SAP unveils strategy to gain predictive insights from Big Data

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As organisations evolve their business strategies to remain competitive in ever-changing markets, they rely on today’s information to make choices for tomorrow. Empowering them with the ability to improve decision-making by predicting future outcomes, SAP AG has announced SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis software. The new offering aims to equip more people with a modern, user-friendly, graphically stunning tool for predictive modeling and advanced visualisation. The software is intended to harness and unleash the full value of “Big Data” when coupled with the power and speed of the SAP HANA platform, enabling organisations to reveal and act upon untapped opportunities and hidden risks.

sap“There is a lot of untapped insight that could be exposed from exploding internal and external, structured and unstructured data sources,” said Dan Vesset, vice president, Business Analytics solutions, IDC. “Predictive capabilities help businesses explore and identify the opportunities and risks hiding in the sea of all that big data. SAP’s integrated approach to predictive analytics helps more users learn not only what has happened, but also understand why it happened, what might happen and what the best course of action is.”
Predictive modeling has traditionally been the domain of statisticians and data scientists. However, the intuitive interface and stunning visualisation of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis are intended to bring predictive insight to an under-served user community – the business analyst. With the software, analysts can create models either by using the predictive algorithms included or can integrate and use algorithms from the widely-used R open-source data analysis and statistical language. SAP plans to enable customers to use the software for instant insight into large data volumes to anticipate future opportunities and risks. Examples include:

  • Understanding how historical sales, costs and other key metrics translate to future performance
  • Seeing how predicted results compare with goals
  • Revealing the causes of customer satisfaction and employee turnover
  • Showing how past and emerging trends impact the bottom line
  • Finding correlations in data for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
  • Locating anomalies and clusters for targeted analysis
Unleash the Value of Big Data With SAP HANA

While SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis is planned for availability via standalone deployment, the software is also intended to uniquely unlock the value in “Big Data” when utilised with the SAP HANA database, which provides a data mining and statistical function library. Access to data sources outside of SAP HANA is planned, including universes, SAP® Sybase IQ server and more.
Once data – structured, unstructured or both – is loaded into SAP HANA or an alternative data source, data and business analysts will be able to benefit from intuitive predictive modeling, beautiful advanced visualizations and data exploration, all with a drag-and-drop interface for data selection, preparation and processing.
Insights can then be delivered to dashboards, alerts and mobile devices, or accessed by other analytics solutions from SAP such as the SAP® BusinessObjects™ Business Intelligence (BI) platform, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer® and SAP® BusinessObjects™ Web Intelligence® software, as well as Microsoft Office applications.

Bring Predictive Analytics to Everyone in the Business

SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis and SAP HANA are important steps in SAP’s goal of bringing predictive insight to everyone in the organization – not just the analysts. This means extending predictive capabilities to where people work: into business applications, BI and collaboration environments, and on mobile devices.
SAP has already delivered predictive applications powered by SAP HANA to numerous industries, and is aggressively expanding its predictive applications portfolio.
Utilities companies, for example, use SAP Smart Meter Analytics software to identify energy-consumption patterns and perform customer segmentation. Retailers use predictive algorithms in SAP HANA to hone in on product relationships and their associated financial performance in achieving corporate targets, as well as view store-level performance and conduct what-if demand model scenarios. Sales teams, similarly, use predictive capabilities extended into SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions to generate up-to-date pipeline reports, drill down on individual leads and make projections for the end of the fiscal period.
“Analytics solutions from SAP are powering a decision-making revolution for businesses that recognize the future starts a second from now, not a week or a year from now,” said John Schweitzer, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, SAP. “That’s why predictive applications must be intuitive, where people work and powered by real-time performance. With SAP’s comprehensive approach to predictive analytics, more people in the business can explore, visualize and share insights from exploding volumes and varieties of data.”
SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis is currently available via the SAP Ramp-Up program.

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