Analytics and Data Management: Clearing the Data Clutter to Make Confident Decisions

Most people know that they store too much stuff in their homes. Bedrooms are messy, drawers don’t close, and closets are so stuffed that we dare not open them in front of guests. Sometimes we even spend hours searching for misplaced items and a considerable amount of money buying things we didn’t know we already had.

In nearly every business, the same weight and burden of clutter are felt when it comes to data. Everything from production systems and operational performance to financial spend and customer habits is tracked 24/7. Thanks to this pervasive use and reliance on sensors and connected assets, companies also own too much stuff – in the form of data – and less than one percent of it is used to make decisions.

Many of our customers are overcoming this inconvenient reality with our analytics and data management services available through the New SAP MaxAttention engagement model. How does this offering help turn traditional data analytics into a new paradigm for fast, confident decision-making? To answer this question and many more, I asked Brian Fillery, principal consultant and Big Data architect at SAP, for his perspective.

Q: The world of analytics and data management has been turned upside-down by Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning. What do companies need to know about the changes they are igniting?

A: Not long ago, analytics was a relatively simple process. Data was typically structured and resided in transactional systems, such as the SAP ERP application. From here, it was extracted, aggregated, and displayed on a simple dashboard. Although this approach meant analytics and reporting was static data, it was good enough at this time.

But analytics and data management have evolved since then, which is changing how companies – as well as entire industries – are using data. By shifting from passive analytics to active analytics with new augmented analytics capabilities, they are doing more than just making faster and confident decisions. They are also creating new business models that provide end-to-end services along with a product to deliver an entirely new experience.

To move forward with this kind of intelligence, companies need a solution – or a set of services – that helps them become intelligent enterprises that can automatically detect, learn, and adapt to insights to generate an actionable result. And that’s where our analytics and data management services come in.

Q: How are analytics and data management services empowering our customers to unlock their potential as intelligent enterprises that know how to leverage data fully?

A: Our analytics and data management services are designed to enable our customers to unlock the value of their data. This is a critical first step toward becoming an intelligent enterprise. Then, the customer can accelerate data insight and maximize the value of digital investments with next-generation analytic and data management capabilities.

This seamless offering is delivered in three tiers to accommodate for each customer’s specific analytics and data management maturity level:

  1. Value discovery and road map: The journey starts with unlocking value in the analytics and data management portfolio. Our customers get an introduction in the form of services for ideation, value discovery, and strategic road maps.
  2. Accelerating data to insights: A portfolio of services helps accelerate and realize the core analytics and data management programs of the company, including a selection of enablement and jump-start services and best-practice recommendations.
  3. Next-generation scenarios: Next-generation services in the areas of machine learning, Big Data, cloud, and the Internet of Things begins a transformational journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise.

This scaled approach allows us to support our customers’ transition with methodologies and a pace that best meets their needs with the right level of involvement and support.

Q: It’s great that these services address each customer individually as they embark on their own path towards realizing their unique vision of an intelligent enterprise. However, is there a common thread that all companies must address?

A: The big pain points that most businesses face are data quality and master data management. They want to understand how to handle large volumes of data, assess which data points are useful, and adopt predictive capabilities. Having a team of data scientists is not an indicator of data maturity. It’s how people interact with data and deliver outcomes that drives the company forward.

This is the main reason why we allow our customers to pick the analytics and data management services they need. Everyone is on a different curve at the moment, but they all have the same destination in mind – an intelligent enterprise that is agile, flexible, and visionary.


Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer a real-world view of these focus topics that can help your business acquire the foundation and capabilities of an intelligent enterprise. Bookmark our series landing page and check it each week. In the meantime, read our overview of the New SAP MaxAttention, “Customer Success for the Intelligent Enterprise,” to discover the opportunities ahead for your business. And for more information, reach out via email at maxattention@sap.com.


Christian Leja is director of SAP MaxAttention Solution Marketing. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Brian Fillery is principal consultant and Big Data architect. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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