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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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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 …

What Should Auditors Audit?

monitoring risk and control

In the past, auditors were famous for finding problems. They audited a process, business unit, or location and found “weaknesses” in internal control. These were then prioritized based on the auditors’ assessment of the risk they represented.

These days, leading internal audit teams are moving from this idea of auditing controls, sometimes called controls assurance, to auditing whether management’s processes, systems, and organization (which include controls) provide reasonable assurance that risks are at acceptable levels.

They are moving from controls assurance to risk assurance.

They are also moving from auditing the past (hindsight) to providing insight on current activities and …

GRC and Golf: Games of Honor

golf ball lies at edge of hole

I was sitting in my backyard yesterday, which overlooks a golf course in Anthem, Arizona, and my mind was wandering as I thought about the topic for my next blog. Just for the fun of it, I thought about some key aspects of golf that might be applicable to governance, risk, and compliance. If you are a golfer, you’ve probably heard some of this before—but I’m guessing you’ve never heard this applied to GRC.

Perhaps the US Golf Association (USGA) says it best in an excerpt from The Human Element:

“Golf is …

BI Self Service: Out of the Shadow and into the Limelight

flashlight brightens the shadows

A key issue that arises in nearly every business intelligence (BI) strategy assessment workshop I’ve conducted is “Shadow BI,” or decentralized and mostly unguided user development. Shadow BI is usually viewed by central BI teams as a negative, and for good cause—it’s uncontrolled development that often creates more data silos and data chaos, report proliferation, performance issues, and other ills.

But Shadow BI exists for a reason—users aren’t getting their needs met. Rather than fight Shadow BI, central IT organizations need to embrace, enable, and integrate it into their overall self-service BI strategy, and then leverages it for innovation …

Simple Predictive Finance—The Power of Storytelling and the War for Talent

young people learning together

In this blog series, I’ve covered some of the key points that I believe can help people better understand the context of predictive finance (see Simple Predictive Finance: Why the Dream Is a Reality and Simple Predictive Finance— Everything Is Profit and Loss). Today, I want to discuss the role of visualizations and the importance of analytics training in finance education.

Utilize Visualizations to Tell the Numbers’ Story

The human brain works …

Is Business Continuity a Separate Activity?

coworkers at a table smiling

During a recent breakfast event, I was having a coffee with two security managers who were in charge of business continuity for their organizations: one was from the IT department and the other one was a business operations manager.

The questions of our debate revolved around were: Who should be the most significant contributor to business continuity activities and should continuity management be a separate activity?

Interestingly, we all agreed that we saw more and more business continuity management reaching outside IT domain where it historically focused on IT disaster recovery planning and information security to a more business-process …

Is Your House in Order?

blueprint for enterprise archi

I recently took on the daunting task of a major kitchen renovation and believe it or not, that got me thinking about enterprise architecture (EA). Really! A major renovation requires a keen and accurate understanding of how things work together today, where all the components reside (appliances, water supply, electrical), how efficiently things work together, and how proposed changes to the infrastructure will impact the current configuration (aka: architecture).

To me, and many of my customers, that’s a common approach to the project of creating an integrated enterprise architecture.

But how you go about constructing your EA will make …

Anticipating the Customer Experience for the Connected Enterprise

hands holding up letters spell out customer

Today’s customer is highly informed and interacts unconditionally with brands across multiple touch points demanding a superior customer experience. With increasing customer expectations and organizational silos within a retail enterprise, there’s a greater need to create a connected enterprise to anticipate and deliver an unparalleled customer experience.

We constantly hear about how the adoption of analytics has been slow. However, to instill a more dynamic enterprise to meet and exceed the customer’s expectations, retailers are now embracing the need to move to the furthest extreme of the BI maturity model—predictive analytics.

Anticipate the Action

Retailers have the advantage …

Simple Predictive Finance—Everything Is Profit and Loss

dollar amounts in columns on paper currency

As I mentioned in my last blog, Simple Predictive Finance: Why the Dream Is a Reality, the finance function is transforming with advances in technology and predictive tools. There are several key points that I believe can help people better understand the context of predictive finance. I covered the first two (simplicity and the path to governed data discovery) last week. Today, we’ll cover a couple more.

The Mission Is Margin Improvements

Everything in any given organization is profit and loss. From the top floor …