On the 23rd February 2017, one hundred business leaders and BI professionals joined us at the Magic Circle, London. With a comprehensive line-up of speakers, the audience were given an update on the latest SAP innovations in business intelligence (BI) and advice about how to jump-start their BI strategy. Focusing on the technical capabilities and tools while relating these to the business benefits, the true capabilities of the very latest SAP analytics solutions and the potential for ROI were revealed.
Collaborative and Predictive Analytics Guides Business Transformation and Decision Making
The SAP Analytics Summit kicked off with presentations from Stephen Jamieson, Head of Analytics & Insight SAP UK and Andy Steer, our CTO. Explaining the SAP analytics roadmap, the speakers revealed the new SAP innovations in business intelligence.
- Self Service
- Predictive Analytics
- Big Data
- The audience was captivated listening to Andy and Stephen give an introduction to SAP BW/4HANA and explain why collaborative and predictive analytics are becoming core to decision-making.
Digital Transformation is Disrupting Everything
With the following trends towards digital disruption, the need for just in time agile decision making has never been so important, reported Stephen Jamieson. SAP technology is acting as the enabler between people, process, devices and data flow to ensure executives make the correct decisions in real time.
- It is estimated there will be 21 billion connected devices by 2020.
- 75% of B2B buyers already use social media in their purchasing decisions.
- It is predicted there will be a four-fold growth in global cloud data traffic by 2020.
The Challenges of Delivering BI
Taking the stage again, Andy Steer presented the challenges of delivering BI in 2017 in the context of a BusinessObjects user. Andy also explained how organisations can get the most out of their SAP investment. He expanded with a focus on how to factor SAP’s product roadmap into their own BI strategy. The presentation covered the new dynamics of decision making and how this is having an unavoidable effect on data management and the methods used to create, curate, secure and deliver insight.
If the objective of BI and predictive analytics is to anticipate and identify opportunities or problems before they arise and take action to change course, the SAP BusinessObjects platform achieves this through simulating scenarios on-the-fly. Predictive, suggestive analytics and machine learning or AI helps you intimately understand your business, allowing you to quickly offer recommended actions.
The NEXUS of Forces and Digital Disruption
The convergence of analytics, social, mobile and cloud are disrupting the BI value chain and dramatically affecting the data flow through people to actions. The SAP analytics solutions help us navigate these waters channelling the data streams through predictive analytics and learning machines to people and devices with active feedback.
- The cloud will give your organisation flexibility. The ability for deployments to scale elastically to mirror your scope.
- Subscription licensing will keep your costs down and optimised.
- Accelerated release cycles ensure you are always up to date.
- A reduced requirement for internal IT skills will reduce your costs and make the culture more dynamic.
- Mobile allows your staff to have stunning interactivity anytime, anyplace and virtually anywhere.
- Cross-platform capability means you can use your phone, tablet, laptop, iOS, Android, Windows or osX to access the system.
- Social integration and listening helps identify, understand and engage your culture, stakeholders and clients.
- You can influence the conversations that are being had about you, your brand and your products.
- You can take advantage of all the data that is available inside and outside your organisation in order to deliver insight and drive performance.
Core Development That Makes It Happen
- At the core of the new SAP BI platform is collaboration between departments. Using tools, cloud apps and applications such as Hadoop, Spark, SQL, Oracle, DB2 and Teradata the workforce, finance, supply chain and other departments can collaborate with a focus on your customers. The design philosophy is to make things as easy and simple for you as possible without the need for data-prep tasks such as data parsing, JSON and HTML imports. This gives superior performance with an easy to follow user interface and crucially, openness of the platform to users without compromising security.
Trends in Analytics and BI You Should be Aware of
Concluding, Andy discussed the main trends in analytics and BI.
- Technology that helps you get on top of the data.
- Andy said, “it is very important that you pay close attention to the quality of the data you have, who is going to use it and the governance that sits around that”.
- Technology that helps you make better decisions in real time.
- Andy went on, “You need to think about interactive information that can be delivered across a variety of platforms, so people can make the decisions in the moment rather than having to wait until they can access a traditional report”.
Further presentations included a live demonstration of the modern SAP analytic apps. This engaging presentation was delivered through the roles of an ‘Executive’ and ‘Business Analyst’ in a scenario that showcased the very latest SAP BusinessObjects tools. The session brought to life the vision of big data, predictive, immersive analytics and speed of thought, and presented agile visualisations, mobility and incorporated structured and unstructured data sources. The key objective was to present how common business issues can be solved, and productivity improved, through the process of ‘insight to action’.