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The Decision Factor offers insightful comments and observations on analytics—from views on new technology approaches and market dynamics to the latest industry trends driving demand for faster, smarter information analysis. This blog contains personal views, thoughts, and opinions from SAP employees, mentors, and friends working in the area of analytics. It’s not endorsed by SAP nor does it constitute an official communication of SAP.

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CSPs Can Stay Competitive by Using Data-Driven Insights to Improve Customer Engagement

big data word cloud above a laptop

“Out with the old and in with the new.” Is that the mantra of this new millennium that’s fueled with disruptive changes in business models and enabled by technology? You know what I mean— Skype, Whatsapp, FaceTalk, Facebook (communications), Uber, BlaBlaCar (Transportation), Netflix, iTunes, Napster (entertainment), Amazon (retail), Paypal, and Bitcoin (currency) are all examples.

What are the traditional businesses doing in the wake of such disruption? One thing they can do is hang on to their customer base and provide outstanding customer service, which ensures the customer won’t turn to an alternative. To make this a reality, every …

3 Reasons Why Exceptional User Support Is Key to Success with Mobile

smiling woman talks on mobile phone

As anyone who works with technology knows, the best solutions—even when designed and implemented perfectly—are prone to face challenges at some point. Mobile technology, by its nature, is bound to fail or be misunderstood by some of its users (like any other technology). And when this happens, the longevity of a mobile solution relies on a solid support infrastructure that is consistent and predictable.

First and foremost, we need to bring a mobile mindset when developing and executing our support strategy. Regardless of the size or the scope of the mobile engagement, a mobile mindset should apply …

Real-Time Closing and Disclosing

tain station clock representing close disclose concept

As we continue to examine how technology is helping CFOs successfully deliver greater value, I wanted to extend last week’s discussion of real-time consolidation to also include real-time closing and disclosing of financial information. (See The Drive for Real-Time Consolidations.) These can provide real benefits to all organizations from small to gigantic and everyone in between.

Technology has expanded the work day. Many business are 24/7/365 (hours per days/ days per week/ working every day of the year). The business is like a ship on the ocean, constantly serving. In most organizations, the work does not stop. …

Are You Seeing the Signals? How Finance Analytics and KPIs Can Help CFOs Guide the Way

dashboard displaying MPG as KPI

Have you ever taken a close look at your dashboard when the car computer displays key performance indicators (KPIs)? No? Yes, but not really? I am confident in saying that 99.9% of you will answer with a “not really” type of response, as there are many misleading, so-called KPIs that don’t provide guidance to make the right decision. I can’t understand why customers/drivers of cars have not yet complained about being misled. And I’m surprised they haven’t sued manufacturers for astronomical amounts of money in countries like the U.S. where this is a practice that can get downright bizarre …

The Drive for Real-Time Consolidations

roman numeral clock represents real time

Our exploration of how technology has expanded the roles of CFOs has covered a lot of territory. Whenever I am facing tremendous change, I remember Stephen Covey’s advice “The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.”[i] So it is also with the roles of CFOs.

When CFOs focus on key objectives, they can leverage process innovation to achieve amazing results. While technology enables us to reach out, it also improves the day-to-day work at the core of financial operations. A prime example is the …

5 Myths That Can Derail Your Mobile BI Initiative

mobile BI team sitting around a table

Just starting a mobile business intelligence (BI) initiative doesn’t guarantee its success. Success requires a disciplined approach that considers all facets of the mobile user experience.

Numerous businesses succeed in implementing a strong mobile BI strategy that enables them to drive growth and profitability, while others struggle or stumble with mobile BI. I keep running into several myths that make the planning and execution of mobile BI projects more confusing and complex than they need to be.

Watch out for these five mobile BI myths that can derail your mobile BI initiatives right from the …

Everything I Know About Key Risk Indicators I Learned in Middle School

Firefighters on the Job

A number of years ago, while living near Houston, Texas and working for a major oil company as an audit director, I joined the local volunteer fire department in my community.

As a new member, I was assigned the task of carrying out a fire inspection at our local middle school. I was part of a team that included more highly-trained fellow volunteers.

Auditing Fire Risks

Being an experienced auditor, I was certain I was up to the task. I knew all about controls and I thought that knowledge would come in handy. My plans were to meet up …

How Fast Is Your Financial Close Process?

moving_colors_represent_speed

An organization produces financial statements for various stakeholders. And that organization’s financial statements are its face to the world. The quality and speed with which these are produced are a reflection of the organization as a whole.

Quality can sometimes be measured by the number of restatements or the audit costs, but it’s not that simple. However, speed isn’t subjective and is easy to measure.

An ever-so-true quote from Peter Drucker is, “What gets measured gets managed.” Likewise, organizations try their best to manage the number of days it takes to produce financial statements, which is something that’s easily …

How Do You Measure the Success of Your Mobile BI Project?

Did you know that on average, only 10% of people in organizations use analytics today? This is quite a low amount and frankly, a bit scary that 90% of people are using gut feel—or experience at best—to make decisions. With mobile business intelligence, we have the opportunity to get instant information to many in the organization with an experience that’s right for all of them.

Mobilizing existing BI investments or building new content tailored for mobile users is now easy and cost-effective, so that BI is becoming more pervasive and essential for day-to-day jobs. If you already went and …

Can Advanced Analytics Help a Telecom Business Reduce Customer Churn?

customer service representative using headset

If you’re a telecommunications (Telecom) service provider, customer churn isn’t new to you. It’s a plague that you’ve been dealing with for decades and it can never be completely brought to zero either. Customer churn costs you money, so the questions become, ”How much churn are you willing to live with and what strategies can you deploy to keep churn manageable?”

Estimates place the current churn for wireless companies at between 10% to 65% annually. That means, if you‘re at the top end, your entire customer base turns over in less than 18 months!

Of course, one company’s churn …