What’s New in SAP Predictive Analysis?

September 13, 2013 by Toby Skingsley

Foto: iStockphoto

Foto: iStockphoto

Whether it’s to optimize supply chains, to analyze which products customers are most likely to buy, or simply to make processes more efficient: companies are increasingly reaping the benefits of predictive analytics. The technology, which looks for patterns in data and uses algorithms to predict future outcomes, has the power to give enterprises a real competitive edge in their respective industries. Once the realm of statisticians and programmers, predictive analytics software is making it possible for business users to conduct analyses, too.

SAP has now announced updates to its predictive analytics software that make it even easier for these users. Now generally available, Version 1.0.11 is an update of SAP Predictive Analysis, which was launched last year and ranked by Forrester Research Inc. as a leader in its recent report “Big Data Predictive Analytics”.

The secret: SAP HANA

One of the reasons for the software’s speedy recognition within the predictive analytics field is its utilization of the SAP HANA platform to enable the quick calculation of scenarios. What’s more, the software’s users don’t need to be experts in statistics: while SAP Predictive Analysis has enough power to carry out advanced analysis of Big Data, its simple graphical interface means that businesspeople can also generate a predictive query and make decisions without having to rely on data scientists.

Next page: The main improvements in Version 1.0.11

So what’s new? Here’s a breakdown of the major improvements included in the update:

  1. Faster execution against large data volumes, richer displays of data, and more charting. This makes analysis clearer and easier for users.
  2. An extended algorithm set allows even better data analysis. Most predictive analysts use a programming language known as R, which allows them to create algorithms to analyze data. Using this “R Library”, analysts have more than 4,000 algorithms at their fingertips. The SAP Predictive Analysis update allows users to run them all. Analysts can either enter an R script or bring in an existing one from a file. This enables them to add their own predictive analytics components. Furthermore, this script can be configured and tested before publishing, and once a component is available, it can be dragged into any analysis within the software.
  3. Additional support for four new algorithms and data preparation (Regression Algorithm: Logistic Regression; Data Preparation: Binning, Scaling Range, and Variance Test).
  4. The ability to export HANA PAL (Predictive Analytics Library) models as an SQL procedure, a special programming language used in relational database management systems. This gives users greater flexibility to export models to other SAP applications.
  5. The ability to save predictive analytics datasets and visualizations in an SAP Lumira document (a file with the ending .svid). On reopening the saved document, users can easily recreate these datasets and visualizations (for example cluster viewer or decision tree viewer), saving time.

For further information about the software, please consult: SAP Predictive Analysis.

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