By Padmini Ranganathan, Senior Director, Analytics Marketing, SAP

The pylons on the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, EuropeJohn Lloyd’s ‘A Tour of the Invisible’ has had a growing impact on me.  The final frontier on this TED talk asks ‘why are you here’ and starts with ‘nothing matters’.  In the area of information though, everything matters – especially if you’re that business executive whose actions can make or break companies, or that professional doctor that can make or break lives.

If you’re the guru in your business, arguably you have a 360 degree vision, you have foresight, and you can predict. But if you are a busy professional, or a high flying executive, what do you need in order to have 20/20 vision to plan a productive day or make that critical business decision that could be transformational?

Traditionally, you would run off a stream of computer printouts, pour over them and mark-up your findings, add a healthy dose of experience or hearsay, and formulate your work plan or arrive at your decision.

This was still possible even five to 10 years ago when you were able to get a grip on the information impacting your business, or as some companies did, spent millions of dollars on business intelligence systems to provide such insights

Now, enter the world of Big Data, where in a matter of years the sources of data has multiplied manifold and the volume of data is humungous. It seems data is doubling every two years. This is a  quote I’ve heard, from possibly the most quoted article in recent times Data, data everywhere: “Wal-Mart, a retail giant, handles more than 1m customer transactions every hour, feeding databases estimated at more than 2.5 petabytes—the equivalent of 167 times the books in America’s Library of Congress.”

This data is no longer within the systems accessible within your company, but often resides outside your company’s walls. Technology innovations like SAP HANA and analytics solutions from SAP  make the task of converting data to drive transformation and business value, easy and in real-time.

SAPPHIRE NOW

SAPPHIRE NOW 2013 provides a showcase for many thought-leading companies across a number of industries, to share their incredible journey of converting data into real-time insights, to generate big-time results.

Financial Services
As financial institutions move hundreds of trillions of dollars through their systems managing information and handling key aspects such as customer retention, product growth, managing risk and fraud require real-time insights.

Attend the session where Citigroup’s SVP for Transformation will bring to light how focusing on actions instead of data leads to conquering real world issues.

High Tech
Driving product innovations to market quicker is a primary business driver.  However, predicting consumer demand shifts from various market signals to understand and predict consumer behavior for product launch strategies becomes a transformational initiative.

Hear  Lexmark’s CIO talk about how real-time intelligence is driving transformation that will help Lexmark remain in the competitive forefront.

Retail
Primary drivers of investments in analytics, mobile and real-time platform is to achieve a 24×7 shopping experience for customers, drive loyalty, achieve real–time retailing with 360 degree customer intelligence across all their channels, and drive real-time response to consumer demand.

CIO of Charlotte Russe will talk about exploring the fashion trend with up-to-the-moment indicators.  And the head of Marketing for HSE24 will demonstrate how you can tap into next-generation customer analytics and use them to discover the right audience for your marketing campaigns.

Energy
A big transformation is occurring to implement strategies that help better manage and predict hydrocarbon utilization, integrate alternate energy sources into operations, while predicting outcomes, and to understand consumer and market sentiment around alternative energies.

Discover how Peabody Energy uses analytics solutions from SAP for real-time mining and business analysis.

Public Sector
Cities and governments are becoming more citizen-centric and engaging in transparent dialogues with their constituents, with sites like www.recovery.gov. As CIO of the City of  Boston comments in this video “we don’t believe that incremental changes are enough anymore.  We think that Government needs to truly be transformed, and that the only way to do that is to think about some of our old problems in very new ways.”

Learn more at these ASUG sessions where the City of Boston will share their innovation initiatives on citizen interaction.

Analytics!  The panacea for all data explosion challenges – getting that last mile insight to really drive decisions and actions, from any size data, from anywhere and from any type.  Sense and respond analytics is becoming a reality, as information does matter.  Are you ready for big-time results?  Just follow along the lines of the many customers whose incredible stories are being told at SAPPHIRE NOW 2013 , May 14-16 in Orlando.