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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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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 …

Analytics at the North Pole — Manufacturing Master Class

North Pole

The sun sets on the North Pole around September 24, and doesn’t rise again until March 19. Without the sun’s warmth, temperatures plunge to an average -34 degrees Celsius (-29 degrees Fahrenheit). In this land of bitter cold and darkness runs the largest and most complex manufacturing operation in the modern world.

Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, with a number of magical elves and flying reindeer. Aided only by these unusual creatures and the dim light from the aurora borealis, Mr. Claus conducts his famous business. He compiles customer lists of children throughout the world and categorizes children …