July 27, 2011 – SAP business analytics and data visualizations will be connected to Google’s global mapping prowess in new capabilities announced Wednesday from a joint collaboration.

Features in the partnership would enable SAP customers to visualize and analyze data sets based on geospatial boundaries found in Google’s Maps and Earth applications, according to a news release. In return, information from Google applications such as its vehicle traffic reports could be entered into SAP supply chain and distribution systems to optimize routes, according to a presentation from Jonathan Becher, EVP of marketing at SAP. In one example of use, Becher says that a government or real estate agency could link data on foreclosures and housing values to a map of a city or region to outline trend areas better than would be found in a traditional spreadsheet.

Because of the big data capabilities with Google’s mapping and visualizations and SAP’s updates to analytics and mobility in its BI solutions, the connection with Google goes beyond “a simple consumer mashup,” Becher says.

“Now there’s a new collection of API, which gives new functionality for the enterprise space,” he says.

More releases and capabilities are expected in the coming months from the partnership, such as on-demand offerings for collaboration among sales representatives and a report builder for business travelers, Becher says.

Based on an early look at the announced collaboration, Dan Vesset, program vice president for business analytics at IDC, says SAP is following through on investments through Sybase in mobile BI and analytics. IDC pegs geospatial information management to grow by 8.5 percent in 2010 as location increasingly becomes an easier dashboard view for some BI results, Vesset says.

“There is a portion of this SIM market that is tightly aligned with business analytics to enable location-based business intelligence and analytics,” says Vesset. “Location is one of the key dimensions in a lot of data sets … which means that analysis based on location is an important part of the decision-making process.”