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Author's profile photo Stephen Lofthouse

Enrich, support and contextualise student learning

The SAP ecosphere is grappling with a well-known challenge. The obligatory transition of customers to the cloud is hindered by a dearth of consultants, an ageing workforce, and a slow influx of new entrants; formidable obstacles.

And yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

I have long championed the cause of contextualised learning, leveraging real-world technology to bring academic concepts to life and enhance the learning experience in our universities.

Over the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with the Business School at Nottingham University, a prestigious, triple-A accredited institution with a diverse student body of around 4000. These bright, motivated learners, pursuing degrees in finance, accounting, and management, provide the ideal environment for the integration of real-world business technology into academia.

The Digital Centre of Excellence we have created has been the central hub from where we have pursued technology enrichment of our courses. We’ve successfully integrated technologies such as S4/HANA, ERPSim, SAP Business ByDesign, and SAP Analytics Cloud into various course modules, with plans for further technological inclusions on the horizon. The students have embraced this innovative approach, seizing the opportunities that such diverse learning avenues offer.

One such opportunity is esports.

Recently, we had the exciting opportunity to accompany a group of our students, ranging from undergraduates to MBA candidates, to the electrifying E-Sports, League of Legends World Series in London.


As a long-in-the-tooth SAP’er, it was an eye-opening experience. The crowd display a level of passion and commitment akin to the most ardent football supporter. And our students were slap-bang in the middle of it, shouting, whooping and supporting the teams.

You might be wondering, what does this have to do with SAP? The answer is simple: Data. It’s all about harnessing the power of data.

The League of Legends tournament platform takes a dump of 160 data points, every second. A tournament match may last a couple of hours, and there are numerous matches in a series. That all adds up to a very large amount of data.

SAP proudly sponsors one of the leading e-Sports teams, Team Liquid. In collaboration with Martin Gollogly, we’ve crafted a project designed to enrich and contextualise our students’ learning experience.

The students get access to the game data, all 28 GB. They need to use SAP Analytics Cloud to analyse the data and answer three questions about resource usage that will inform Team Liquids’ strategy going forwards. Students can then extend the project and use game theory to identify novel trends and insights and develop strategies for different scenarios that Team Liquid may face.

This may be e-Sports, however, the parallels to the business world are there. Analysis of a large volume of complex data to identify trends found in resource usage and allocation. Analysis of competitor strategies, and development of competing strategies to drive business growth. All wrapped up in e-Sports – a multimillion-dollar global sport, that students understand.


Students from Nottingham University Business School and interns from SAP UK, together with Broxah from Team Liquid

The project is set to run for 8 weeks, at the end of which the students must present their findings, built as a story in SAP Analytics Cloud, back to Team Liquid. After that, they have the opportunity to sit for their SAP Analytics Cloud certifications.

Opportunities like this are invaluable for students. They not only provide a platform for contextualised learning but also allow students to develop new skills and apply their existing knowledge to real-world scenarios. This hands-on experience, directly paralleled with the business world, enhances their employability and makes them a safer recruitment bet for businesses.


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      Author's profile photo Maren Kijewski
      Maren Kijewski

      This is incredible!