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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.


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: …

Dead Rats in Risk Management

It seems that almost every day I read blogs or articles in professional journals lamenting the fact that business executives aren’t supporting risk management initiatives in their business or not consuming the reports and conclusions of their risk management professionals.

In addition, we see evidence regularly in the press that risk management is failing and that catastrophic and harmful losses persist. There’s a reason for this. Risk management practices embrace beliefs and methodologies that create apparently” profound reports—but instead it’s ponderous and essentially useless information. It results in inert, albeit attention grabbing, charts and graphs.

I call them dead …

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Art of Support

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Art of Support

When it comes to supporting mobile business intelligence (BI) implementations, what we do after we go live is as critical as what we do before. Technology support is art as much as it is science. If you add to the mix global deployments, remote access, language and cultural barriers, we face a daunting task especially when supported by virtual teams without on-site personnel. Two key elements should guide your approach: quickly identify the root cause for immediate relief and put in place safeguards to prevent future occurrences.

Let’s take a look at several mobile BI support best practices.

This Hidden Business Blunder Cost Star Wars Makers $7B. Here’s How to Avoid It

Social business

In 1973, George Lucas approached 20th Century Fox Studios with the idea for Star Wars. It was going to be his next film after American Graffiti, which had been a big hit earlier that year. Lucas was up for a large raise for his directing services. Lucas had been paid $150,000 for American Graffiti, and because of its success, he could now demand $500,000.

Lucas knew what his services were worth, but he had a twist in mind. Instead of asking for the full $500,000 directing fee, he offered a discount: $350,000 off …

4 Ways To Accelerate Mobile Innovation with Your Customers

4 Ways To Accelerate Mobile Innovation with Your Customers

I’m often asked the question, “How can we accelerate mobile innovation?” And my answer has always been the same—getting closer to your mobile customers is the only way!

When it comes to mobile innovation, your users (customers) will be the key to your success whether we’re talking about mobile app development, mobile web sites, enterprise mobility, or mobile business intelligence (BI). Moreover, it doesn’t matter if your customers are internal or external to your team or your organization.

“Innovation” means different things to different people. In its basic form, innovation is how we create new things, whether they’re …

Dead Rats and GRC

Dead Rats and GRC

GRC Quiz:

Please select the best answer:

1. A flight attendant in a commercial airliner notices smoke coming from the stove in the rear galley. He is trained to:

a. Immediately contact the pilot and report a “material weakness” in the smoke detection system.

b. Immediately contact the pilot and report smoke coming from the stove in the galley.

2. You are awoken in your home in the middle of the night by the sound of intruders. You should:

a. Immediately call the police and report a “key risk indicator.”

b. Immediately …

6 Tools to Make Your Mobile Design Teams More Effective

6 Tools to Make Your Mobile Design Teams More Effective

I joined a consulting firm just as I came out of the private sector where I was the customer of technology. In my new role, I found myself on the opposite side of the intersection of business and technology where I was looked to as the expert. I realized quickly that I had to be agile and innovative instead of demanding a solution to problems that were both challenging and complex.

I see many parallels between my challenges then and mobile ambitions of many young design teams these days. Whether we are talking about mobile app development, …

Financial Reform: Protect Yourself with an Agile Information Architecture

Financial Reform: Protect Yourself with an Agile Information Architecture

Remember the financial meltdown? Experts still can’t decide if we’re on the road to recovery…how long that road may be…or even if there is a road. As a nation, though, we did agree to more oversight over corporate financials. Enter the Dodd-Frank legislation, passed in July 2010.

A recent USA Today article shows that after three years, there’s still much work to be done to not only establish the regulations related to the legislation, but actually implement compliance to the regulation. As of September 3, 2013, only 40% of the required 398 rules had even been finalized. …

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Use of Colors

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Use of Colors

In mobile business intelligence (BI) design, the use of colors plays an important role because colors are some of the easier components to incorporate into our mobile assets. However, this ease of use often leads to misuse and, subsequently, ineffective design of our mobile solutions.

I often find that the oversight happens not because we lack the knowledge or technical capability, but because we make the wrong assumptions. I always argue: simple is beautiful if we want our design to resonate with our customers (users). And as I discussed in my last blog of …