What’s Missing? Game-Changing! Visualize That! You Get What You Pay For

What’s Missing From Your BI?

This week? Two things:

  • First, a real understanding of how people create and use information, according to a Harvard Business Review article entitled Why IT fumbles Analytics
  • Second, Forrester analyst Boris Evelson says you should have BI on BI (SAP BusinessObjects supports the types of analysis cited, and Information Steward is a dedicated product for data governance)

Just Don’t Call It A Game Changer

As Jaspersoft is kind enough to point out, analytics firmly embedded inside applications are the future, and so, inspired by Jessica Hagy of thisisindexed, I again portrayed SAP HANA as a game changer, despite the feline casualties.

You don’t buy it? Well how about if it’s illustrated by a bizarre tron-like 3D race around a pinball universe? (complete with American-game-show-host-announcer-voice)

Still not? Then how about when John Appleby of Bluefin explains it in his BW on HANA Frequently Asked Questions blog: “SAP HANA is much faster than regular relational databases like Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, the data warehouse performs much faster – but more than that, it’s cheaper as well.”

Still have questions? See if yours match those of the participants of the recent HANA SAPChat compiled by Dorothea Sieber.

Confused as to where the product fits in with the long list of other SQL and non-SQL databases? This map may help (or not).

At least one thing IS clear: Forrester Researcher agrees that SAP is one of the “clear leaders in the big data analytics space”.

Convinced now? Good. To get started fast, follow Josef Minde’s instructions on how to get up and running on SAP HANA in less than an hour using AWS. And as Greg Chase points out, this makes SAP HANA as convenient as a light bulb because you can simply “switch it off when you leave the room, and on again when you come back.” Talk about illuminating insights…

Oh Yeah? Visualize That!

nfl player of year smallCould it really be that pie charts might not be as irredeemably awful as we’ve been told (or is that only for certain unusual tasks?)

Stephen Few recently organized a dashboard competition. After the winners were announced, he said “I don’t feel that I should judge the efforts of others unless I’m willing to submit my own work for scrutiny as well” – and went on to explain why his own dashboard is better than the other entries (“let’s consider a few ways that this design succeeds where others fell short”).

The National Football League website gets new fan-pleasing analytics powered by SAP, including a fantasy football analytic experience build by Drew LeBlanc. There are no pie charts, as far as I know, but ink-to-data ratio proponents won’t be happy. However, it will hopefully score highly on Donald MacCormick’s formula for effective dashboards: Total value of a dashboard = number of views x average value per view.

Talking of Superior Performance…

‘Tis the season of performance reviews, which most people hate. It wasn’t always so, says this infographic of performance review history. And if you believe the conclusion that “social performance management” is the way to go, then you should take a look at SAP SuccessFactors with SAP Jam (SAP employees are moving to the system for this year’s goal-setting).

To help you achieve this year’s goals, a new SAP Jam video goes over the use cases for Enterprise Social in sales, service, and marketing. The key is to integrate social within existing work processes — as Chris Horak put it this week: “collaboration without context is just chatter..” Might that be why Salesforce is playing down social on its home page?

But Is it Safe?!

Yes, your data is secure in the cloud. As explained by Lars Dalgaard on a recent kickoff call, SuccessFactors has thousands of customers, and by pooling resources, can spend a lot more time and money than any individual company could. After all, it’s just like your bank: they do a better job of keeping your money safe than you can — and there’s an encryption option, so access would be useless anyway.

I might be a bit cynical, but I suspect it’s not the technical arguments that will count in most organizations – it will be whether other reputable companies have already made the leap. So why not join Pepsi’s 300,000 employees in the cloud?

In-Helix Processing?

Researchers say you can squeeze 2.2 Petabytes of information into a single gram of DNA. It’s clear that you can use MapReduce to analyze DNA and help treat cancer, but DNA computers may be able to diagnose cancer directly. Will it be long before somebody comes up with a way to replicate the MapReduce algorithm using DNA strands, for “In-Helix processing”?

It Sucks To Be Deluded

Sadly, it turns out that data just isn’t enough to sway incorrect opinions – if anything, people double-down.

You Got What You Paid For, So Why Are You Complaining?

Design thinking to improve the customer experience is all the rage, but how much of it comes down to “you get what you pay for”?

It seems that there might sometimes be a clash between “analytics” and “social”. For example, today’s airlines have great analytics, and they seem to have concluded that, for whatever reason, people generally prefer low prices instead of a pleasurable flight. After all, it IS possible to have a wonderful flying experience: just travel in first class, or jump in a private jet. But most of us have concluded that we’re not willing to pay the price. Another example: if you chose not to pay the premium for a changeable ticket, is it reasonable to complain on twitter about change fees?

People clearly assume change fees are only about administration costs, and so are outraged when a change costs more than the original ticket. But airlines brandish the threat of fees as a price differentiation mechanism – which means that your cheap non-changeable flight is essentially subsidized by the business person who is not sure when his meeting will end.

But as sentiment analysis guru Seth Grimes points out, the challenge is passenger perception: “people decline an demand to pay more for a seat that doesn’t cost an airline any more“ and “injury is added to price-gouging insult.”

Companies have long used marketing techniques to overcome strictly rational thinking. “Underserved” criticism on social media might just be the flip side of this effect, and may start swaying packaging choices (e.g. as with enterprise selling, companies may start with a higher price and then offer discounts, rather than using a low price and expensive addons) – call it “offer social engineering”

Enterprise Mobile is Dead Already?!

The End of the Mobile Enterprise Market Starts Now according to analyst Joshua Greenbaum (because it’s about touch and user experience, not the device).

Top Ten SAP Analytic Posts From Last Year

I guess I’ll have to try harder to get on this list next year (although I do think this list of analytics twitter influencers is deeply flawed)

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