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While doing my holiday shopping online and in between “your transaction is being processed…” breaks I was thinking about how having easy access to information has radically changed the way we shop.

Today we can find all sorts of information, about all products, at all times and by doing that make the best decision regarding a purchase. Our expectations have also changed regarding access to information, latency and accuracy; and we expect the same level of experience everywhere, not just in our personal lives. As a consumer, we are getting as close as we can be to having perfect information.

Perfect Information is information that completely eliminates uncertainty in a situation, as opposed to imperfect information which only reduces uncertainty but does not eliminate it. Buyers can easily compare prices across different brands, stores and even countries. Consumer reviews and feedback give us valuable information about user’s level of satisfaction and the quality of products and services. In the business world, perfect information would practically mean timely, actionable information when it is needed, in the context of business processes enabling quick accurate decisions throughout the work day. Here is where the real power of analytics comes in.

Organizations have been using analytics for decades with the purpose of perfecting information: to reduce uncertainty and create a culture where fact-based decisions prevail over individual’s instincts. Today’s technology innovations are making it easier than ever to empower users with the right information in the way they can best take advantage of it:

Easy access from anywhere, anytime. With Mobile analytics approving a vacation request or checking how many products you have in inventory is as easy as booking a table in a restaurant.

Analysis at lightning speed. Analytics running slow are a thing of the past. Using SAP HANA in-memory appliance doing complex analysis of multi-millions of rows of information is as fast as taking a picture with a camera.

Seamless flow of information. SAP integrated analytics platform makes it possible to connect analytics to your core business processes so that information flows seamlessly throughout your enterprise from the shop floor to the board room.

Ultimately, the art of perfecting information is about taking the data available and making it intelligent so that it can be effectively used to understand, adapt and align with reality. Analytics help companies of all sizes to better understand their business, align people and business processes with the demands of their customers and suppliers, and adapt to the changing dynamics of the market. They are fundamental for perfecting information that will make us more intelligent consumers and more intelligent enterprises.

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