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Data driven X+O insights with Qualtrics and SAP IBP – Part 1

SAP Integrated Business Planning fully integrates with Qualtrics’ intelligent Experience Management system to gather, analyze, and interpret – making X-data actionable and bringing O-data to life for its customers.

Qualtrics XM Product Experience can add customer’s voice during different planning processes. By capturing Customer’s sentiment score about a product into SAP Integrated Business Planning using Qualtrics XM, we sense the market demand for a product. XM brings the power of experience data to enhance the deep operational power of IBP, providing its customers with unparalleled ability to make timely, X+O (Experience and Operational) data driven decisions with confidence.

To sense market demand for a product, IBP users in the past would rely on market studies which were time consuming. The data could come from a variety of sources or even biased by another person’s own experience or perception.

In this Data driven X+O insights with Qualtrics and SAP IBP blog series (4 parts), we walk you thru the steps taken to engage Qualtrics Core-XM in gathering customer responses for a specific product, analyzing sentiments in their responses and including them as external signals for algorithms that forecast demand sensing in SAP IBP.

Pre-requisite

You would need,

  • A Survey distribution mechanism. E.g. Mail based promotion, Online shop or Mobile app
  • A Qualtrics XM account.
  • An integration middle-ware – for this exercise, we developed our integration using SAP Cloud Platform Integration – Data Services.
  • SAP IBP Account with needed settings and
  • SAP IBP Excel plugin.

 X & O data for Demand sensing in SAP IBP

Survey’s to capture a product satisfaction score (X-Data) can be built and hosted in minutes using the Qualtrics XM product Experience tool. For customers to participate, the survey must be reachable to them as part of an experience – while shopping online or reading an email newsletter or a promotion in social media for example. It highly depends on the use case and customer experience you like to give. For simplicity, we distribute the Survey using an anonymous link in an online web shop. We used SAP CX (previously known as Hybris) for this purpose. We created an online store and exposed the Qualtrics Survey for customers to send their feedback. Details on how this can be done to capture responses is well explained in part 2 of this blog series.

Fig 1. High level overview of the over all process

Survey responses in Qualtrics XM are answers for a set of multiple-choice questions, carefully chosen to understand customer satisfaction around a product he or she purchased. The answers to these questions are then scored from a scale between 0 to 10. The scored responses are then aggregated on weekly basis. This can be done for multiple locations or specific products. The reason for aggregating this data on weekly basis depends purely on how demand sensing works in SAP IBP. External signals can be considered as a numerical input (named as product satisfaction score) for machine learning algorithm used in Demand Sensing. This data is based on time profile and has a co-relation with respect to location, customer and product. Part 3 of this blog explains how the key figures and the forecast models are created in SAP IBP for this purpose.

The survey response data, after scoring is then exported to a CSV file. They are pushed into the staging tables of SAP IBP via external tools such as SAP CPI-DS. Once data is available in SAP IBP, demand sensing can be scheduled by assigning a forecast model. Using the SAP IBP Excel plugin, this statistical forecast can be viewed and compared. Part 4 of this blog series explains how this is done in detail. One can also investigate how external signals such as product satisfaction score (X-Data) can be extremely valuable if used together with historical (O-Data) sales orders. Data can be analyzed with respect to location, product and customer groups based on individual use cases. It is also possible to use the SAP IBP Analytics application to build dashboard which can illustrate a story board of different key performance indicators.

Next:-

Part 2 – Setup to capture X – data in Qualtrics Core-XM and blend with Operational data in SAP Integrated Business Planning

Part 3 – Preparing the X – data in Qualtrics Experience Management with reference to Forecast Models in SAP Integrated Business Planning

Part 4 – Using Experience data (X – data) in Qualtrics Experience Management to perform Demand Sensing in SAP Integrated Business Planning with Historical Sales Orders (O – Data)

 

Domnic Savio Benedict
SAP SE
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