Analytics is an important component of the technology mix, and technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will not deliver strategic business value without effective analytics at their core, says enterprise resource planning multinational SAP Africa Business Analytics director Neil Herbert.
Business leaders are combining data with multiple machine-learning algorithms and in-memory computing capabilities to gain real-time and predictive insights that can assist with quicker and more accurate decisions, he highlights.
“Today’s successful businesses run ‘live’, meaning they anticipate, simulate and innovate new business opportunities with a future-minded approach instead of reporting past success.”
A live business strives to know about problems before they affect the bottom line or damage customer relationships. Smart business leaders are investing in in-memory operational and analytics solutions that can produce the real-time and predictive insights that help their businesses run live, he explains.
“Financial services companies are well suited to employing analytics as a value-generating tool. “By analysing the huge volumes of customer data available, financial services companies can, for example, develop and offer personalised products and services, and unlock new revenue opportunities – and even new business models – in real time.”
Smart CFOs are using advanced analytics to understand the market and exploit insights to generate growth, he emphasises, while insurance companies can also leverage analytics by employing machine-learning systems that detect anomalies and unusual patterns to identify potential cases of fraud.
Further, by extracting insight from customer data and social media, as well as partner and supplier networks, insurers can unlock greater efficiency and improve their competitiveness as they make better decisions quicker and more accurately than before.
Businesses are also moving away from customer processes and implementing analytics platforms that enable them to create thousands or millions of personalised processes in real time, based on the needs of each customer. Since these processes are powered by analytics, they can be far more agile and responsive to change, even updating and improving themselves, provided there are effective machine-learning capabilities embedded.
SAP Analytics Cloud incorporates machine learning to enable businesses to run dashboards on live business processes and help business leaders understand which of the internal key performance indicators are having the least or greatest impact on overall business performance.