SAP Launches New Predictive Analytics, Data Visualization Apps With Eye On SMB Customers

SAP is shipping a new release of its SAP Predictive Analytics software that merges the application with the InfiniteInsight technology SAP acquired when it bought KXEN in October 2013.

The company also launched SAP Lumira Edge, a new edition of the vendor's data visualization software that's sold through the channel and targets small and midsize businesses.

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP unveiled both Predictive Analytics 2.0 and Lumira Edge this week at the SAPinsider BI 2015 conference in Las Vegas. Both products are available now.

SAP, as have other developers of business analytics software, has sought to provide analytical tools that strike a balance between offering advanced capabilities for business analysts and "data scientists," and yet can be used by mainstream business users and information workers. Solution providers say SAP Predictive Analytics 2.0 pulls that off.

Sponsored post

[Related: SAP Restructures Workforce As Part Of Its Shift To Cloud Computing]

"It appeals to two sets of folks," said Todd Borchert, senior director of decision science with CenturyLink Cognilytics, an SAP partner, in an interview. "It helps business users gain access to these predictive analytics capabilities without having to dive deeply into the statistics behind them. But it's also for data scientists who want to dig deep into the stats. This gives you the best of both worlds."

In late 2012, SAP debuted Predictive Analytics 1.0, a product focused on the kind of complex data-mining and statistical-analysis chores conducted by business analysts and data scientists who build predictive models.

KXEN, in contrast, had developed technology that automated many of those processes, making it more usable by a wider range of people. SAP Predictive Analytics 2.0 incorporates those automated features.

SAP is targeting the new release toward applications that identify trends and patterns in large volumes of data. The software's capabilities include predictive processing, intuitive modeling, advanced data visualization, scoring and model automation, among others.

The 2.0 release offers more automated data-preparation capabilities and social network analysis -- the ability to discover links between customers and their social networks that foster customer loyalty, said Chandran Saravana, SAP senior director of advanced analytics solution marketing, in an interview.

The new software also supports Apache Spark, the real-time data processing engine for big data applications.

SAP sells Predictive Analytics both directly and through the channel. A version of the product that's not bundled with the HANA in-memory database is more applicable to the SMB market, Saravana said.

SAP Lumira, previously called SAP Visual Intelligence, is the company's data visualization product for turning data into charts and dashboards. The product has been on the market since 2012 with a server version available for about a year.

SAP's Edge line of business analytics software is geared toward SMB and departmental customers and is popular with the channel. SAP Lumira Edge is the latest addition to that line.

Lumira Edge is designed to be especially price-competitive, said Blair Wheadon, general manager of enterprise BI at SAP, in an interview. It runs on Windows servers, rather than HANA, and is limited to 100 named users plus 50 concurrent sessions, Wheadon said. "That cap is what allows us to make it more affordable for the small and midsize business market," he said.

CenturyLink Cognilytics, an SAP Gold partner in Denver, provides predictive analytics services to customers in retail, manufacturing, health-care and high-technology markets, Borchert said. The solution provider resells SAP business analytics software and helps business customers implement and make use of the toolset.

Many companies have taken early steps toward implementing predictive analytical software and have been mulling how to use it on a more widespread basis, according to Borchert. The new SAP products should help accelerate that demand, he said.