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Author's profile photo Peter Baumann

Data Strategy with SAP – Data Performance for Decision Making

Together with BARC, my colleagues conducted a study on the topic of data performance.


We define Data Performance as

“The measure of how much value is generated from data for the business.”

A classical area to make use of data and analytics is for Decision Making – The majority of enterprises today assume, that data makes a significant contribution to making better decisions. Reasons for a better data usage are a higher availablity of data and improvements in data literacy. However, there are still many companies that do not collect enough hard data and facts about the use of their reports, dashboards and data treasures and rely on their gut feeling to develop them further. Companies need to pay more attention to how their systems are being used so they can take the right steps to improve their data culture.


As we know, SAP ist enhancing it’s core product S/4HANA with analytical apps, embedded analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning possibilities via ISLM. So you can start in all this flavors with analytics and making use of the data you already working in an operational context.

While not everything here is automatically for self-service, the latest cloud-based applications SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and SAP Datasphere where made with the end user in mind, enabling departments and business analysts to get insights fast e. g. via augmented analytics features in (SAC) or Spaces and self-service data preparation via SAP Datasphere. The tools enable acceleration in Data & Analytics for different user groups and a flexible collaboration model with IT.


While data is important, the availablity of tools today is the smaller challenge. Poor quality and available but less relevant data is getting more transparent and shows that data governance and data culture plays an additional important role.


For the state of Decision Making the study shows the following results:

Fig. 1: How are decisions made in the company and what role do data and experience play in this process? (N=216)


The result shows, that on the one hand all the companies which were interviewed, make use of data for decision making. On the other hand there was also no company making decisions purely data-based. Even if I think data should play a major role in decision making, I expect human experience should always play an important part in Decision Making.

Maybe more interesting is, all companies answer that data adds at least some value. For more than 90% the added value is high or even very high:

Fig. 2: How high is the added value of data for decision-making in your company? (N=222)


Typically we see two other areas to measure value with data:

  • Process optimization through data and analytics
  • External monetization of data through analytics


If you are interested in further details the study is available here or get into contact with me.


Finally one question to you, dear reader – What is the state of Decision Making in your company and which value adds data here?

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