Dennis Howlett has a nice quote from Vishal Sikka of SAP in this blog post.
During a recent conversation with Vishal Sikka, exec board member SAP on what might happen as a result of being able to cost effectively mashup data from many sources and then expose it in real time, he correctly pointed out that in finding solutions, 'We will only be limited by our imaginations.'
Vishal is right – most impressive Big Data projects are about imagination and creativity, as in Triangulation and Talent, less about Tools. They bring together multiple data sources, and then draw aha’s and predictive gems from the resulting data crunching
- The National Hurricane Center gets millions of data points from above storms (with satellites) , within storms (with Hurricane Hunter flights, parachuted dropsondes and increasingly drones) and below storms (with sensors on ocean based buoys).
- Best Buy, years ago, made an art form out of customer segmentation by mashing point of sales data with external geographic and demographic data. It used to talk in terms of “Buzz ”customers — young gadget enthusiasts — and “ Jill ” stores aimed at suburban moms.
- Workday, last week, showcased AIG’s performance measurement app which brings together Workday employee data, Salesforce.com’s sales data, and claims information from AIG’s internal data.
Big Data projects are also about Talent. Sharp analysts like the team Gary Loveman built at Harrah’s over a decade ago. Folks like Nate Silver. The pattern recognition hawkeyes that the CIA and other intelligence agencies covet. (side note – I recently heard an Accenture partner talk about a “Training Academy for Big Data” and wondered how far many of their 21 year olds would make it through the CIA recruitment process).
I would love to see SAP showcase Triangulation and Talent a lot more than Tools. Unfortunately, it is more interested in comparisons of HANA to Teradata and Exadata and gets drawn into pissing contests about memory sizing. From conversations from several customers, they also say SAP’s delusional about the value of its tool based on how it is pricing it.
Last week, Aneel Bhusri of Workday honing in on the fast that Big Data today is about Big Hardware, took a page out of Marc Benioff’s playbook and said we need to think about “the end of hardware”
So should SAP.