For many business users who rely on their enterprise information to provide insights into their business, Business Analytics solutions become a critical part of their daily operations. It helps them to convert the enterprise data to information resulting in valuable insight that could result into an important decision. The reports and charts often becomes the face of Business Analytics solutions, but there is much more complexity to it than what meets the eye in the form of pretty charts. In this blog I will talk about three important aspects of Business Analytics solution and what SAP is doing to simplify the consumption of such solution to get valuable insights quickly with the delivery of Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS).
Understanding the three critical components of Business Analytics.
Every business needs to focus on the right initiatives to get the best possible insight that drives the right decisions for profitability, competitiveness, efficiency and driving growth. Once the business problem is well defined, business need to know where the data is buried in the enterprise transactions, how that data needs to be transformed to become information and how best the information needs to be presented to end-users to drive the right insight. All these activities are resourse and cost intensive. Finding these “gold nuggets” can become quite expensive if these steps are not well understood. So lets look at this in little more detail.
Getting data from source systems
This happens to be the most complex part of any Business Analytics solution. Knowing where the data exists is complex but understanding how the data can be converted to information is equally complex and critical. The business logic for transactions like Purchase Orders, Invoices, Contracts, Payments etc. along with the relationship between the transaction and master data requires a deep evaluation.
Transforming data into information
Once the data is collected, it is important now to understand how to transform it to derive meaningful information. Purchases may have returns, transactions are in various currencies, Item prices may be in different units/currencies, data coming from different sources may point to the same information. Data standardization is also an import part of the transformation of data into information. Designing a right data-model that facilitates the insight is also important. All this complexity needs to be dealt with before you can really gain the benefits. Often times the insights are not accurate or relevant because the data transformation has not accurately. Hence this step is very critical.
Converting information to insight
When all the data is extracted and transformed, the right visualization is important to ease the consumption of information. This view must be a direct representation of the business. Visualization of key KPI that is based on dimension hierarchy (Time, Geography, Suppliers, Item Categories etc.) makes the insight more meaningful and actions more targeted. Various visualization tools like WEBI, XCelsius, Business Explorer allow different types of visualization and it is critical to understand the strength of available visualization tools to determine a fit for the solution.
As you can see above, the activites are quite complex . We have heard time and time again from customers that the time and costs involved to undertake this is quite high and there was a need to address this .
Rapid Deployment Solutions for Business Analytics
SAP understood this problem and delivered pre-packaged Business Analytics solutions like Spend Analytics, Supply Chain Performance Management, Business Planning and Consolidation and a wide array to solutions under the category of Enterprise Performance Management. While the performance management applications addressed the overall business problems, the implementation of such solutions were different for each customer and presented an opportunity to define the best practices for implementing Business Analytic solutions. Such standardized best practices or standardized services have emerged from customer feedback for solutions across various Lines of Business and Industries.
Rapid Deployment Solutions for Business Analytics addresses this opportunity by taking the solutions like Business Planning and Consolidation, Spend Performance Management etc. and augmenting it services content on top of such solutions in an effort to accelerate the implementations of such applications. By providing a “cookie-cutter” approach, such RDS offerings not only reduce the cost of implementation but also reduce the time-to-value. RDS solutions offer a comprehensive structured approach in order to simplify extraction, transformation and visualization needs. In addition to this RDS also package the relevant business content that includes dashboard, reports and queries specific to business scenario that helps quicker value realization. By delivering Business Analytics @ Speed of Business, now customers have a predictable costs and expectations on time to value. Companies can now adapt quickly to the fast changing economic environment and competitive landscape.
For more information on various Business Analytics Rapid Deployment Solutions available visit our Rapid Deployment Solutions overview. You can also find specific use cases under the Business Analytics Solutions .