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19
Mar

Game changer or Incremental – SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 (and EPM 10)


“The riskier our business problems the more we rely on analytics”
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SAP AG recently released a new 4.0 version of its BI (business intelligence) and EIM (enterprise information management) solutions.  They also released Enterprise Performance Management (EPM 10).

We think this will be a big deal for current customers who are struggling to build a robust enterprise foundation for BI for the diverse business initiatives. Having multiple BI projects with each on a slightly different data hubs leads to chaos and insights where people are unsure about what the numbers mean as they could be interpreted differently along the information chain.

We expect a significant upgrade cycle looming for the SAP community.

BusinessObjects 4.0  is a major release after the merger of SAP and BusinessObjects in 2007 and SAP and Sybase in 2010. It incorporates a significant capability enhancement that business users and CIOs are demanding around analytics – more real-time, better in-memory computing; BI for the masses – powerful BI in users hands, mobile BI capabilities across a wide spectrum of devices; combining structured and unstructured information and providing the tools to govern the information and finally dealing with the growing avalanche of social media data.  Also a common “look and feel” and better data visualization provides a better overall User Experience.

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14
Mar

Practical BI – What CEOs want from BI and Analytics


“There are many methods for predicting the future. For example, you can read horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls. Collectively, these methods are known as “nutty methods.” Or you can put well-researched facts into sophisticated computer models, more commonly referred to as “a complete waste of time.”

Scott Adams, The Dilbert Future

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Are  you clear on your objective? What is the most important value proposition that you want to achieve through BI and analytics enabled strategies?

  • Reduction in operating expenses
  • Increased profitability
  • Improve growth, competitiveness and market position
  • Customer acquisition, loyalty and retention
  • Product development and differentiation

The mis-alignment between what C-suite wants and what IT is capable of delivering is quite extraordinary. Many CFOs, CEOs believe that IT is unable to deliver results where it counts: the top line and bottom line. At the same time, IT organizations spend an incredible amount of time, money and resources simply reporting the obvious data within their business processes and workflows. The data overload is making find the obvious in the increasing tidal wave of structured and unstructured data a full-time job. As organizations emerge from the deep recession of 2008, the competitive pressures are putting even greater demands on the decision-making, KPIs and performance management processes of organizations.

To stay competitive means making better decisions more quickly. It means accelerating the “raw data -> clean data -> information -> insight -> decision cycle.”  It dictates widening the scope and scale of the data management domain, the analytic landscape and the technological infrastructure.

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13
Mar
Courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Data Visualization- The Medium is the Message


Marshall McLuhan‘s enigmatic phrase – medium is the message-  from the sixties gives him credit for predicting the World Wide Web 30 years ago.  He could have just as well have been talking about Data Visualization for Business Analytics. While information management technology has grown at a blistering pace, the human ability to process and comprehend numerical data has not.

Visualization opens up the channel of communication between the technologists who create the data and the business people who act upon it.  Data visualization tools, such as mashups, executive dashboards, KPI and performance scorecards and other data visualization technology, are becoming more popular and necessary to deal with mind numbing charts and exponential data growth.

However, the C-Suite has heard about the promise of dashboards and interactive scorecard for a few decades now and is typically dissatisfied with what they get from IT and the speed at which they get it. The big difference is that visualization technologies have finally advanced to a level where they can give actionable intelligence to the right people at the right time at the right place.

Lets take for instance an a mobile BI solution using a tool such as an Apple iPad. This gives the business executive the ability to manipulate the data with the ease of reading an e-book.  The visualization library that you can draw upon to create an interactive experience on the iPad includes:

There are three critical business requirements addressed by such a solution. These are:   Read more »

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