Bit of black box and quite hard to get started (even for data analysts!)
March 27, 2018

Bit of black box and quite hard to get started (even for data analysts!)

Josh Anderson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Predictive Analytics

We have purchased PA but are in the process of proving its worth. It was brought in with the hope of being able to forecast work that is currently done manually, to give an 80% complete starting state that can be altered vs. starting completely from scratch. Additional use cases that will be explored include using historical data to predict trends going forward, which can be used as thresholds to then limit the scope of the investigation. The plan is to use it across our finance organization and even beyond depending on the outcome of our POCs.
  • Ability to use built-in algorithms or expand using R. This means that (with training) casual users can take advantage but also data analysts can do their thing!
  • Integration and consistency with Lumira. Even Lumira on its own has a quick 'predict' functionality (although limited/black box)
  • Ability to do the analysis and then present visually using the Lumira visualization capabilities
  • It's extremely hard to get started. We even have a data scientist who, when we put Predictive Analytics in front of them, they could not intuitively create a data model and start analyzing. Even with deep knowledge of data analysis, the interface isn't intuitive and it's hard to get to the point of having imported a data set and start analyzing/predicting
  • Our platform team had confusion installing Predictive Analytics, particularly on the BI Platform. Additional complexity came when it came to using APL Libraries (AFL Wrapper or Stored Procedures)
  • We are still working on merging datasets. In theory, we get how to do it but we come across all sorts of issues which don't occur in Spotfire (missing records etc.)
  • It will potentially save time in forecast creation by giving an algorithm-derived forecast which can then be adjusted vs. starting from scratch. We can call this, a system enabled forecast
  • Thresholds can be created based on historical data to flag actuals as in/out of the 'norm', or to limit the scope of an investigation
  • We spent a lot of time so far and haven't got very far with it - it's been quite frustrating to use and a lot of time/money has been invested
We have typically used Spotfire for data analysis but decided to move to SAP Business Objects due to its innate connection with SAP. I found Lumira to be good for visualizations but it is not meant for data analysis. Therefore, we have introduced Predictive Analytics to see if it can fill that gap. So far, it's been far less intuitive than Spotfire to get started, and as far as I am aware so far, it does not bring many additional capabilities. I do, however, like that it utilizes the Lumira look/feel and integrates very well.
SAP Lumira, SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform
It's a great tool to merge actual data analysis (which Lumira doesn't do that well) with visualization (which Lumira does well) - so it can be seen as Lumira for data analysts. However, a lot of the 'predictive' side is hidden/black box which can be frustrating for those analysts, so you could argue it is too complex for casual users, but too 'black box' for analysts.