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Combining In-Memory Computing and Decisive KPIs to Increase Executive Insight

Business executives want to accelerate insight, act decisively, and influence performance as it happens, rather than waiting to react to outcomes – a kind of real-time performance optimization for humans. While data analysis ability on this level may sound like the stuff of sci fi, or at least a lofty aspiration, breakthroughs in in-memory technology now make it more possible than ever. Harness in-memory computing to bring real-time information and indicators to life, allowing execs to make decisions and affect outcomes as they develop. 

SAP HANA software enables organizations to support in-the-moment analysis of business operations using huge volumes of detailed information. This flexible, multi-purpose, and source-agnostic in-memory appliance combines SAP software with hardware components optimized and delivered by SAP partners, to speed decision making and increase performance. image

Using SAP HANA, organizations can instantly explore and analyze all transactional and analytical data from virtually any source; operational data is captured in memory as business happens, and flexible views can expose analytics based on customized KPIs at the speed of thought. External data can be added to analytic models to expand analysis across an organization.

But real-time data availability is only one piece of the puzzle, albeit an important one. The first step to building a state-of-the-art business intelligence system that capitalizes on SAP HANA is to ensure that such powerful technology analyzes the right performance indicators to begin with.

Many companies use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track performance and improve results. But not all indicators actually reflect performance; in fact, most just report results. The difference is subtle but crucial: many measures termed KPIs should instead be categorized as key result indicators (KRIs). Where KRIs highlight retrospective results, KPIs provide the information execs need to improve performance in the future. Monitoring KPIs supports proactive decision making, not just retrospective analysis.

Here is how to differentiate KPIs from KRIs:

Key Performance Indicator – KPI

Key Result Indicator – KRI

Represents performance as it happens

Represents trends and indicates direction

Leads to preemptive measures and decisions for improving results

Leads to reactionary and post-mortem activities

Measured frequently

Measured periodically; provides perspective over time


  • Order closing/delivery time
  • Customer complaints
  • Inventory/out-of-stock incidents


  • Customer satisfaction
  • Net profit
  • Return on investment

Now bring SAP HANA – revolutionary in-memory technology – together with the right KPIs, and watch the business insights accelerate. The combination allows executives and managers to steer business operations in real time for the desired outcome: better performance and higher productivity. 

For more information on SAP HANA, please visit:

For more information on KPIs and performance analytics, please visit:

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