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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 granted. As we continue to evolve as a society with rapid and …

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 taught for a doctorate program.

How Do You Measure the Success of Your Mobile BI Project?

Did you know that on average, only 10% of people in organizations use analytics today? This is quite a low amount and frankly, a bit scary that 90% of people are using gut feel—or experience at best—to make decisions. With mobile business intelligence, we have the opportunity to get instant information to many in the organization with an experience that’s right for all of them.

Mobilizing existing BI investments or building new content tailored for mobile users is now easy and cost-effective, so that BI is becoming more pervasive and essential for day-to-day jobs. If you already went and …

Can Advanced Analytics Help a Telecom Business Reduce Customer Churn?

customer service representative using headset

If you’re a telecommunications (Telecom) service provider, customer churn isn’t new to you. It’s a plague that you’ve been dealing with for decades and it can never be completely brought to zero either. Customer churn costs you money, so the questions become, ”How much churn are you willing to live with and what strategies can you deploy to keep churn manageable?”

Estimates place the current churn for wireless companies at between 10% to 65% annually. That means, if you‘re at the top end, your entire customer base turns over in less than 18 months!

Of course, one company’s churn …

Retail Innovation – A Game of Checkers

game changer retail

The balance of power within the retail ecosystem has shifted many times over the years and will continue to do so. As the game of checkers goes, players methodically attempt to outmaneuver and manipulate towards the outcome of the game.

Within the retail ecosystem, it was the suppliers and vendors that dictated the rules of the game for retail early on. How products would be made available, and when and how they would be promoted, was decided by the needs of the retailer. In the mid-1960s, along came the “Big Box” retailers such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Target, and Kmart. …

Upping Your Analytics IQ

empower graphic

As the data explosion and technology disruptions continue and analytics become pervasive in every job, many organizations are reviewing analytic skills and aptitudes in new hires. They‘re also looking into how to help existing employees upgrade their analytic skills.

New titles are abounding. At the executive level we have Chief Analytics Officers and Chief Data Scientists. In the middle, traditional Business Analyst and KPI Analyst roles continue to exist, but are complemented by more informal, and playful, titles like “Data Diva” or “Data Savant.”

Not everyone needs to be a data scientist, but every employee should be analytically curious …

Agile Visualization: Ignore the Buzz at Your Own Peril

agile visualizations image-iPad-

The idea of self-service business intelligence (BI) being at the core of the BI promise (to transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes) is now back at the top of the BI industry headlines. Should you ignore the buzz and just go on with your business? You shouldn’t.

First, let’s get the semantics out of the way – self service is an approach to BI that lets business users access and work with corporate information without the IT department’s involvement. For the most part, people agree with the two …

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 …

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 …

Mobile BI Design Framework: Performance with a User Focus

coworkers at a table smiling

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: …