How Can I Increase the Value of My Marketing Investments Using Predictive Analytics – A Real Life Use Case

In my last blog, I discussed how predictive analytics can increase your marketing bang for the buck by giving you clear insights into where to spend your marketing dollars. In this entry, I’ll give you a real-world example of how a retail department store chain with multiple product categories decided who to target for a store mailer using analytics and customer segmentation.

To determine their target audience, the retailer wanted to gain a better understanding of their customer segments and where money was being spend across those segments. The first step was determining which customers shop which categories. Working together, we mapped over 2 million customers, identified spend by product category and then clustered customers by product category and category spend.

Predictive Product Category

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Patrick McDonald HeadshotAbout Patrick McDonald

Patrick McDonald is an Associate Director with Protiviti focused on advising clients in the Retail, Manufacturing and Telecommunications industries on analytical solutions. Over a 20 year career in advanced analytics, Patrick completed tours in a big four firm and leading analytics technology and software companies.

Categories: Predictive Analytics

How Can I Increase the Value of My Marketing Investments Using Predictive Analytics?

If your marketing strategies cost more than they earn, they obviously aren’t good long-term marketing strategies. One of the most useful tools at your fingertips for ensuring and increasing your marketing investments’ value is predictive analytics. Specifically, using predictive analytics to anticipate an individual customer’s needs and wants. Predictive modeling can provide profound insights into customer preferences and trends, allowing you to tailor your strategies around the customer. This is customer experience optimization. Customer experience is a major revenue driver!

If you understand which questions you’re trying to answer or issues you’re trying to resolve from a business perspective, you can build models that will help you understand a customer response to a particular treatment, allowing you to address those key business questions and engage customers more personally.

Some key questions or issue you might want to begin with are:

  • Not enough customers
  • Customers not buying enough
  • Engaging the wrong customer
  • Haven’t found the right customer
  • What new markets can we engage and how

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Patrick McDonald HeadshotAbout Patrick McDonald

Patrick McDonald is an Associate Director with Protiviti focused on advising clients in the Retail, Manufacturing and Telecommunications industries on analytic solutions. Over a 20 year career in advanced analytics, Patrick completed tours in a big four firm and leading analytics technology and software companies.

Categories: Predictive Analytics

SAP BI Running Embedded Into SalesForce

I come across a lot of situations where customers run SalesForce and ask me whether they can combine their SalesForce data with other corporate data. A most recent request was to combine SAP BW Copa data (profitability analysis) with SalesForce data on clients with payment risks. Today this can be easily be done using data blending techniques of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite. More in particular, I used the SAP Lumira salesforce IDBC connector to connect to the customer’s SalesForce data and blend it with their SAP BW data.

But customers these days require more than just combining their SalesForce data with other data. They require to have the full SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite running embedded into their SalesForce environment. With the use of Protiviti SalesForce Connect for SAP Analytics, this can be done.

Read the rest of Iver van de Zand’s article here!

Categories: BusinessObjects

How Does SAP HANA Change the Traditional Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Process?

In the traditional EIM process, typically there are separate ETL, Replication and SDA processes and functions. Traditional processes introduce latency to the data in the data warehouse, as well as other challenges to getting data into one location seamlessly. Today’s world is moving faster, and the need for clean, real-time data is imperative.

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re no stranger to the power of SAP HANA. But to recap, the SAP HANA platform removes the burden of maintaining separated legacy systems and siloed data. It hold capabilities to transform and cleanse data in real-time from multiple sources.

SAP HANA also has features that enable you to both manage data and improve your data quality. These options offer real-time transformational possibilities that were unthinkable until recently. These features allow you to transform data in real-time with Smart Data Integration (SDI) or conform and cleanse data with Smart Data Quality (SDQ).

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contributor_don_loden_lgAbout Don Loden

Don Loden is an information management and information governance professional with experience in multiple verticals. He is an SAP-certified applications associate on SAP EIM products. He has more than 15 years of information technology experience in the following areas: ETL architect, development, and tuning: logical and physical data modeling; and mentoring on data warehouse, data quality, information governance, and ETL concepts. Don speaks globally and mentors on information management, governance, and quality. He authored book SAP Information Steward: Monitoring Data in Real-Time and is the co-author of two books: Implementing SAP HANA, as well as Creating SAP HANA Information Views. Don has also authored numerous articles for publications such as SAPinsider magazine, Tech Target and Information Management magazine.

Categories: HANA

Using People Analytics to Increase Employee Loyalty

The ability to attract and retain a loyal employee base and understand root causes for employee disengagement and disloyalty are key strategic objectives for every organization – big or small. If you want to improve employee productivity and/or decrease the cost associated with attracting and retaining employees, you need to move along the analytics maturity curve and start leveraging People Analytics.

What is People Analytics?

Put simply, people analytics is a predictive, data-driven approach to managing people at work. Analytics centered around your employees. It is used to address people-related issues, such as talent acquisition, performance evaluations, leadership positioning, hiring and promotion, job and team design, and employee compensation.

