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Data Cleansing and Performance are Two Big Challenges for Analytics: SAP

Tom Kindermans, senior vice president - business solutions, SAP Asia Pacific andJapan, believes that mobility, in-memory computing, and cloud computing are going to remain the hottest enterprise trends for the next one decade.

Most organizations are already battling with issues like data explosion, and trying to make sense of the terabytes of information that are constantly flowing in through various platforms for actionable business decision-making. "Disruptive technologies like mobility and social media will compel organizations to relook at how they can use these platforms to make real-time business decisions," says Kindermans.

Taking a fictional retail store scenario, Kindermans explained how the combination of cloud and analytics over all sorts of mobile devices can empower the field staff of an organization to the extent that just by pointing out to the virtual map of the store, they could get data on profits, sales, and trends of the products sold. With customer preferences information captured from social media sites, a company can get a better view of what products placed at which location and what times bring in great sales.

However, Kindermans believes that such business agility can become a reality only if data quality and integrity are ensured. "Garbage in, garbage out," he says. Another significant challenge he foresees in analytics implementations are performance issues.

"With terabytes of data getting added to the already exploding databases, performance could be something that would greatly worry IT leaders. What is the point in real-time analysis if the systems can't turn out the report in time?" asks Kindermans. And he gives the answer too: "That is where in-memory computing comes into play."

With regards to the challenges that IT leaders face when implementing an analytics solution, Kindermans says that he has witnessed the strange problem of user acceptance globally. "It's not very comfortable for an employee to know that the senior management can get minute to minute update of how much work is done, how many hours the employee has put into the job etc. That kind of transparency can sometimes be scary," he says.

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