Eventful Conferences have interviewed over 100 individuals who operate in the Analytics and Intelligence space from several countries to understand some of the key challenges being faced in their department. The following research report reflects their opinions and will be the blue print for the upcoming BI + Analytics conference.
Developing a BI StrategyMore information >>
The Future of BI + AnalyticsMore information >>
Making Analytics WorkMore information >>
ReportingMore information >>
Visualization ToolsMore information >>
SAP’s Roadmap for BI + AnalyticsMore information >>
PlatformsMore information >>
Creating a Competent WorkforceMore information >>
Data FoundationMore information >>
Governance, Security and RiskMore information >>
Developing a BI Strategy
Analytics is the key enabler for business transformation yet most BI Initiatives fail due to lack of a clear, well developed and articulated BI Strategy. It is generally accepted that analyzing your data gives your company the ability to measure success, and to take advantage of competitive opportunities. Organization’s need to align BI with their strategic initiatives for the IT department to understand what key metrics and information will provide the most value. Customers seek to identify the following to create a concise BI Strategy:
- How to develop a roadmap for Business & IT to work together to achieve organizational goals.
- Understanding key metrics & how to position them for consumption.
- How will HANA affect the way organization can execute its strategy.
- Getting Users to adopt Analytical Reports & use them to find competitive advantage.
- Knowing what tools offer the closest solutions to businesses requirements.
- Getting the right executive sponsorship that will ensure efficient execution of the BI strategy.
- Understanding Data Storage-Centricity: Effects Cloud, On-Premise, Hybrid, etc. will have on your Business.
- Creating KPI’s that can assist in measuring a successful BI Strategy.
- Training the users to adopt, manage & understand the data.
- Strategies to align Business & IT into a cooperative team environment.
The Future of BI + Analytics
Big Data, Internet of things, machine-to-machine learning and Prescriptive Analytics are all buzzwords that seem like futuristic ideologies that may never come to fruition. The truth is that these technological capabilities already function and are assisting organizations become Integrated businesses that perform smart operations based on meaningful data and insight to their business.
This smart use of Business Intelligence allows your business to understand your customers like never before, enabling you to allocate resources for maximum impact. Digital businesses need to fully grasp the future of technology and understand how this may be applied in various parts of the organization. The following insights will pave the way for customers to equip their organizations to take the leap to being a digitally integrated organization:
- Internet of things – How connected information can be used to personalize the customer experience.
- Understanding how predictive analytics can be applied to all organizations.
- Becoming a digital organization, knowing what tools and technologies are in place to reach information maturity.
- How does mobility enable users to perform their roles in more efficient ways?
- Using Advanced Analytics to get a full picture of your business to find competitive advantages.
- The move to BusinessObjects Cloud – what to know, what to understand.
- The need for Roadmap understanding for various components.
Making Analytics Work
Analytics forms the back bone of decision making across most organizations. Analytics is the discovery, interpretation and communication of patterns in data that provides meaningful insight to an organizations performance. From a foundational level, Analytics relies on the consumption of accurate and reliable data that can be positioned to allow for easy reading. Most organizations leverage analytics in their financial reports, sales forecasting and inventory management, yet don’t fully leverage the evolution that this practice has taken in recent years. Data Visualization is key to having analytics make meaning. To fully understand how to make meaning of data in all areas of business, IT and business must learn:
- The value that BusinessObjects Cloud will bring to their Analytic needs.
- Maximizing value from current BusinessObjects instance – Tips & Tricks
- How to create visualizations that are easy to consume.
- How to create reliable Analytics that can be prescriptive.
- Hear how organizations are leveraging Analytics to drive business optimization
- Using data integrators into Design Studio – ensuring relevant data is accessed and presented in a meaningful way.
- Creating real time Analytics – step by step on getting analytics live.
- Predictive Analytics – using data to transform your Organization from reactive to proactive
- Creating comparable data sets for analytics – measuring and adding value where it counts.