Increasing Employee Loyalty Using People Analytics

People analytics help you merge employee data, company data, and market data to predict and interpret valuable employees’ behaviors, as well as operations-level insights, giving you competitive vision for developing your retention strategies.

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John Harris Headshot About John Harris

John Harris, Senior Manager – Predictive Modeling and Advanced Analytics, has over 16 years of industry experience applying strategic thinking and advanced analytical skill set to optimize resources, improve processes and develop quantitative models that turn data into decision-aid information for all levels of leadership. Airline and energy utility employers have attempted to patent his deliverables related to predictive and optimization modeling.

Categories: Predictive Analytics

Creating Repository Roles in SAP HANA Studio

What are Repository Roles?

Repository roles are roles that are created as development artifacts within the SAP HANA system. They start as design-time objects and become runtime objects upon activation. They can be utilized within a security model just like database roles. However, they offer numerous advantages over catalog or database roles.

Why Should I Use Repository Roles?

  • The definition of the repository role is stored in the SAP HANA system repository. Using package security, we can control access to individual repository roles for a diverse group of security administrators. For example, super administrators can be given access to change the definition of all repository roles while a department level administrator can be given limited access to roles that affect only his/her users.
  • They help prevent assigned privileges from being deleted from the system when the grantor’s user account gets deleted. Repository roles are granted as the system user _SYS_REPO and this account cannot be deleted from your system.
  • They are owned by _SYS_REPO. This system account cannot be deleted, unlike database roles that can be removed from the system when their creator’s database user account is deleted.
  • Repository roles can be transported from one HANA system to another using HANA Application Lifecycle Management (HALM) or using the Delivery Units (DU) Export and Import process.
  • Through auditing, we can track the true grantor of the repository roles.
  • When a user is coped in SAP HANA Studio, all of the repository roles are also copied.
  • Because they are development artifacts, the standard SAP HANA Version management tools are supported.
  • They are granted and revoked via special stored procedures. Users only need EXECUTE access to these procedures to grant and revoke rights. Unlike database roles which can only be revoked by the original grantor.

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contributor_jonathan_haun_lgAbout Jonathan Haun

Jonathan Haun is a Director in the Data & Analytics solution at Protiviti. He has over 15 years of BI and IT experience. He currently focuses exclusively on Business Intelligence tools, technologies and EIM processes. He has helped hundreds of companies implement BI tools and strategies over the past 10 years.


Categories: HANA

2016 Security Webinar Series

End-to-End Security for Your SAP Environment

From designing and configuring your SAP application security to implementing SAP BI and HANA security, our Webinar Series gives you tips, tricks and best practices from our top SAP experts.

Join us on Thursdays @ 2:00 pm Eastern beginning April 21st. This series gives you real life examples on how to properly secure and manage your SAP landscape.

Register for one or all three!

Securing Your SAP Application 
Speaker: Michele Makuch
Thursday, April 21 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

Designing and maintaining a best in class SAP security environment is a challenging endeavor given the complexity of parameters and general IT controls that need to be properly configured and monitored.

Join Michelle Makuch, SAP security expert, to understand the key steps to design and maintain an optimized SAP security environment helping you avoid the need for a redesign later.

Key Learning Points 

  • Improve your SAP role design strategy
  • Learn key general IT controls to implement and monitor
  • See how to establish an adequate SoD management framework
  • Understand how to institute a comprehensive SAP security program, including cyber-security risks



Implementing SAP BI Security Best Practices
Speaker: Bob Zenker
Thursday, April 28 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

BI has become pervasive for decision-making at all levels. With that pervasiveness come risks due to a centralized architecture that houses potentially sensitive data in one place that can be used by many people.

Join Bob Zenker, BI expert, to learn how to properly implement SAP BI security based on practical experiences and real-world use case studies. This session will provide detailed tips and tricks for participants on implementing security for adhoc users and discuss challenges of security data and BI content.

Key Learning Points

  • Learn best practices on implementing 3rd party security applications like SAP, Windows AD and LDAP
  • Gain an overview on data security in Universes, Crystal Reports and SSO to databases
  • Review deploying mobile access to BI content utilizing SSL or VPN
  • Examine mobile application security setup on devices within the BI4.1 architecture



Securing Your SAP HANA Environment
Speaker: Jonathan Haun
Thursday, May 5 @ 11:00 Pacific | 1:00 Central | 2:00 pm Eastern

Although all systems have to deal with authentication, authorization and user provisioning, SAP HANA deviates from typical database platforms in the amount of security configuration that is done inside the database.

Join Jonathan Haun, co-author of “Implementing SAP HANA”, for expert recommendations on configuring SAP HANA and setting up the proper security models for your SAP HANA system.

Key Learning Points

  • Get best practice strategies to properly provision users, manage repository roles, and implement a manageable security model in SAP HANA
  • Gain an overview of the 4 different types of privileges in SAP HANA
  • Explore how third-party authentication can integrate with SAP HANA
  • Find out how to provide selective access to data using analytic privileges in SAP HANA



Categories: Events, HANA, BusinessObjects