Data is the foundation for analytical assessments and decisions, for data science and artificial intelligence activities, and for effective business operations. In short: data is the foundation of digital transformation. This is why they are often referred to as the “new gold”.
Knowing what to do next: Data provides the basis for this
Digital transformation doesn’t stop at SMEs either. More efficient automated business processes and better and comprehensive analytical assessments and decisions are necessary changes. Finding new areas and business models is just as important in order to continue to exist in a highly competitive market.
The pressure on businesses is increasing due to political, health and environmental market changes. Severely disrupted supply chains, shortages of raw materials, major fluctuations in demand, currency effects, shortage of skilled workers, and environmental disasters are external factors that have an enormous impact on corporate planning and operations.
Look into the future
In doing so, companies have to meet the challenge that in addition to wanting more flexibility, there is also a requirement to not only look at valuations and analyzes purely retrospectively, but also for the future. This would make it possible to be one step ahead of the market and be able to respond to impactful events. This means recognizing the corresponding signals and using the data behind them. Business process automation also provides an opportunity to react more quickly to changes. However, the integration of AI or machine learning into business processes also requires the integration and use of additional information and data in order to build the corresponding machine learning models. In addition, companies have to think outside the boundaries of the company and integrate external data sources such as OpenData data in addition to their traditional data and newer data types such as the Internet of Things or sensor data from their own devices.
These examples show that data and, above all, correct and effective data management are becoming increasingly important. At first, the ever-increasing amount of data and data sources in distributed internal systems often feels like a brake pad. The same applies to the use of external data. Data-driven initiatives do not fail in SMEs because of the large amount of data available. The data agents in these companies have vast treasures of data at their disposal. On the one hand, it is important to understand what data can be found in the company and, on the other hand, how an appropriate use or value can be derived from this data or how the relevant added value can be created for the company.
The relevant factors can be easily illustrated in the Data Value equation: Data Value = Data Volume x Data Quality x Data Usage. Data in a company represents (added) value when it is available in a suitable size and scope, has the quality required for use and can also be used accordingly. If one factor goes to zero, so does it
The value of this data is close to zero. For example, if a data product is built from just the right amount of relevant data of the highest quality data, but is not used by any user or application, that data has no additional value to the company.
With a business technology platform, SAP delivers applications and services from the fields of data and analytics on a single cloud-based platform, complemented by comprehensive application development, integration, and AI or machine learning functions. In this way, data platforms that integrate all relevant information in a company can be implemented. It can be processed, evaluated or enhanced using artificial intelligence or machine learning methods and then made available for analytics applications or used directly in operational business processes.
The SAP Business Technology Platform isn’t just for large companies. Medium-sized companies form the backbone of the Swiss economy and have also been active in the market for many years, thus amassing and creating “incredible” data treasures. The business technology platform helps companies like Bachem, Haefely and Baumann Koelliker collect these treasures in order to generate added value from their data – or to give data ‘purpose’.
to the author
Niels Weigel He works as a customer advisor in the Business Technology Platform division of SAP and has been involved with data since 1995.