- Self-Service Analytics – getting business to drive initiatives.
- Analytics on HANA – What are the benefits of moving onto HANA that our current DB cannot offer.
- Using analytics to process & track KPI’s in real time – what’s possible?
- Support, change management, best practices and end user training considerations
Reporting provides a snap shot of an organization’s current position, whether it be inventory, human capital or financial. Transactional data is stored in a data warehouse that can be translated into meaningful reports through connecting the data source to the semantic layer and displaying it in a meaningful way. The current issue most organizations have is that for reports to be run, business needs to issue a query to their IT department to run it on their behalf, resulting in historical data being reported and not current, live data. The reports are also not offered in a dynamic, well presented way. Tools like Crystal reporting and Web Intelligence have been upgraded to offer interactive information that is live and embedded into the business yet this has not transpired to the way business receives reports.
- Customers require hands-on training for the following in order to run reports that are live, meaningful and adopted well by business:
- Crystal Reporting: Upgrades, Migration methods and full tool exploration
- Integrating multiple data sources for running meaningful reports
- Web Intelligence – Maximizing reporting capabilities
- Creating current reports.
- Understanding business’s reporting requirements to gain better user adoption
- How to manage large volumes of unstructured data
- Deployment to consumption considerations for internal and external targets, ranging from operational to strategic requirements
In a world where user experience trumps functionality, it is no wonder that business wants reports that are not only accurate and compelling but that are presented in a way that tells a story. Third party tools are being invested in by business on the basis of user experience, when their current suit of tools offer the same functionality in very similar formats.
Design Studio, Lumira, Dashboards, BusinessObjects Cloud and BusinessObject Explorer all offer great visualizations for the business. The issue is more related to investing the time and skill set into fully exploring each of these tools capabilities and selling them to the business in a way that drives user adoption. This can be overcome through further developing:
- How to create visualizations that offer beautiful, usable BI
- Hidden capabilities of BusinessObjects Lumira, can it compare to competing products
- Designing dashboards that offers C-Level decision makers information at their finger tips
- Lumira Design & Lumira Discovery – insight into the development of these tools
- User experience – how do you go the next step in creativity
- Visualization of the future – Where will mobile & cloud take us
- Creating Beautiful Dashboards – Possibilities & Limitations, Tools and Processes
- How to build standards that are used & supported. Creating a series of standards that are used throughout your organization
- Best practices and guild lines to deliver user-friendly, interactive experiences with dashboard products
SAP’s Roadmap for BI + Analytics
Most companies are planning their analytics roadmaps one to three years in advance. However, creating and maintaining these strategies is somewhat problematic, especially with SAP’s roadmap changing so often. Customers are looking for guidance from SAP on what they should be preparing for and how they can best get there. Moreover, they are keen to hear how other organizations are planning for the future and how the tools and upgrades offered by SAP will allow them to get there.
- Often a high level of uncertainty – where do we find accurate information and updates.
- How to align with business strategy &objectives to SAP’s roadmap.
- There is a strong focus on cloud – what does this mean for on premise?
- What effect will HANA and an enterprise move to S/4HANA change the way BI works.
- More information on long terms plans for tools.
- Would like to know more about what functionality will be available and when.
- Lumira Design and Lumira Discover – how will these tools relate and communicate together, which tool to choose in different circumstances.
60% of Business objects users do not take advantage of the entire suite available to them. Business Objects Platform (including Edge) comes with Web Intelligence, Crystal reporting, Analysis, Design Studio (soon to be Lumira Design), data integration and Lumira explorer to name a few, yet most do not take advantage of the full capability offered to them. Most organizations move on a reactionary basis that seeks to answer the next question without seeing the full scope of the tools capabilities. The organization does not have a loud enough voice at an IT level, so initiatives that get under way to solve some issues often results in achieving their primary goal without taking the initiative to its full capability and never fully realize the full ROI of their investment. Organizations can identify the full scope of their investment by fully exploring the following:
- Creating Advanced Universes in BusinessObjects
- Creating self-service structures that work for business
- Incorporating security into Universe design – what is possible
- Using the whole BusinessObjects suite and understanding what is not being used.
