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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.


Risk-Based…Well, Everything, Really!

sphere with audit word and others

Since I started working in GRC software, and actually even some time before when working on audit topics, a recurring concept has been risk-based auditing or similar denomination.

The intent here is to focus the audit function on the riskiest parts of the company in order to ensure that all high-profile risks are reviewed regularly, correctly monitored, and so on to protect the business from operational surprises.

Nevertheless, audit isn’t the only function that focuses its efforts on high-profile risk areas. Internal control and compliance departments have a similar approach, but called risk-based compliance, applied notably when performing a …

Bank Executives Weigh-In on Big Data’s Value for Managing Risk

big data word cloud above a laptop

If you’re a banker—anywhere in the world—the topic of risk management is near and dear to your heart. Since the 2008 financial crisis, it‘s become even more front and center in the minds of most bankers and government regulators. This landscape is not getting simpler, but actually grows more complex by the day.

Regulations and scrutiny are increasing, reputations and revenues are at risk. More volatility in the market, rising demands of shareholders, customers, partners, and vendors, (not to mention technologies such as internet and mobile banking) are changing the risk profile that a bank must manage and respond to.

Fueling Your Business with Predictive Analytics

innovation predictive analytics

Imagine knowing the exact amount of supply you will need in 12 months or understanding your current supply levels in real time. How about knowing exactly what your customers need before they even know they need it?

These scenarios are real possible business situations that can happen by using predictive analytics. Predictive analytics help companies understand these (and other) potential situations by processing vast volumes of data and turning it into insights to foster better and more informed decision making.

It takes data and processing to create and use these predictive analytics to fuel a business and enable decision-making …

3 Traits to Look for in Successful Mobile Technology Leaders

leader holds mobile device

Successful mobile technology leaders come with certain traits that may be overlooked. They understand the reality that even the best solutions—designed and implemented perfectly—are going to face challenges at some point.

When you look at mobile solutions, and all of the layers that make up the entire mobile user experience, you may find that technology is bound to break down or be misunderstood by some of its users (like any other technology). Identifying the right leadership with the right background is critical to building mobile solutions on the right foundation that will effectively manage these challenges and contribute to …

GRC Technology Can Bring Much More than Compliance and Good Risk Management

woman holds tablet in hand outstretched

Business activity monitoring (BAM) and business process management (BPM) are great ideas that have been around for quite some time. They have also developed significantly since the early 2000s, giving birth to a number of tools and technology solutions to support companies’ BAM/BPM programs. However, implementing these programs and the related tools has proved challenging to say the least. Not uncommonly, large, costly BAM/BPM projects have been abandoned by several companies for lack of results and insurmountable hurdles like integration issues, customization efforts, maintenance nightmares, and so on.

Mounting External Pressures

In parallel, external impositions have increased on companies …

Daimler Trucks North America Hits the Road to the Cloud

clouds in clear blue sky over Germany

Daimler Trucks North America is the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Chances are you have overtaken one of their trucks (Freightliner, Western Star) or buses (Thomas Built Buses) on a stretch of highway somewhere. Daimler Trucks North America is packed with software innovations—virtual technician, fleet software, on-board tablet, and so on—but its innovation drive just doesn’t end up in its vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America is also reinventing the way it does business after the initial sale by using the cloud and business analytics.

Daimler Trucks North America’s relationship with …

How Predictive Analytics Is Your Crystal Ball for Future Business Success

hand holds a crystal ball

Halloween is always a magical time in my home. As of this writing, I have a 2-year-old witch riding her broomstick hexing anyone who comes along her way. My 12-year-old is trying to look cool enough as a mad scientist so he can take his two sisters around the neighborhood. Last, but definitely not least, there’s my 10-year-old daughter who always stretches my creativity and (nonexistent) capabilities as a seamstress.

This year, my preteen daughter decided to be a fortune-teller – complete with a crystal ball. While I was working on the finishing touches on her costume, she asked …

Why You Shouldn’t Target the “Most Likely to Respond” Prospects

dart board with arrows

A few months ago, I was talking with a friend who happens to be one of the top executives in a large EMEA bank. He asked me a very intriguing question, “Why do you think my bank isn’t targeting the prospects who are the most likely to respond to my marketing campaign?” Despite scratching my head for few minutes, I didn’t come back with any reasonable answer.

After a while, he explained to me that in banking, the people who are the most likely to respond to promotions are either 1) planning to practice fraud or 2) …

The Effective Audit Engagement

mobile BI team sitting around a table

So far, I have discussed “What Should Auditors Audit?”and “The Risks to Include in the Audit Plan.

Now I want to talk about how we should staff the audit engagement and how technology can help us. We already know the risks that will be addressed in the engagement and whether it will be an assurance or an advisory (or consulting) project.

So, Who Needs to Be on the Project and for How Long?

I like my audits …

Why Turkeys Can’t Wait for Thanksgiving: The Difference Between Business Intelligence and Predictive


As we know, Thanksgiving is certainly not the best moment to be a turkey. So why do they, in fact, look forward to ? The answer is simple – they look at the past day and see how wonderful the past few days and weeks have been. And they assume the future will be the same.

Indeed, days after days their owners are taking better and better care of them, ensuring that they’re very well fed and that they grow in the best possible conditions. And each day that the owners take a little better care of them, they really …