It’s been a busy year for the SAP analytics blog! So many great things happened that I decided to do a three-part series to highlight them.This year saw so many great things happening at the SAP analytics blog, that it’s taking a three-part series to cover all the topics. In this first post, I cover the year’s key themes for big data and mobility, with links to the posts you might’ve missed.
2012 started with a bang, when presenters at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit revealed that the analytics market was continuing to grow at more than 16 percent, much faster than overall IT spending. Why so high? Maybe because every dollar spent on analytics pays back more than $10 – a more than 1,000percent return on investment.
Analytics and business intelligence (BI) proved their importance by taking back the number one spot on the list of CIO technology priorities , followed by mobile, cloud, and collaboration. Gartner calls these “the Nexus forces,” and emphasizes that they will disrupt existing business models and give new opportunities to companies that master them. IDC concurs, saying priorities have shifted from building an integrated enterprise to optimizing business processes. In addition, these four key technologies are enabling a new breed of analytic capabilities.
Experience shows that analytics success requires an informed-aligned-adapt process to drive an analytics culture, and that means taking a strategic approach. Today, only 27 percent of firms do a better job of using analytics than most of their competitors. A common problem’s a proliferation of data silos, and research reveals compelling reasons to standardize on a single analytics platform like the latest release of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 suite.
If you’re an existing customer of the software, SAP has created updated training videos and enablement events to help you make the move. There’s also a webinar to help you choose the right BI tool for your environment, and an informative webcast with customer Molson Coors, which shares its BI upgrade experiences.
Big Data Was Big News
2012 was clearly the year of big data. SAP executive Steve Lucas explained the problem and opportunities and gave an overview of SAP’s real-time data platform, which is centered on in-memory SAP HANA and includes technologies such as Sybase IQ, Sybase ESP, and integration with Hadoop. Sanjay Poonen talked on Bloomberg Televisionabout how SAP’s big data strategy compared to the competition.
With Feature Pack 3.0 of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, customers can now natively access to SAP HANA as well as new data sources such as Hadoop. The in-memory technology also allows SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse to get a big performance boost and the year saw some extreme examples of accessing big data.
A demonstration at the Strata Conference showed big data in action – a retailer gathered insights by comparing existing point-of-sale records against user visits to product web pages. And at SAPPHIRENOW Madrid, a great McLaren Telemetry demonstration brought together real-time, big data, dashboards, and mobile exploration.
One of the year’s big leaps forward was the release of the first in-memory applications that allow operations and analytics in a single environment, enabling unprecedented opportunities for real-time insight.
Mobile Was on the Move
Having a “mobile first” strategy for analytics was another big theme of 2012. Clearly, mobile’s the future of business, with organizations enabling critical moments of engagement. The business case for mobile analytics is compelling, and there are many examples of how it can be used in the real world, including everything from analyzing “Linsanity” to mobile banking and mobile voice analytics. Even SAP provides real life examples –SAP’s chief marketing officer, Jonathan Becher, uses his iPad to monitor and track SAP marketing performance.
However, organizations interested in using mobile need to do more than invest in new tools – they need to watch out for some of the security and management complexities of mobile devices. 2012 saw a deluge of new SAP mobile products that included a series of several fast iterations of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and SAP BusinessObjects Mobile , for Android devices. The release of the iPhone 5 resulted in yet another release (and a suspicious spike in the number of lost phones).
One of the hottest topics was the future strategy for mobile dashboards, with a host of new mobile releases including the general availability of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, formerly known as “project Zen”. A lot of discussion revolved around how dashboards are changing, and the key steps that should be taken for success.
For more of the Year in Review, check out the second part of my series tomorrow, where I’ll cover data discovery, data quality, predictive analysis, the cloud, and more.