Our world is becoming more and more connected. Data, machines, people and processes are interlinked in ways we could only imagine before. With 15 billion web-enabled devices and an emerging global middle class poised to exceed five billion, transaction, machine-to-machine, and conversation data is doubling worldwide every 18 months.

While this can be daunting to think about, at SAP we see immense, untapped value in this data – and a huge opportunity to translate that value into tangible business outcomes. By accessing the data and making it fit for analytic use, we help our customers identify trends that reveal new markets, channels, and innovations. The bottom line: Data and its corresponding insight can be catalysts for employee empowerment, decision making, and an increased reach and relevance in the marketplace.

An Untapped Opportunity

Many organizations remain challenged on how to capitalize on the value of their data. The most common obstacles include:

  • Not enough access to needed data – It’s hard to manage and consume all available information when there is so much of it. Using only the most accessible information can mean missing new signals.
  • Too many systems – Many organizations rely on a patchwork of products, approaches, and methodologies. Managing such a mashup can quickly become unwieldy and expensive – and lead to suboptimal decision making.
  • Outdated BI tools – Many key reports are based on week- or month-old data, when the pace of business demands real-time analysis encompassing predictive analytics, visualization tools, and data discovery.

The Business Value Cycle

To stay competitive you need to overcome the obstacles and derive the maximum value possible from your data. The most successful organizations document their value creation process using analytics to inform both strategic initiatives and tactical operations. We refer to this as the Business Value Cycle discover, plan, inform, and anticipate.

Analytics in Action

Companies who leverage the full potential of analytics can boost efficiency, enter new markets and squeeze margin from existing businesses. Let’s look at a fictitious example. Acme Power’s board of directors declared that the company will rebrand itself in 2015 as a leading green energy company while keeping maintenance and operations costs at current rates. This new initiative requires Acme to expand into new customer markets while maintaining their traditional power customers. Analyzing its social media data lets Acme determine brand sentiment and monitor fluctuations as the rebranding initiative evolves. The company can also predict field equipment, turbine, and solar panel maintenance based on meter and usage data. They can also track high-value assets and truck movements for inefficient usage or abnormal behavior which helps cut costs and enables investment into new markets.

Using analytics and the business value cycle, Acme can discover and assess the risks or their business transformation, devise a strategy and plan, inform the organization, and gain valuable insight with real-time reporting to anticipate and predict the potential outcomes. In addition, Acme can improve many aspects for their business using analytics that include:

  • Regulatory compliance-With governance, risk and compliance software, Acme can monitor hanging regulations to ensure compliance as they enter new markets.
  • Business transformation planning and costs-Acme can plan their budgets, consolidate and report on their subsidiary performance and the impact of their new corporate initiatives.
  • Brand sentiment-Using business intelligence the marketing department can capture, analyze and visualize their social media comments to improve customer experience and optimize campaign performance.
  • Predictive maintenance-The field operations team can analyze a continuous stream of machine data and diagnostics to predict performance degradation and significantly minimize equipment downtime to ensure customer satisfaction.

SAP Analytics: Creating Business Value Through Data

I’ve used Acme as a simplistic example but there are so many ways for organizations to begin leveraging analytics today to gain the most insight into their business whether it is to launch new products, channels or into new markets. SAP offers a complete portfolio of analytics solutions designed to extract meaning from internal and external data, unlocking the value that empowers business success.

To learn more about how SAP Analytics can help you drive business value with data, visit us at www.sap.com/analytics.

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