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Democratizing Data Science with SAP Analytics Cloud

The SAP Analytics Cloud solution is designed to deliver complete and contextual decision support so that it can be deployed to help users everywhere

By Sabahat Kazi , Global Head ERP, Nihilent

The pandemic has strained businesses globally. During any such crisis, resilience is measured by how a business responds and how quickly it can adapt, and build safeguards going forward.

Gartner predicted that more than 40% of data science tasks would be automated by 2020. This is being made possible by several analytics vendors attempting to make the business user, self-sufficient in generating insights about business without having a degree or knowledge of data science. And the latest innovation from SAP to enable this is the augmented analytics capability, wherein discovery and prediction become part of the daily routine of business users.

The SAP® Analytics Cloud solution is designed to deliver complete and contextual decision support so that it can be deployed to help users everywhere. It exposes new features gradually, in context, helping users reach deeper and broader insights with a few clicks, without waiting for data collection by IT or interpretation by data science experts.

The first stage involves careful investigation of your data. In the old world of analytics, this means mastering types of syntax to query various datasets and databases. With augmented analytics in SAP Analytics Cloud, it simply means chatting with your data. Through natural-language processing, SAP Analytics Cloud eliminates the need for complex queries at this stage. Search and analysis can be achieved simply by asking questions like in a conversation without having to specify any measures or dimensions. The system “answers” by offering visualizations and contextual explanations created on the spot for you and brings you immediate information on relevant data relationships and trends. You can also drill down for further insights for better decision-making.

The second stage of this journey helps you initiate an even deeper data exploration where you can group data in clusters of customers, employees, or products that have similar properties and discover hidden patterns and trends. And you can view all these data points in bubble charts or scatter plot charts. You can uncover relationships that you previously could not have identified without the assistance of a data scientist. A machine learning model trained on history can generate a story of multiple pages specific to your data. The model delivers an overview, a list of key influencers, a table of unexpected values, and an interactive what-if simulation. The data speaks for itself and reduces the unavoidable human bias that can obscure important realities. You can investigate correlations and trade-offs among various dimensions in your data and reveal the statistics behind the drivers of your KPIs at a new level. You can also dive deeper into the patterns in outliers and examine corrective measures by using the simulation feature and changing various factors to understand the possible impact on business outcomes.

The third and final stage of the augmented analytics journey is the prediction by learning from your historical data to predict what is most likely to happen in the future. SAP Analytics Cloud offers the patented classification, regression, and time-series analysis and forecasting algorithms. These features automatically create models that deliver deeper insights and support confident decision-making. SAP Analytics Cloud puts machine learning algorithms to work to begin handling a set of sophisticated data science procedures automatically. Business users can now quickly and easily reveal likely next events and focus on implementing their new knowledge to augment business intelligence and planning workflows. Your organization sharpens its competitive edge and boosts its profitability by exponentially increasing the productivity of existing human resources without having formally trained data scientists. It also lets you evaluate the quality of the predictions produced so that you can select the most appropriate historical data sets on which to fine-tune the models. You can continually augment your existing business intelligence and planning stories with reliable and trustworthy insights to help incrementally improve the overall performance of the business.

The augmented analytics features in SAP Analytics Cloud for conversational AI, automated discovery, and predictive automation revolutionizes the process of turning data into insight by bringing data science to business users and democratize it. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies drive business intelligence and planning workflows faster and deeper while reducing human bias, helping ensure that decision-makers can act quickly with the full support of trusted information.