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What a feeling! The 2014 FIFA World Cup is on, and the upsets have begun. The clouds have opened up and the showers of rain and goals promise a Cup to remember.

I love football. But I hate cliffhangers. I’ve always want to know or predict what happens next. Maybe it’s from the business side of my mind, always trying to reduce uncertainty, always hoping to use data to analyze and predict outcomes and failures.

I tried SAP Lumira’s free personal edition on some Spanish League data. I quickly found some publicly available statistical information on the last three Spanish League seasons, and tossed it into Lumira.

I was amazed how quickly the data got uploaded and arranged itself by measures etc., ready for me to analyze.

Then I tried a bubble chart analyzing players by goals scored and assists compared to games started. We often need to analyze business data in more than two dimensions. Maybe compare income and expenses but at the same time compare with population or location etc. and visualize data to see patterns and problems.

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Just like most business users, I’m not a technology wizard. But creating these analyses only took me minutes. Now I can run them again and again when the data sets are updated.

I didn’t need to ask any IT help! It was totally self-service! The power, intuitiveness and simplicity of Lumira made the data analysis almost painless. You need very little help from IT, which helps you free up your IT resources, perhaps to build public websites or other tools instead of spending their time writing and producing reports. This helps increase efficiency and to reallocate resources.

Lumira can also build geographical-data visualization screens. This can help add a completely different dimension to the analysis and helps better understand trends for citizen service, trends related to traffic and crime, or greater need for recreational services.

Even better than just having charts – it’s simple to create a storyboard from them.  Executives can easily use storyboards to review reports and trends.

So let me show you a storyboard that I quickly created by easy drag and drop of existing screens, adding some filters and throwing in images in the background. Here’s a tag cloud chart showing the top three teams over those three years, and then a deeper analysis of their performance over various criteria. This single screen conveys a wealth of information using an intuitive visual medium.

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Finally, sharing your work is extremely simple, just click to publish it on the cloud.

In case you missed the action and the Soccer Showcase at SapphireNow in Orlando, here’s a video that shows how the German national team will leverage SAP technology in FIFA 2014. And here’s a fascinating story regarding the ball design for the World Cup.

So, back to the FIFA World Cup, and don’t you want to know who’s predicted to win?

Just head over to www.sap.com/soccer-analysis and try playing with the data yourself and predict your 2014 FIFA winner! Feel the power in your own hands (or feet)!

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