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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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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 …

Daimler Trucks North America Hits the Road to the Cloud

clouds in clear blue sky over Germany

Daimler Trucks North America is the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Chances are you have overtaken one of their trucks (Freightliner, Western Star) or buses (Thomas Built Buses) on a stretch of highway somewhere. Daimler Trucks North America is packed with software innovations—virtual technician, fleet software, on-board tablet, and so on—but its innovation drive just doesn’t end up in its vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America is also reinventing the way it does business after the initial sale by using the cloud and business analytics.

Daimler Trucks North America’s relationship with …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Everyday BI: Introduction

Everyday BI - Introduction

Business intelligence (BI) is everywhere. It’s more accessible. It’s mobile. It’s in the cloud. It runs in real time. It’s part of “Big Data” and small data. Simply put, BI surfaces, in one shape or another, in a tangled, twisted, and integrated way everywhere in our everyday lives.

In this new series, I want to take a different approach in my writing than what I usually do and explore the concept of BI from …

Analytics: Key Trends for 2013

Analytics: Key Trends for 2013

Business analytics has evolved dramatically from its humble beginnings in core data warehousing more than 30 years ago. It’s evolved from simple, decision support solutions to advancements in business intelligence (BI), enterprise performance management (EPM), and, most recently, intelligent data concepts and predictive analytic applications. Companies have embraced the value of analytics – solutions that combine data and analysis to drive insights – to help them differentiate, become more competitive, and make better business decisions.

A Pervasive Culture of Analytics

Almost everyone in your company can benefit from some form of analytics. Employees want to make their jobs easier – …

The Digital Rush! Customers Define a New Era for Cloud Content

In the cloud

The need for information is just as strong today, if not stronger, than it was hundreds of years ago. But the ways we access information, and the forms it exists in, are dramatically different. I like to compare the past two decades’ changing landscape of digital information to the California Gold Rush of the 1800s. As they did during the Gold Rush, droves of people are jumping on the band wagon with the hope of achieving unprecedented riches and their 15 minutes of fame. Today, they hope to do it by creating content to post on social channels (like YouTube …

Governance for Your Cloud Applications

In the Cloud

There are all types of applications available in the cloud today, including ones focused on customers, sourcing and suppliers, HR, business networks, analytics, and full business processing with ERP. So, where do governance and information programs fit within these cloud applications?

Ina Felsheim does a great job of talking about governance, including what it does for you and what happens if you don’t have governance. And if you follow her on Decision Factor …