by John Schweitzer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Analytics, SAP

Earlier this week, I kicked off the Analytics campus at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando and was thrilled to talk about SAP’s “Decision Revolution.” More than ever before, SAP is focused on changing how our customers make better, more informed decisions. Every day, companies are faced with decisions about which products to launch, how to meet regulatory requirements and how to take their operations mobile, just to name a few. That’s where driving an analytics culture and the Decision Revolution come into play.

An analytics-driven culture is key to revolutionizing your decision-making process. Gartner states that by 2014, 50 percent of employees will have access to some kind of analytic system. That number rises to 75 percent by 2020. This isn’t surprising, given companies are seeing a real return on their analytics investment – $10.66 dollars for every $1 dollar spent on analytics, according to a Nucleus Research study. Revolutionizing your process for making decisions is critical to thriving for the next 20 years.

How Do You Foster a Culture of Analytics?
Start the process by evaluating how your organization measures up. (Yes, I’m a numbers guy.) How good are you in terms of decision-making, from the board level to the individual, across the following three critical areas:

  • Informed: Do you have a clear picture of what’s happening in your organization, including performance, revenues, productivity and customer satisfaction? Do your employees? Their level of knowledge is indicative of their ability to make good decisions. It needs to be Apple simple and Google fast, which is why it’s imperative that we break down the information barriers. Example: FreshDirect using our business intelligence (BI) solutions
  • Aligned: To survive, companies now must be built to change. And that’s not possible unless everyone in your company is aligned around the company’s strategy and objectives. Just having the information isn’t enough… it’s what you do with that information that counts. Corporate alignment is tough in a world that is ever-changing – globally and virtually. Not to mention the constant stream of mergers, acquisitions, divestures and a variety of other outside pressures. Example: Under Armour using SAP Planning and Consolidation
  • Adapt: Agility in an organization is more important than ever. But regulatory pressure and a focus on exposure to risk are also at the forefront, from both a tactical and strategic perspective.  You need to be able to adapt quickly without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. The last decade demonstrated that a company’s ability to adapt to change will determine whether or not they survive. The key is to manage operations so you can be agile but secure. Example: Levi Strauss using SAP Access Control


SAP has provided solutions that allow companies to adopt an informed-aligned-adapt process to drive an analytics culture. We see an opportunity to further drive this culture throughout your entire organization. So, we’ve invested in new innovations that will completely revolutionize the decision-making process and create new markets:

  • In-memory: Imagine delivering information in real-time at a lower cost – by more than 50 percent. SAP HANA – our in-memory computing strategy – removes the big-data barrier to relevant information. It blurs the lines between analytics and operational data and helps drive information from multiple data sources to the end user on a mobile device. It’s unlike anything on the market today!
  • Predictive analytics: The true beauty of data comes when you can tap into it to understand and predict what may happen in the future, effectively making it work for you. And that’s exactly what our predictive analytics capabilities help you do.
  • Mobile-first strategy: Employees are everywhere and are often not in the office, making mobility an imperative. Our mobile-first strategy takes information, alignment and adaptation on the road so you can access analytics from anywhere, increasing the pervasiveness of the decision-making process.
  • Social collaboration:  Today, companies need to take advantage of the vast knowledge from their entire ecosystem including resources both inside and outside of their organization. Our social collaboration platform harnesses what’s happening in the social space, so you can make decisions based on both internal and external data.
  • Cloud: To make analytics truly pervasive, they have to be easy to adopt – without a lot of IT involvement. So, we added cloud and on-demand deployment options to achieve just that. They also happen to be fast and affordable, which makes adoption even easier.


The latest example of our commitment to innovation made its debut today: SAP Visual Intelligence. I love this solution because it represents so many of the elements I just highlighted. SAP Visual Intelligence leverages SAP HANA to help the user ignite their creativity with beautiful and interactive visualizations, allowing them to ask any question without the need for pre-defined reports, queries or dashboards.

This really is only the beginning. We’re proud of our leadership in the market. We’re committed to a strategy of innovation and we’re excited to see where it will take us.