SAP previews new analytics tools for IT, business users

Improved data-blending capabilities are on the way in Lumira 1.27

SAP's Lumira analytics tool

SAP's Lumira analytics tool

SAP has made no secret of its desire to be front and center in the trend toward easy-to-use analytics tools, and on Tuesday the company offered a glimpse at several upcoming capabilities for different types of enterprise users.

For example, for IT departments, SAP unveiled an IT Operations Analytics tool that's designed to help manage modern datacentres. Announced on a conference call about analytics for the SAP community, the new offering aims to show what's happening all across a data center, including real-time streaming of log data and the ability to combine diverse data sources into a single view for easier root-cause analysis.

The product was developed as a native app on top of SAP's Hana in-memory platform, but it doesn't require a Hana license to run, according to Jayne Landry, SAP's global vice president and general manager for Business Intelligence. SAP is now looking for companies to participate in an early-user "ramp up" program for the new tool.

Also on the call on Tuesday, SAP offered a glimpse ahead at numerous new features coming to its intelligence tools for line-of-business users.

Coming in the next few weeks in Lumira 1.27, for example, will be improved data-wrangling and blending capabilities along with the ability to handle larger data sets. The new release will also feature richer cross-tab functionality and improved geospatial location analytics, plus more capable chart formatting and customization, said Ty Miller, vice president of SAP Business Intelligence product management.

Many of the features unveiled Tuesday are things customers have been requesting for a long time, said Martha Bennett, a principal analyst with Forrester Research.

For example, "things like being able to incorporate data sources from outside universes into a dashboard are long overdue," Bennett said, as is expanding the software's geospatial capabilities.

"To be fair to SAP, it's a tough job having to balance innovation with making sure that existing deployments don't break," she added.

That said, it's difficult to reconcile the new portfolio and announcements with SAP's latest "Run Simple" message, she said, because they underscore what a complex set of technologies the company really has.

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