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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.


Social Media – A Double-Edged Sword for Corporations!

Just recently, I noticed a couple of similar social media posts by friends. They echoed the same sentiment —extreme irritation at bad customer service by a large airline, which is notorious for its lack of attention to its passengers. Ironically, my friends were flying first class on the occasions they were mistreated.

Their accounts reminded me of a similar bad experience I had with the same airline. I looked up J. D. Power’s customer satisfaction rankings of North American airline companies, and sure enough, found our antagonists languishing near the bottom.

Social media is a great leveler—it enables the …

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 …

Sexy Numerals: “3” Reasons To Share Numbers in your Enterprise Social Network

Sexy Numerals: "3" Reasons To Share Numbers in your Enterprise Social Network

Ever noticed how many headlines on the Web have numbers in them? If you look at lists of the most popular articles on social sites like Buzzfeed —or even more traditional sites like Forbes —it’s not unusual to see more than half of them feature a number.

Editors and authors have no doubt discovered, either by design or by happy coincidence, that including numerals attracts more clicks. Do a Google search for numbers, headlines, and clicks, and you’ll discover reams of articles touting the eye-catching characteristics of …

How Social Intelligence Can Guide Decisions and Improve Performance

How Social Intelligence Can Guide Decisions and Improve Performance

A report from the consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, shares valuable insights on the topic of “How ‘social intelligence’ can drive decisions.” Not only is this an interesting read, but governance, risk, and assurance professionals should recognize the risk of not being intelligent and failing to mine the information available in social media. As the authors say, “The costs of navigating without a social-intelligence map can be substantial.” They should also understand the opportunity of using these tools to manage risks to …

Big Data, Big Rewards: Unlock the Power of Real-Time Analytics

It’s no secret that the amount of data businesses must manage is growing dramatically. Business applications, sensors, consumer devices, and social networks are generating a huge volume of information— a trend known as “big data”— at a faster pace and with greater variety than ever before. On top of this mountain of data, customer expectations are shifting dramatically.

Consumers no longer make purchasing decisions based on great advertising or on information from a single source. Today, consumers have access via social networks to feedback from numerous existing customers. In order to succeed in this new world of empowered consumers, companies …

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 …

Technology Alone Isn’t the Answer to Big Data

When it comes to Big Data, people up and down Highway 101 in Silicon Valley talk about technologies such as NoSQL, Hadoop, and MapReduce as though they’ll solve all of our problems. While these are certainly exciting new capabilities, technology alone isn’t the answer to Big Data. Follow us on a six-part series of blog posts to learn more.

First, though, let’s not discount the contribution of technologies in solving the Big Data dilemma. Hadoop, MapReduce, and other recent innovations are helping companies deal with ever-increasing amounts of data, whether they’re working with traditional …

For Banks, A Detailed Picture of Customers Is a Must

I always seem to be writing my blogs in airports or on a plane. Sitting in my seat at 30,000 feet, listening to Arturo Sandoval seems the perfect occasion to contemplate the state of customer intimacy, what has been achieved, and what is still needed.

I wonder if my bank knows how much I travel? If they did, could they create an offer that I would value and make me feel good about the banking relationship? After all, in these turbulent times, feeling good about anything—much less your banking relationship—is a challenge. Yet, it’s …

Beware: Evolving Technologies May Cause Policy Headaches

The recent financial crisis has changed the corporate landscape; today we live in a world of crowdsourcing and “doing more with less.” Cloud computing, social media, smartphones, tablet computers, and the thousands of apps that run on them are designed to do just that. All that sounds good on paper, but is there another side to this story?

As a risk and compliance professional, I tend to focus on the risk aspect of each situation (yes that puts me in the minority, as most of the business world focuses on performance). So, it’s no …

Hurricane Irene — Social Media, Powerful Analytics, and Ubiquitous Mobile Access a Must for Insurers

Thankfully, the damage from Irene proved to be lower than predicted. However, coming on the heels of a series of catastrophic tornados and even a strong East Coast earthquake, insurers have been reminded that in today’s reality, they need to act in new ways—before, during, and after the storms. Insurers who wish to separate themselves from the pack are now making innovative use of social media, mobility, and real-time analytics. They’re not doing so just to be prepared financially for servicing claims or reaching out to their customers after the damage is done, but …