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Believe it or not, the history of innovation is a story of lucky breaks. But the era of serendipity is over. Now business creativity is dominated by data-driven insights.

Starting next week, we will look at how this works – and how it will work in the future. Beginning with the changing nature of data management, we will cover vital issues such as managing Big Data (in and out of the cloud), moving towards real-time data, Big Data analytics, quality and governance, transactional data management, mobile data, and the Internet of Things.

  

But, first, here are some amazing tales of the unexpected.

  

Microwave oven

An American engineer named Percy Spencer walked past a radar wave creator with a candy bar in his pocket. He investigated the inevitable result – and invented the microwave oven.

  

Penicillin

In 1928 a Scottish scientist named Alexander Fleming returned from holiday to find an unspecified mildew had killed his samples of staphylococci bacteria. He had discovered penicillin and paved the way for modern antibiotics.

  

Teflon

About 80 years ago, chemist Roy Plunkett was trying to produce a new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant. When the tetrafluoroethylene gas in its pressure bottle suddenly stopped flowing, Plunkett found the inner surface of the bottle was coated with a waxy, white, slippery material – that eventually became known as Teflon.

  

Ink-jet printer

Canon developers were experimenting with ink-jet printing but struggling to generate enough force to shoot ink from the chamber. Until one of them accidentally left a soldering iron next to the tip of an ink-filled pen – and the problem was solved.

 

Vaseline

In 1859 chemist Robert Chesebrough decided to try his luck in the oil business. The odd substance on his workers’ machines was a nuisance until they found it could heal their cuts and scrapes. Ten years later, Chesebrough was producing the first pure Vaseline.

So, what can we learn from these stories? Well, you can wait for coincidence or forgetfulness, accident or luck, the unexpected or a second chance. Or you can walk a smarter, faster, and simpler path to business innovation.

  

The SAP® Real-Time Data Platform, with the SAP HANA® platform at its core, is a unified data management framework that can process, analyze, and deliver complete, accurate information in real-time for any application or user – turning Big Data into real-time actionable insight that can provide compelling business benefits.

  

This blog series will cover a range of data issues to illustrate how the future is shaping up. We start next week with the changing face of data management – and how businesses are embracing it. If you can’t wait until then, visit www.sap.com/realtime_data or www.SAPBusinessSuitePoweredBySAPHANA.com or join the conversation at #redefinedata.

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