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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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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 …

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 …

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 …

5 More Reasons Why More Data Doesn’t Guarantee Better Decisions

group studies data at table

In my last blog, I discussed 5 reasons why more data doesn’t guarantee better decisions. I had picked what I considered my top five from a long list of reasons. I must have hit a nerve with our readers because the response has been tremendous. So today I’ve incorporated some of that feedback into this list of five more reasons why, with all this data, better decisions aren’t guaranteed.

1. When It Comes to Data, Quality Comes Before Quantity

We seem to take quality for …

Transform Your Future with Predictive Analytics

predictive analytics on digital tablet

We’ve all experienced some form of predictive analytics in our day-to-day lives – each time we check the seven-day weather forecast or price airline tickets for a future trip. And while we’ve become accustomed to this technology in our daily lives, how many businesses take advantage of this power to anticipate the future?

According to a best-practices report by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), “Predictive Analytics for Business Advantage,” not many: Only about 20% of organizations surveyed report having some predictive analytics activity already under way.

That’s not to say companies are completely in the dark. According to a …

5 Reasons Why More Data Doesn’t Guarantee Better Decisions

business intelligence team studies paper and laptop

Data alone may not be enough to guarantee better decisions, but better decisions almost always start with data. Just capturing and storing data will not get us far. Disconnected and fragmented data can’t paint a complete picture because different segments linger in a detached state or in isolated buckets. Left disintegrated, they lack the necessary transformations to be turned into cohesive and compatible building blocks.

With all this data, why is it that we continue to make bad business decisions? I was asked this question the most in the business intelligence course I …

CSPs Can Stay Competitive by Using Data-Driven Insights to Improve Customer Engagement

big data word cloud above a laptop

“Out with the old and in with the new.” Is that the mantra of this new millennium that’s fueled with disruptive changes in business models and enabled by technology? You know what I mean— Skype, Whatsapp, FaceTalk, Facebook (communications), Uber, BlaBlaCar (Transportation), Netflix, iTunes, Napster (entertainment), Amazon (retail), Paypal, and Bitcoin (currency) are all examples.

What are the traditional businesses doing in the wake of such disruption? One thing they can do is hang on to their customer base and provide outstanding customer service, which ensures the customer won’t turn to an alternative. To make this a reality, every …

Effective Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Programs – Must They Remain Illusions, or Can They Become Allusions of Success?

bribery

Often, when looking at historical events and time periods, I try and imagine what it would have been like to live then and to have my perspectives influenced by the opportunities and challenges of the day. What would have been my reactions, for example, to experiencing the Prohibition of the 1920s, to having the Bible made available to the masses, to living under fascism, or to seeing the end of slavery?

Not having lived during those times, it can be easy to make allusions (or casual references) to the difficult and challenging periods as if they simply live in …

Use Big Data, Mobile, and Cloud Together To Optimize Planning and Performance – Part Two

How to Get from Data to Decision -- Deliver the Right Information to the Right People

Let’s recap some of what we have learned in the previous blogs. First, planning departments face huge challenges driven by an increasing complex and unpredictable world. Uncertainty reigns supreme, yet the need for effective planning has never been higher.This is one of many paradoxes being faced.

Another is the need for planning efficiency while at the same time a need to embed planning in the lines of business to be as close to front line action as possible. Fortunately, new technologies are supplying some solutions to these challenges—cloud computing, Big Data, in-memory, and mobility.

The Explosion of Cloud Computing