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September 12th, 2012

SAP Predictive Analytics

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I have attended quite a few analytics seminars recently. Today I listened to one on predictive analytics and I got to thinking about how fast the analytics world is changing!

The Analytics world used to be divided into traditional coding and simple point & click software. In today’s world, the emphasis is on speed, ease of usage (drag & drop), cloud analytics, visualization, and linkage with other software & databases.

SAP is very well-known as a successful software company. It’s most widely recognized for it’s ERP solutions, business warehouse, BusinessObjects software and Sybase mobile products. When SAP HANA was released last year it demonstrated SAP’s commitment to the analytics world. Now with the introduction of SAP Predictive Analytics, it is definite that another big player has entered the market. This combined with the power of open source “R” algorithms means higher end users can work with R coding running at the back end while others can chose to use the point/click or drag/drop option . “R” is a free programming language & software for statistical analysis. It is classified as GNU (General Public License) and was first developed at the University of Auckland and then improved by the vast R community. SAP Predictive Analytics is designed to work with SAP HANA or as a standalone package.

Why so many changes in the analytics world? – Traditionally BI and Analytics have been used by different sets of firms or departments resulting in a generation of separate teams to handle these areas (i.e business intelligence vs. data analytics). Generally data analysts were seen as an eccentric bunch who enjoyed playing with data, cleansing it, applying mathematical algorithms, using statistical techniques and giving predictions. Lately this scenario is changing – a natural evolution is happening in the Business Intelligence and Analytics world as these tools are combined.

To me, SAP Predictive Analytics doesn’t seem to be just another product available on the market, but a well thought-out strategy. It combines several business tools together:

  • Statistical and Predictive analytics
  • Presenting results within seconds using visual analytics software
  • Providing links to databases

More to come…

Tags: big data insights

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