Following on from Clarissa Dold‘s announcement about the KXEN acquisition end-2013, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce to you the latest addition to SAP’s predictive analytics portfolio: SAP Infinite Insight .
The majority of this information is already available through Clarissa’s blog and external PA Roadmap presentation. I started chatting about this topic on this discussion here: Starting with KXEN – [Updated with more info] but it wasn’t enough.
So the purpose of this blog is to offer an overview of the ‘solution brief’ including product positioning; a description of current software modules & deployment options; followed by some mention of future integration plans and tentative possibilities. Finally, a consolidation of useful resources (links etc) for your own on-boarding.
I’ve shown this type content during regional enablement workshops, so I’m hoping it’ll be of use to you too!
- Let’s start with a positioning slide which describes some of the key benefits and features of this product. The key message here is that you don’t need to be a data scientist to use the tool effectively!
- Taking this differentiation further, we can call-out the specific areas where Infinite Insight has clearly gained a competitive advantage over classic data-mining vendors:
- Infinite Insight is revolutionizing the way companies use predictive analytics to make better decisions on petabytes of big data. Their unprecedented solution approach allows line of business users to solve common predictive problems without the need for highly skilled data scientists.
- Infinite Insight is a suite of tools providing predictive analytic applications for the automated creation of accurate and robust predictive models. These solutions replace the classic model creation process, which is manual, repetitive and prone to human error.
- Explorer is an extremely powerful data-manipulation tool, which allows the designer to create derived columns and row-values, effectively “exploding out” existing data into new compound variables and ratios. Lots of semantic definitions and transformations can be authored here into the dataset.
- The Modeler is the main workspace/module for mining activities: Classification, regression, segmentation and clustering. It generates statistical models, and represents them using indicators and chart types.
- Factory is a secured java web-deployed interface, which includes Roles & Rights administration on the server platform. From there, Projects are accessed by users, are assigned Models, and KPI evaluation/Model retraining can be scheduled as Tasks.
- Scorer is a feature that exports regression & segmentation models in different programming languages. The generated code (or SQL) allows models be applied outside of InfiniteInsight. It reproduces the operations made during data encoding and either Classification/Regression or Clustering efforts.
- Social improves decision capacities by extracting the implicit structural relational information of the dataset. You can then navigate a social network, the structure of which is represented in the form of a graph, made of nodes and links. For example, it can help identify individuals of influence within a community.
- Since the announcement Extending Predictive Insight Across the Enterprise with SAP and KXEN , the software components have been re-branded accordingly (for sale on SAP paper), and are broken down as such:
- In terms of licensing and selling ‘software bundles’, smaller departments would likely consider the desktop “thick-client” workstation Modeller installations, whereas larger enterprises would implement the full “suite” of client-server components:
- You need to be prudent when obtaining your package from the SMP download marketplace as there are a number of items available to cover the various license and audience options:
- Infinite Insight’s data mining methods are unique in the market, here are a few of the value propositions & differentiators which set it aside from the competition:
- There is a wealth of existing guides and training available, to help you further your knowledge of the product. The documentation are very detailed, as is the online course, and locally installed media (post-installation):
- The documentation at help.sap.com perfectly complements the RKT learning maps, you’ll be an expert in no time:
- Just to reiterate again, the legacy named “KXEN” has been totally retired from the product portfolio, we are now dealing exclusively with SAP Infinite Insight (II):
- This is the snapshot of the combined “PA” and “II” roadmap plans (subject to change). Whilst Infinite Insight’s capabilities will strengthen for the next +1 release, incremental features will also be ported to the Predictive Analysis (and hence Lumira) client, and Server capabilities will be delegated down to the HANA in-memory processing platform:
- Focusing specifically on Infinite Insight’s next-steps, we will be seeing initially tighter, followed by complete/native integration of ex-KXEN assets into the SAP Predictive Analytics portfolio, in keeping with our commitment to strategic initiatives such as In-Memory, Big Data, Cloud, Mobile and agile Visualization:
- Here’s a non-binding illustration of our go-to-market intentions for 2014. These estimated timelines are subject to change and purely communicated in the spirit of openness:
- One thing is for sure, PA will be the interface going forward (so that Infinite Insight can benefit from its flashy CVOM visualization gallery and HTML5 agility). Our first expectation is that the ex-KXEN proprietary algorithm will start to appear in the Predictive Analysis Designer:
- We’re going to harness the processing power of HANA’s in-memory platform to maximize the reach of KXEN’s unique approach to data mining. Infinite Insight algorithms are going to be rewritten into HANA as ‘function libraries’ that can be called by the Application Foundation Modeler or other SAP apps:
- As mentioned already, we have a vision of a unified client. A single desktop experience that will cover the full spectrum of use-cases, from the casual end-user Lumira ‘visualize’ workflows, through to business-users wanting to ‘predict’, through to analysts/scientists wanting to ‘analyze’ deeper.
- Here’s a mock-up of what that could look like, as the user is guided into the application:
- Other innovations we might see could include an intuitive “drag to forecast” – how pleasant an experience that would be on a tablet device!
- One thing is for sure, Infinite insight’s advanced statistical charts will massively benefit from the refresh they are about to receive from its inclusion into the Lumira suite (CVOM charting and HTML5). We can envisage drill-able charts to find influencers, similar to the BO Set Analysis of old:
- This all ties-in very significantly into the wider plans for SAP Lumira integration, and our roll-out plans for the SERVER version. About which, more info can be found at the GA Announcement page:
** addendum ** (June 2014)
Our good friend and colleagues have been busy!
- Andreas Forster has created a ‘must see’ page for newbie trainingHands-On Tutorial SAP InfiniteInsight
- Also, Kurt Holst and Adem Baykal have created this superb end-to-end document: Embed Predictive into SAP BI Clients