Series 2: SAP xApps Analytics – How does this help me?
Exactly this was what I was wondering when I first tried to build an analytical application using xApps Analytics. When I tried to build the first application using xApp analytics …I had more questions than answers? Well, quite naturally I wanted to be convinced about the value proposition myself, before I could showcase this to my customers. After all SAP xApp Analytics was not the first technology by which I could build analytical applications. We had been making analytical applications for so long and there are already many established technologies which helps us, achieve our goal. So it was important to find out what added value I get building applications using xApps analytics.
This led me to critically analyze the analytical application design process, and with that the answers started coming in as well.
Now let me ask you few question before I proceed:
1. Do you consider analytics as a post-process to transactions in your business process design?
2. Are you able to “roll-in” the insight from analytics into the design and planning of the business process?
3. How easy is it for you to get information from various data sources for the design of your analytical applications?
4. How easy is it for you to modify the analytical application to keep pace with the ever changing needs of the business users?
5. Are your transactional steps provided with relevant contextual information at the right time, for better decision making?
Let me illustrate a real world scenario and the need for relevant right-time information:
And what happens when we do not have “right-time” information:
Now let me enumerate the value proposition delivered by xApps analytics:
1. Improved business process modeling capabilities by combining data from multiple sources in a unified view.
2. Improved decision making capabilities by providing actionable insights at each step of transactional process.
3. Model driven approach for generating analytical applications reducing development time for application.
4. Ease of modification of the models, thus the analytical applications are in sync with the evolving business user needs.
Lets look at the business process life cycle, as it exists today. We would find the familiar phases: Strategy, Planning, Execution and then Analysis. In some cases the analysis provides the feedback to the Strategy and the Planning systems. In real life, though we have feedback loop established between the transactional systems and the planning systems, how often is this channel efficiently used in real business scenarios.
Well, lets us for a moment, assume that we have managed to integrate the complex system landscapes and have managed to integrate the feedback loop into the planning systems. Anybody who has tried to implement such a project where we plan to have automated or even manual intelligent patterns extracted from the data warehouse and use them as feedback inputs to the planning system, with the current systems, would agree that this definitely would be a complex project involving several days of development effort.
So we very clearly see how difficult it is to extract the actionable intelligence from the current system landscape today. Well why do I want to discuss this important issue in this context? Because I would like to illustrate how we could solve this using actionable intelligence derived from analytical applications powered by SAP xApps Analytics, and this would be available to you not after tedious implementation but just in days and you could be having such insights in weeks.
To highlight some of the key challenges in the business process- let me bring some concept very fundamental to the SAP xApp Analytics. The re-engineered business process of today needs to be enhanced by combining the transactional and the analytical steps in a unified process flow. The analytics is associated with each step of the transactional workflow so that insightful decision could be taken at each point in time of the process. We bring a paradigm that analytics is not post -process, analytics is very much integral part of the process and every transactional step is supported by insights from analytical application both pre as well as post process. Another key cornerstone of analytics is that decisions need to be taken by analyzing the 360 degrees view of the organization than just taking actions based on silos of information providing the incomplete picture.
So here is a sample application developed by combining various data sources:
And a summary of the benefits derived from such an application.
Well, if these ideas start to make some difference in your thinking, and answers, some of your questions, then I am sure you would start realizing the value delivered from the xApp Analytics. With this overview set forth in this blog, I would like to present in my next blog a case study to highlight the aspects which I have discussed here.