Automated predictive analytics on the rise, says SAP’s UK chief technologist


Mark Darbyshire, SAP UK and Ireland’s chief technologist, reflects on the supplier’s updated predictive analytics software and service pack 10 for Hana

SAP UK and Ireland’s chief technologist Mark Darbyshire said the supplier’s recent announcements “profoundly underline how Hana is a data platform, not just a database”.

“Our predictive, real-time analytics means a CIO can do something for the business today in a way that either users or business operations can consume.”
At an SAP Insider conference in Nice last week, the supplier announced the general availability of the 2.2 release of its predictive analytics software and a service pack – 10 (SPS10) – for its Hana in-memory database platform.

Darbyshire said of the most recent iteration of the predictive analytics product: “Customers can get predictive insights on ultra-wide datasets, where there are tens of thousands of columns, or you have complicated or unstructured datasets.”

He said the update will support data scientists better and make the process of extending their algorithms to a broader business population at a customer organisation more automatic.

“Expect to see more profound support for automated machine learning,” he said, and confirmed that SAP has UK customers using analytics for predictive maintenance on machinery and for “next best action” suggestions to increase sales.

SAP turns a corner

New capabilities in the 2.2 version of “SAP Predictive Analytics” include those for internet of things (IoT) applications, improved integration with Hana and enhanced integration with the open-source statistical analysis language R.

The service pack for Hana has significance for the data platform “playing better in a Hadoop environment and in IoT applications”, said Darbyshire.

“Hadoop clusters can become stores of static one-off brilliant insights in the data laboratory. But how is Hadoop being leveraged by the rest of the organisation? Hana is a nice way for the rest of the business being able to take advantage of Hadoop. You can send data from Hana to your Hadoop cluster or the other way round for analytics.”