending.

The three pillars – Enterprise BI, Agile Visualization, and Advanced Analytics – are the natural byproduct of SAP’s efforts in recent years to shape its offerings to address the convergence of Big Data, mobility, cloud, and social. By building this robust analytical platform, Rodatus said, SAP is giving organizations the tools they need to outpace the competition by making informed decisions smarter and faster than ever before.

The recent release of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 is the cornerstone of SAP’s reconfigured analytic solution offerings. Its robust offerings intend, as Rodatus said, to allow “everyone in the organization to source and understand information, to help them to do their jobs better.” In short, Rodatus said, it’s the hub for an enterprise to generate all insight into all information. Recognizing the explosion of structured and unstructured data, an important part of this new release is that the BI suite supports 140 different data sources, making it, as Rodatus said, the “most agnostic BI suite on the market today.”

The proliferation of data is of course only as good as what an organization does with it, which speaks to the second pillar of the SAP analytic roadmap, Agile Visualization. With HTML5-based SAP Lumira as the centerpiece of this strategy, SAP is providing tools that enable real-time understanding of data for a broad user base. Fully integrating with the core enterprise BI platform, Agile Visualization builds on a self-service model to give more users access to more data – and providing those users with a visual experience that makes it easy to format available data in new and innovative ways. Rodatus urged attendees to download the SAP Lumira personal edition for free at to get started looking at their Microsoft Excel data in different ways.

Rodatus highlighted the third pillar of SAP’s analytic suite – Advanced Analytics – with a customer example. To optimize marketing insights across a complete customer lifecycle, AAA leveraged KXEN predictive analytics to optimize marketing campaigns for roughly 70% of its 53 million members. KXEN, which was recently acquired by SAP, provides a tool set designed specifically to help customers apply advanced analytics to information and processes. Advanced analytics, Rodatus said, “will proliferate rapidly through organizations” as decision-makers come to realize the endless opportunities to both increase revenue and reduce cost.

Like the core Enterprise BI platform, the design of Advanced Analytics is aimed at bringing predictive analytics to line of business analysts in the workplace rather than as a niche outlier for data scientists. And with SAP HANA powering the entire suite, information can be refreshed in real-time, providing users with real-time information from which to make real-time insights.

The ability to perform predictive analysis, Rodatus said, is often ranked by CFOs as being more important than closing the books. Having the ability to unleash the power of collective insight across the enterprise, Rodatus said, is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

It’s a message the attendees will clearly hear more of over the next three days at Reporting & Analytics, Enterprise Mobility, and Managing Your SAP Projects.

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