While business analytics tools are becoming cheaper and easier to use, organizations are still facing the underlying problem of understanding the data sources that feed these systems, said an executive with professional services firm Accenture PLC.
The injection of in-memory technology in the area of business analytics will “feed the gap” in helping organizations understand real-time, unstructured data, said Nicola Bianzino, who heads Accenture’s SAP business intelligence practice, at a roundtable discussion in Toronto on Tuesday.
Whether it’s greater awareness about analytics or continued challenges regarding data quality issues, the state of business analytics is nonetheless influencing what organizations do.
For instance, Bianzino said organizations are not only affording their employees analytics tools, but they are also starting to bring in third-party experts to help with challenges like data quality issues.
Another impact is that greater awareness of the business benefits of analytics has moved the discipline from the chief financial officer’s accountability to that of the CEO or chief operating officer, said Bianzino.
“(Before) it was very much focused on producing financial reports,” he said. “But now we are seeing business performance officers and other types of roles starting to come out.”
Bianzino has also observed businesses get more creative with their use of analytics. Asset-intensive industries like telecommunications and utilities are increasingly applying business intelligence to better understand and control business processes to, for instance, prevent outages or ascertain the optimal utilization for particular assets.
Also at the roundtable, Business Objects country manager Margaret Stuart, mirroring the excitement, said the merger is about “delivering not only analytics but transactional systems in a mobile environment. That’s the power that now is part of the SAP solution that we will continue to roll out on.”
Sybase is a “huge part” of SAP reaching its goal of one billion users by 2015, said Stuart.