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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 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

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

2 More Big Data V's -- Value and Veracity

Innovative technologies like cloud computing, in-memory processing, and mobility continue to evolve. They are joined by other technology trends such as social media, the consumerization of IT, virtualization, and an overwhelming push to greater use of analytics. While individually powerful, these technologies can provide exponential improvements when used in combination. As finance teams understand how to harness these developments, they will be able to transform planning. In doing so, they will transform their entire organization.

Leading a team or an organization is a lot like being a parent. You try to lead in the best way possible but you …

Auditing on an iPad: The Opportunity of Big Data

big data graphic

In my last blog of this series, I discussed the value of data analytics to help organizations provide greater assurance over data integrity. I used the example of an insurance company, which was able to use data analytics to more accurately identify potential fraud prior to claim payment.

But just consider the data sources here. For this analysis to be accurate, it will involve more than just financial records. The age, location, gender, income level, and socio-economic background are just some of the additional factors that, together, can allow more accurate identification …

Retail and Commercial Banking

big data for finance

This blog was originally published on Banking View and has been republished with permission.

Customer data analysis has revolutionized retail – but retail banking is lagging behind. When customer understanding is the key to profit, the capacity to gather and interpret data is no longer optional.

When you think about the challenges facing retail and commercial banking, “Ann Taylor” is not, perhaps, the first name that springs to mind. But the arrival of an e-mail from Ann Taylor to my wife made me think about …

Subtlety, Complexity, and the Future of Retail

woman pushes shopping cart in grocery store

Why is the future so difficult to predict? It is easy enough to jot down a few paragraphs on a given future topic, say the future of the retail industry and the impact that big data will have on it, but it is very difficult to have any assurance that those projections will map to anything that actually happens. Part of the problem is that we tend to see the future as an exaggerated version of the present rather than a world in which fundamental changes have occurred.

There is an old story in futurist circles, probably apocryphal, about a …