April 3, 2012 – SAP introduced its BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis software, aiming to open predictive modeling up to business analysts and tie in big data opportunities atop its in-memory HANA database.

The software includes pre-loaded algorithms or the integration and use of algorithms from more mainstream R open source analysis of structured and unstructured data.

That data can be picked and processed via a drag-and-drop interface, with results and related visuals funneled to other dashboards, mobile devices and analytics solutions, which opens up use for “IT and those professional business data analysts,” says Jason Kuo, SAP group product marketing manager. Predictive Analysis is offered as standalone software, though Kuo touted its real-time big data angle when connected to the data mining and statistical function library in its HANA database.

David Menninger, VP and research director at Ventana Research, says until this point, a wide-reaching predictive analytics solution had been “conspicuously absent from the SAP portfolio.” With the new rollout, SAP will be challenged by the large portion of enterprises that prefer to purchase predictive analytics as standalone technologies, Menninger says.

However, he sees upsides in how enterprises seek to deploy capabilities integrated with BI and other business applications, as well as the connection between HANA in-memory architecture and its predictive analytics, which has logged high enterprise satisfaction rates in Ventana’s research.

“It is a first release of predictive analytics and is certainly a step in the right direction, but SAP will need to add more model management capabilities to help organizations keep their models up to date. This is an often overlooked part of the process,” says Menninger.