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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.


Part Two: How Is the Internet of Things Already Changing Manufacturers´ Business?

inside of a manufacturing plant pipes

In my last blog, I discussed how ubiquitous the media references to the internet of things (IoT) have become—and how frustrating I find most of them. The truth is, the IoT isn’t a new idea as many articles seem to imply. And the IoT is already having a specific, real-world impact in many companies, though one would never know it from the constant vague references to the promise of new, “breakthrough, disruptive new business models.”

I’d like to share some of these IoT breakthrough models that I‘ve seen in the manufacturing …

Drill for Real-Time Insight

oil rig in a lagoon

An oil well generates about 1 terabyte (TB) of production data per day. Each productive well generates the equivalent of the full-text data of Wikipedia every week, suggests an IDC 2013 Research Infographic. Exploration and production (E&P) companies are often at a loss for how to deal with such an unstoppable flood of data.

An E&P owner-operator continuously strives to increase the value of each asset by controlling costs, improving efficiency, and increasing production. As part of its extraction techniques they frequently use “choke modeling.” Choke modeling is the complex system that extracts production assets (and non-assets) out of …

Why Speed Matters to GRC

people moving quickly in a station

The Art of Speed: 2009

About five years ago, I was sitting beside a pool in Palm Springs while on a winter vacation when my phone rang. It was one of my credit card providers calling to tell me my credit card had been stolen. That’s right, they were telling me – not asking me.

They explained that over the previous four days, my card had been used at a college bookstore and a college pub, and several other places I had not ever frequented, even though I routinely traveled around the world on business. The expenditures were modest, probably …

How Is the Internet of Things Already Changing Manufacturers´ Business?

internet of things concept shows connected words

The “internet of things“ (IoT) seems to be everywhere. Day after day, new articles, blogs, tweets, and event alerts pop up as having only one topic—IoT (or Industry 4.0 as many call it, too). The topic seems to be inevitable, not just for IT, but for the whole business of industries as well.

Reading many of those countless articles lately, I often find two things bothering.

Number One: The Statement that IoT Is the Brand New, Never-Seen-Before, Cool Kid on the Block

But is that really true? Are automated, flexible production techniques and sensor-driven computing actually that spectacularly new? …

Risk Management Project – Where Do I Start?

businesswoman drinks coffee and talks to coworker

Whenever I talk to customers that decide to embark on a risk management project, and wherever they are in the world, one question always kick starts the conversation: So, where do I start?

As a matter of fact, when writing this post, I was kicking myself: Why didn’t I start my blog postings with this topic first? I should have indeed, and I do apologize that it comes so late. It seems that we all want to see the results of a project and invite people to the house warming party before we even lay its foundations…

For all risk …

6 Key Traits of Successful Mobile BI Teams

team gathers around an iPad on a conference table

If mobile BI solutions are going to enable organizations to drive growth and profitability, technology or technical know how alone won’t be the only ingredient for success. It starts with leadership and our team’s talent and passion will be the determining factor.

There’s no simple blueprint for success given the resource constraints and competing priorities that mobile BI teams, like all IT teams, face. However, if you study successful mobile BI teams and how they make it happen, you‘ll quickly discover that they share many of the same traits. Here are six key ones.

1. They Seek Business Value …

Part One: Addressing the Fundamentals Is Top Priority within Finance


In the opening blog for my new series on the technology imperative for financial planning and analysis, I will address two points that apply to most companies:

Thinking they are behind the technology wave and Dealing with more fundamental issues

The simple fact is that, despite the plethora of stories about emerging software technologies and applications, most companies are dealing with more fundamental problems that need to be addressed in order to survive and thrive, regardless of the technology employed.

Shaping the Finance Function of Tomorrow: 2013, …

Serving a New Generation of Consumers with Predictive Analytics

woman pushes shopping cart in grocery store

Consumers today are savvy, fickle, and demanding. They want to be associated with brands that are relevant and compelling. With the evolution of social media, today’s global marketplace trends to proliferate at the speed of light for both positive and negative consumer sentiment.

So, how do consumer products companies stay profitable in these challenging times? The answer is by aligning every aspect of their operations to the end customer—the consumer. Enter predictive analytics, which is gaining demand in this industry to keep up with the competition.

Improve Consumer Loyalty and Acquisition with Predictive Analytics

Consumer products companies are now developing …

5 Sure Ways to Improve Your Mobile BI Solutions

workers sit around a conference table

Although more and more organizations implement mobile business intelligence (BI) solutions, they can be intimidating to some businesses, particularly those who have challenges with their existing mobile BI solutions. The good news is that making mobile BI solutions a success doesn’t have to be agonizing.

There are several investments that can tremendously benefit any mobile BI engagement. These investments typically don’t require significant additional resources. And almost any team, regardless of their size or budget, can leverage them with a little discipline and a willingness to innovate.

Almost all mobile BI engagements use adoption as one of the key …

How Do We Transform Finance to Cope with Constant Change? One Word—Collaboration!

happy coworkers gather around table

This blog originally appeared on the CFO Knowledge blog and has been republished with permission.

Throughout my ten-part-blog series, I have been discussing how CFOs can use new technologies to help leverage the finance team in providing greater organizational value. In the capstone summary, I also wanted to note that underlying each of the changes discussed is a theme of greater collaboration.

In many ways, technology is enabling this collaboration. But your speed of adoption will increase if you start with a spirit of collaboration before any implementation begins.

A strong CFO …