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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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Mobile BI Design Framework: Making the Case for Small

DFactor4.16

In mobile business intelligence (BI) design, the “case for small” stems from the need to effectively manage performance and response time for mobile experiences. The concept has nothing to do with smaller screens or device sizes. Instead, it deals with the delivery of the content onto those screens.

One of the common denominators of all mobile user experiences deals with what I call the “patience factor.” Mobile users tend to be less patient about performance and response time than PC users, since they’re on the go with less time to spare.

On the other hand, the unmatched …

The Test of Effective Cash and Liquidity Management

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My daughter recently aced her SATs. She credited her preparation, but it was her overall perspective that struck me: “It’s not like it’s real life or anything.” Real-life decision making is hard. It’s almost always based on incomplete and unreliable data, contradictory “facts,” and yesterday’s news.

Yet decide we must, and the futures of our companies and our careers depend on it. Cash and liquidity would certainly make an interesting SAT test question: “80% of unit cash balances are available as of yesterday afternoon. How much Japanese Yen will we need in six weeks?”

To answer, we’d of course …

Part Two: Auditing on an iPad – Really??

Integrated Business Planning -- the Inevitable Journey for Finance

In my last blog, I discussed the advantages of leveraging mobility to improve the effectiveness of managing the audit process, considering the opportunities for improved professionalism, ease of evidence capture, improved work paper management, and improved auditor engagement.

In this blog, I’d like to consider the ways that audit databases can be used to improve the effectiveness of audit planning and to help with critical research during an audit project.

Audit work papers can be stored on laptop hard drives, on shared drives, or within various document management systems.

Of course, we all understand the professional and …

5 Signs of a Successful Mobile BI Initiative

DFactor 4.9.blog

When it comes to defining success for most technology projects with user rollouts, such as mobile business intelligence (BI), adoption is the key indicator of success. The degree to which users embrace the solution depends on a variety of factors. Some may be highly visible and easily measurable. Others may be less so and may require interpretation. Moreover, additional measurements such as cost reduction or productivity improvements contribute to the overall success criteria.

Here are five signs of a successful mobile BI initiative.

1. Executive Sponsor with a Mobile Passion

The success of a mobile BI journey …

Social Media – A Double-Edged Sword for Corporations!

Just recently, I noticed a couple of similar social media posts by friends. They echoed the same sentiment —extreme irritation at bad customer service by a large airline, which is notorious for its lack of attention to its passengers. Ironically, my friends were flying first class on the occasions they were mistreated.

Their accounts reminded me of a similar bad experience I had with the same airline. I looked up J. D. Power’s customer satisfaction rankings of North American airline companies, and sure enough, found our antagonists languishing near the bottom.

Social media is a great leveler—it enables the …

Auditing on an iPad – Really?

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I’m sure you don’t need me to point this out—but we’re all accustomed to wandering around with a plethora of mobile devices, including tablets and phones. And yes, they come in very handy—getting directions to an offsite meeting, locating a restaurant, booking tickets for a show, clearing e-mail on the fly.

But have you noticed that increasingly, as we use these devices more, our expectations for what we can do on a mobile device are increasing? We have less tolerance for websites (and the brand behind them!) that don’t work well on our mobile device. And, increasingly, we find …

5 Ways To Drive Value with BI Proof of Concepts

Proof of concepts (POC) specifically designed for business intelligence (BI) projects can be invaluable because they can help to mitigate or eliminate the risks associated with requirements whether we’re working with a new BI technology, asset, or data source.

POCs (sometimes referred to as proof of principle) may be presented with slightly varying interpretations in different areas of business and technology. However, a BI POC attempts to validate a proposed solution that may cover one or more layers of the BI spectrum through a demonstration with a small number of users.

There are many reasons why a BI …

Self-Service BI: Let Your Users Lead but Keep an Eye on Them

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When I take my little boy for a stroll in the park, I like observing how small, growing children interact with adults. You can tell the different parenting styles: the protective mum that isolates her children from others, the one who just lets them be but keeps an eye on them at all times, and the one that has no idea where her kids are but relies on the playground fence—she knows they won’t be able to go very far.

Governing self-service business intelligence (BI) is a bit like being a parent of a child that has grown fast …

Analytics and Innovation Make a Difference for a Nonprofit

City Year

We often associate the use of analytics with running a successful corporation, but the truth is, its use goes way beyond that. Analytics is now increasingly playing a role in sports (Super Bowl, soccer, tennis), in the public sector and politics, and at nonprofit organizations.

City Year: Helping Students and Schools

City Year is a national nonprofit organization that mobilizes young adults to serve as full-time tutors, mentors, and role models in many of the nation’s highest …

Mobile BI Design Framework: Performance with a User Focus

DFactor 3.26 blog

When we discuss performance in mobile business intelligence (BI), we often talk about two components: response time and availability. I discussed the response time in detail in a previous blog. Today, I want to expand on availability.

Availability is sometimes referred to as “up time,” but it goes beyond that. We need to manage performance with a user focus to make sure our priorities support business execution, not hinder it.

Managing performance of any technical solution is a tricky business and mobile BI is no different. We primarily deal with two elements: …