What would it take to support end-to-end visibility across all lines of business? First, you’d need access to a wide range of information from throughout the organization and beyond – not just what’s stored in local silos. You’d want to analyze historical data and use it to predict future trends, without limiting the amount of data you consider. Finally, to produce the visibility and insights that drive better business performance, you’d need to analyze these large data sets in real time, with extreme accuracy.
Solutions powered by the SAP HANA in-memory platform use real-time data processing and analysis to provide end-to-end views across multiple critical business functions – including customer, products, and finance. With SAP HANA, you can track a transaction from initiation to the present, then use predictive analytics to project into the future. SAP HANA makes it possible to store, process, analyze, and act on a larger and more varied pool of data faster than ever before. This makes SAP HANA a key to any Big Data strategy.
The Three Vs of Big Data
You may have heard about the three Vs of Big Data: velocity, volume, and variety. SAP HANA can drive significant improvements in all three areas as you transact, store, and analyze data.
- Velocity. Whether you want to identify your most profitable customers or provide a single financial benchmark result, multiple processes spread out across your organization can add to the time needed to generate an answer. SAP HANA allows you to evaluate more data in less time, speeding processes companywide. Do you produce an annual budget? Quarterly sales forecast? Weekly manufacturing report? Now you can generate reports and calculate returns more frequently and easily. What if you could continuously rebalance manufacturing, align your sales force to close more deals, or adjust promotions to reflect daily product profitability? That’s what velocity is all about.
- Variety. What would you do if you could tie your financial results directly to individual customer segments, sales, products, or employees? Bringing together previously siloed data streams can illuminate new patterns. You could drill down into a regional sales slowdown to identify its cause (weather, employee changeover, supplier disruption?) and take immediate action. Coupling SAP HANA with ApacheTMHadoop® allows you to incorporate Twitter feeds and trending topics for updates on customer sentiment and competitive actions. When you bring previously disconnected processes – such as transactional and analytics and executive dashboarding – together, you get answers faster. Even more important, you bring in data from outside the LoB to create a more accurate picture of the situation. SAP HANA lets you integrate customer and product data and compare it against financials, removing analysis time lags and making it easy to prepare timely and insightful customer or product P&Ls.
- Volume. Traditionally, companies review the last few years’ performance to establish a baseline used for business forecasts. The computing power of SAP HANA, however, removes data volume constraints, freeing you to review as many years as you want. Take any volume of data, then apply algorithms and predictive tools to visualize trends. Where it once took hours to run even the most basic linear regression, now you can analyze extremely large data sets, and generate more accurate forecasts, in a fraction of the time.
Just the beginning
The ability of in-memory computing to manage very large amounts of data in real time has revolutionized the way businesses analyze and report on metrics, trends, and performance. Companies can now consider more granular data, execute more complex analyses, and run reports faster and more frequently. But
it turns out that faster, more detailed, and more powerful is just the beginning. In fact, you can use the SAP HANA platform’s in-memory database technology to solve an entire new category of complex business problems. Even when working with large volumes of data, a multitude of independent and dependent variables, time-sensitive material, or other complexities, SAP HANA can handle the job – in record time.
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