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        David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

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        SAP Excels in Value Index for Analytics with its Customer Experience

        We are happy to share some insights about SAP drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

        VR_VI_Analytics_and_Data_Logo (12)Earlier this year we published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Data 2021, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on analytics and business intelligence focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern BI, we developed specific criteria to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.

        In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated SAP and 17 other vendors in seven categories: five relevant to the product and experience – Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability – and two related to the customer experience – Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation. To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our Benchmark Research on Analytics and Business Intelligence. SAP performance rating in the Value Index is overall at 69.9% and for customer experience is 82.6% and product experience is 67.5%.

        Ventana_Research_Value_Index_Analytics_and_Data_2021_Vendor_Overall_Chart_SAP@2x (1)SAP, one of the world’s largest software vendors, has been providing BI software for decades. It was categorized as a Vendor with Assurance, ranking ninth overall in this Value Index evaluation. SAP was a Value Index Leader — and first — in Customer Experience, and within TCO/ROI — where it was first — and Validation.

        SAP Analytics Cloud is a completely re-designed cloud-based offering that has become SAP’s primary analytical platform for new customers. Data can be imported to the cloud or accessed in place via "live data networks". SAP Analytics Cloud offers one of the best integrations of analytics and planning of the products evaluated in this Value Index. The user interface is clean, and SAP has done a nice job incorporating machine language insights and natural language processing within the product, a combination it calls "augmented analytics".

        SAP would perform better in Adaptability with better business process integration outside of the SAP framework. In the Capability section, more collaborative capabilities and deeper predictive analytics would help improve its rating.

        Interpreting the results of the analyses, choosing a course of action and tracking the implementation of those actions spans multiple roles and even multiple departments within an organization. Facilitating communication and collaboration among those involved in the decision-making process leads to more informed and better decisions. SAP Analytics Cloud enables sharing and emailing analyses, posting analyses to discussion groups, some annotations and comments for analyses, assigning and tracking tasks to completion, and some alerting to support collaboration. Its Capability ranking would improve with wall posting, social recognition for contributions and additional personalization.

        Analytics vendors understand the need to deliver embedded analytics. When line-of-business personnel have immediate access to cross-functional analytics embedded in their activities and processes, it helps make operational decision-making more efficient and effective. SAP Analytics Cloud includes REST application programming interfaces, a URL API, and JavaScript APIs. Developers can use the APIs to customize visualization components, build custom applications, access data and manage the system and users. SAP would perform better in Capability with better NLP, some additional visualizations and better rebranding options.

        Organizations must provide technology that can access data, generate and apply insights from analytics, communicate the results and support collaboration as needed. Many workers switch between desktop/laptop devices when in the office to mobile devices when outside the office, so integration between these two modes is important. SAP Analytics Cloud mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices. It supports a wide variety of visualizations and offers a mobile device preview for designing mobile content. The product offers good annotation, collaboration and notification capabilities. SAP’s natural language search is available on mobile devices, including voice support using the device’s voice-to-text capabilities. SAP would perform better in Capability with more support for wearables and better use of built-in device capabilities such as camera integration and location awareness.

        This assessment was based on SAP’s analytics products available in December of 2020. Since our assessment, SAP has continued its regular release cadence and issued several updates. SAP Analytics Cloud now includes enterprise reporting with pixel-perfect capabilities. New data modeling capabilities enable account-based models — typically used in planning applications — to be combined with measure-based models used in more traditional BI applications. There are new workflow enhancements in reviewing and approving tasks associated with budgeting and planning processes. The Search to Insight feature has been enhanced with voice support on iOS devices. A number of other enhancements have been added as well, which are noted here.

        Organizations should evaluate data and analytics requirements including collaborative, embedded and mobile capabilities to ensure existing solutions are meeting the organization’s needs. If existing solutions are not satisfying those requirements, organizations should consider whether SAP can help meet those needs.

        This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and BI software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here, and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.


        David Menninger


        David Menninger
        Executive Director, Technology Research

        David Menninger leads technology software research and advisory for Ventana Research, now part of ISG. Building on over three decades of enterprise software leadership experience, he guides the team responsible for a wide range of technology-focused data and analytics topics, including AI for IT and AI-infused software.


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