SAP has unveiled Cloud for Analytics, a software-as-a-service product designed to provide business intelligence (BI) and predictive analytics in a single cloud-based service.
Cloud for Analytics is built on top of the HANA Cloud Platform, and is intended to be embedded with other SAP products to connect data stored in the cloud and on-premise, and link business planning, predictive and BI in what SAP calls "one analytics experience".
The company intends Cloud for Analytics to be used to track performance, analyse trends, predict outcomes and collaborate on data-driven decisions.
SAP suggested that financial professionals and line-of-business analysts can use Cloud for Analytics to rapidly and easily build connected planning models that use data analysis in context with business operations.
Social media analytics are also on offer to allow information on sites such as Facebook to be crunched with business data to determine how demand for a product tallies with inventory levels.
Steve Lucas, president of SAP's platform solutions division, explained that Cloud for Analytics is designed to break down the separation of capabilities between the analytics software currently on the market.
"The challenge with analytics solutions on the market today, cloud or otherwise, is the silo approach to delivering capabilities such as visualisation and forecasting," he said.
"SAP Cloud for Analytics will be a new end-to-end cloud analytics experience, giving customers the ability to access all data so that business users can easily discover, visualise, plan and predict. That to me is more than visualisation of data, that's realisation of success."
Cloud for Analytics is effectively the realisation of Project Orca, the codename for SAP's HANA-based analytics software that features the platform's in-memory database at its core.
The power of an in-memory database allows Cloud for Analytics to carry out data analysis in real time, while being a software-as-a-service product allows the software to scale with the size of the datasets and tasks it's required to crunch.
Cloud for Analytics is the second BI and analytics tool SAP has unveiled in a little over a month, having launched the Vora tool for big data analytics using SQL engine capabilities taken from HANA.
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