by Christian Rodatus, SVP and General Manager, Analytics, SAP

42-47170067-cLumira CLouidData is everywhere, in thousands of forms – customer, social sentiment, geospatial, machine, financial, log files… the list goes on. Innovative organizations unlock the power of data by connecting it to people, the work they do, and their everyday business processes. Smart organizations also move the data out of silos and closer to employees, helping them collaborate over a common data and analytics platform.

And it’s exactly this kind of collaboration around data that most often drives innovation. Very few innovations come from a single person having a single moment’s “eureka experience” – instead, the bulk of change grows out of the iterative process of collective insight. Bring data to your workers and business processes – and use it to connect people with one another – and you lay the groundwork to maximize that insight.

Supporting Collective Insight

If it’s going to support tomorrow’s collective insight, analytics as we know it today needs to evolve. Self-service business intelligence (BI) is one component – making it possible for users to get the answers and insights they need on their own. That means making it easy for users to customize reports and dashboards, run ad hoc queries, add data to existing reports, and fulfill other investigative requirements with little or no IT involvement. One crucial element in this scenario: the SAP HANA platform, which shrinks the information supply chain to make operational data available for real-time analytics – without waiting for IT to prepare data.

Build Trust in Data and People

Organizations that offer self-service BI can bring together executives, IT, front-line employees, and analysts to collaborate, answer questions, and solve problems. Not only do self-service analytics facilitate collaboration – they can also build trust in both the data and the people behind the analysis. Access to a single data set means that everyone is working from a single information source, which eliminates time spent researching discrepancies, comparing data, and defending source files. And tailored security access lets only employees with prerequisite skills and roles author reports, bolstering report confidence.

Promoting Agile Visualization

Organizations need intuitive decision-making tools that can bring analytics to a larger population and serve as a window into the world of Big Data. One important BI tool is visualization: Information visualization solutions help users intuitively explore and present data,  revealing insights without the need for complex training or analysis.IMG_0028

SAP Lumira, for example, provides agile visualizations that support real-time understanding of data both big and small. Users can combine their own desktop data with other information, then share the outcomes with colleagues. Flexible, self-service cloud solutions like SAP Lumira help you and your employees leave rigid spreadsheets behind, generate insights on the go, and visually present a data-driven story. And SAP Lumira fully integrates with SAP’s core enterprise BI platform, the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence suite, to ensure true data governance and facilitate collective insight.

For more information on how agile visualization from SAP can help make self-service BI more pervasive, visit and register for the #askSAP Agile Visualization Community calls on February 17 and 18.