SAP recently moved to acquire KXEN, a provider of a predictive analytics application that is credited with incorporating visualization tools that make the information contained in predictive analytics simpler to consume. It hopes this acquisition will help it make predictive analytics as accessible as any other application to the average end user.
According to Shekhar Iyer, global vice president of business intelligence and predictive analytics, demand for access to predictive analytics is skyrocketing, but most end users are not taking the time to distinguish between traditional analytics applications, predictive analytics, and existing business intelligence applications. Instead, they want access to a spectrum of applications that serve different needs in a way that doesn’t create additional silos of data for them to manage.
Iyer says SAP will incorporate KXEN, which already supports the SAP in-memory HANA computing platform, into part of a portfolio of applications that will make Big Data analytics accessible in a way that doesn’t necessarily require a data scientist to create a new model every time a user needs to analyze a particular data set.
In effect, Iyer says KXEN is on the leading edge of the democratization of predictive analytics, which should allow end users to iteratively query data in real time based on the answers they received from a previous query.
Of course, all this Big Data creates some inherent challenges when it comes to governance, which is why SAP is hoping that customers will want to standardize on a common data management framework that can be accessed by multiple analytics and BI applications in real time.
In fact, the problem IT organizations may be facing is not whether end users will embrace Big Data analytics, but rather how the IT organization will cope with it once they do.