- How to make Lumira an interesting, usable tool to triumph competing tools
- What does not utilizing the existing tools cost you as a business – using your investment efficiently
- Moving your organization from reactive to proactive – how to move up the maturity curve to interactive dashboards.
- Universe best practices – how to create the Semantic layer that offers robust processing.
- Considerations and best practices for an effective migration strategy
Creating a Competent Workforce
Breaking the silos and communication gaps between IT and Business is imperative to create cohesive operational structures. However, where a lot of companies fall short stems from either business failing to articulate the metrics they would like analyzed for the business or a lack of knowing how to generate their own reports and queries. IT’s role in the Organization is fast moving from support to enabler and one of the best ways to enable the business to achieve their custom goals is to create a self-serving workforce. BICC’s (Business intelligence competency centers) are a great way to educate users on the capabilities available to them and how to access the resources that will provide them the guidance to make strategic decisions. There are many decisions that senior management needs to make when developing the BICC, these include:
- How do you govern the data your users have access to?
- Identifying the ongoing training required to develop competencies that drive the business agenda
- Building a technology competency blue print to bridge the gap of technological capability and business user know-how
- Developing frameworks that users can use to self-manage their requests
- Best Practices for managing a BICC
- Moving IT’s role from Command and Control to Collaborate and Enable
- Best practices for developing and retaining BI+A centric employees
Having data does not add value to an organization. The value comes from being able to access, process, govern, and build use cases from the data. In the past, data was static. Historical data was all there was available and the moment of measurement became the point of time being analyzed. In today’s world, data is more dynamic and is collected, transformed into meaningful information and consumed in real time. The amount of data collected requires large data storage centers to be purchased and managed, resulting in the ever increasing need to move to cloud. SAP have made it clear that from a data foundation layer this is where they would like customers to go to (HANA) however the journey to being a cloud run business has unique challenges of its own. With the rapid evolution of technologies for capturing and analyzing big data, we are at the dawn of an era of exciting advances in the way we use information, connect with customers, and gain a competitive advantage. Companies that win in this new all-data world will all have one thing in common: a strong foundation for data analytics. Collecting data and connecting it to the semantic layer to be processed is pivotal in using information for business optimization. It all starts at the foundation so it’s important to perfect the following:
- Create structured data quicker for consumption.
- Governing access to data.
- BusinessObjects 4.x – how the information Design Tool assists in Universe creation.
- Managing multiple data source foundations through Information Design Tool.
- Creating a hybrid of on Premise and HANA, what is best practice.
- Big Data – creating structure in an unstructured world.
- Understanding what data is important to the business for immediate translation.
- Hadoop – understanding open source opportunities and risks.
- What are the SAP data management product offering and best practices? Data integration best practices – becoming an integrated Digital business.
- Using data lakes for sustainable analytics innovation.
- Universes at the soul of Business Objects. What does this mean in a HANA environment.
Governance, Security and Risk
Many organizations collect data about their customers and suppliers. As we progress in the collection and use of data, the threat of cyber security hacking increases. It is therefore important for organizations to create security measures that mitigate the risks involved in having data in the cloud or simply users manipulating data from the truth. Processes must be defined concerning how data is stored, archived and protected within the business. Governance is not a system or hardware that can be implemented to solve, it is a process that each organization needs to methodically implement that meets their risk appetite. Governing data includes access control, reporting methods and collection of data. The risks, security and governance topics that Organizations would most want to understand are:
- Managing risk in the cloud – how safe is data.
- Governing user access to information, balancing access for operational usage.
- Defining roles in the business & allocating access accordingly.
- Moving from Command and Control to Collaborate and empower