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Author's profile photo Eamon Ida

How Analytics Fits into Your Next Digital Transformation

We hear a lot about digital transformation these days, and the groundbreaking technologies that will lead to these transformations, like Blockchain, IoT (internet of things), ML (machine learning), AI (artificial intelligence), the Cloud, and analytics, just to name a few. All it takes is a look at advertisements from various tech companies (and now every company is a tech company) in Harvard Business Review, Wired, or the Wall Street Journal to see the examples in action.

Much of the message revolves around leveraging these new technologies to disrupt existing models and create new value. But many business leaders who are new to these technologies—though  not lacking in curiosity about their potential—wonder how they can leverage these different technologies. Can they be connected and surfaced together to create true digital innovation systems?  By showcasing scenarios (like our SAP Live Airport demo), we’ve shown how our analytics cloud platform helps to solve these questions and connect technology together to make smarter decisions faster and at the speed of market changes.

Source: An IDC infographic sponsored by SAP.

Digital Transformation and Machine Learning

Machine learning is one example. In scores of today’s business scenarios, algorithms are instantly suggesting intelligent decisions for use in more involved decision making or where many variables are present. But in many cases, we’re still at the point where humans need to approve the machine (or robot) decision by hand.

However, scheduling a predictive maintenance repair to one or more of your vehicles in a fleet before damage occurs, changing the route of a vehicle in the supply chain to avoid traffic that will delay delivery, or detecting patterns in transactions before a fraud occurs—all of these are examples of intelligent decisions suggested by machine learning. (Read the article, SAP and Trenitalia’s IoT-Enabled Dynamic Maintenance.)

These decision suggestions or approvals are best located in an analytics platform, where we can surface up not only the recommended decisions, but also contextual data from other sources (such as geographic or IoT information) to improve the quality of the decision.

Digital Transformation and IoT

When we consider IoT data, the value of analytics becomes even clearer—sensor technology, for example, can produce data every second or, in many instances, milliseconds. With analytics, we’re able to surface up this sensor data, along with data from other sources, to a real-time dashboard that provides both real-time and actionable insights into sensor data and activity.

Digital Transformation and Cloud Platforms

With the democratization of data and the inevitable transparency of business in today’s connected world, we need to consider investments in technology that allow us to provide these platforms to employees, customers, and vendors all around the world. This is where the beauty of the SAP Cloud Platform, powered by SAP HANA comes into play.

Using a cloud platform not only enables innovation at scale, but also the connection of disparate data sources and technologies together. Just look at companies in industries such as airlines, delivery, and health care (just to name a few). Disruptors abound who are building “cloud first” and are not just using analytics internally but are providing it to customers as a competitive advantage.

Source: An IDC infographic sponsored by SAP.

Questions? We Have Answers

So you, like many of the leaders we speak with, might be wondering, What are some examples of digital transformation where analytics and data have played a critical role? What are some of the biggest challenges or roadblocks to more pervasive and effective analytics, and what are some of the best practices you have seen in the use of analytics?

We want to help answer these questions. As a result, SAP recently completed a new paper with IDC on the Value of Analytics in Digital Transformation. In it, we answer all of these common questions and more with the help of industry experts. Read it to learn how you and your organization can leverage the disruptive powers of analytics in your next digital transformation.

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