Cloud

SAP's new big data service can give you a big shortcut to the mother lode of customer insights

SAP announced a new data-as-a-service offering that allows users to buy ready-made big data consumer insights from its Sybase 365 subsidiary.

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Image: iStockphoto/ismagilov

SAP unveiled its first ever data-as-a-service offering Thursday, at the 28th annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Florida. The service, SAP Digital Consumer Insight, allows customers to purchase readymade big data customer insights from data collected and aggregated by Sybase 365.

In a press release announcing the service, SAP said the data files or "insights" are based on "near-real-time mobile data," which provides details like geographic area, gender, age, and the device he or she is using. Using the data, SAP said that customers will be able to improve their local sales, advertising, and marketing.

SEE: Dell, SAP partner on new products to streamline cloud, big data, IoT deployments (TechRepublic)

"A crowd can change from night to night," said Emma Matthieson, director of marketing for Brooklyn Bowl. "We want to be able to customize the overall experience as much as possible—from music to menu to drink specials."

Sybase 365 is a standalone subsidiary of SAP. The company's president, Sethu Meenakshisundaram, said that Sybase 365 collects roughly 40TB of anonymous global data every day. However, SAP Consumer Digital will be based on US customer data to start, with support for more countries added in the future.

To turn the mobile network data into actionable insight, SAP said that it leverages cloud and in-memory technologies, but it didn't note, specifically, if HANA was involved in the process. Data is anonymized before it reaches Digital Consumer Insight customers in order to preserve privacy.

SAP Consumer Digital Insight operates in a pay-as-you-go model. The data service charges $439 per individual insight, or users can save some money by purchasing five data files for $1,429. While the price may give you sticker shock, it is important to note that this absolves the purchasing party from setting up its own big data system and gets them straight to the value of big data insights.

SEE: SAP HANA to go live on Microsoft Azure, eases Office 365 integration (TechRepublic)

With the low prices and purported ease of use, this could be a valuable tool for do-it-yourself marketers and SMBs with retail or e-commerce elements. While this is relatively new territory for SAP, it could prove to be a useful audience segment as big data analytics start to trickle down from larger enterprises.

"SAP Digital Consumer Insight allows businesses of every size to benefit from knowing more about consumers at a given location. The insights will allow them to improve their products and services, run better marketing campaigns, scout locations for expansion and even learn more about competitors," said Jonathan Becher, chief digital officer and head of SAP Digital.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. With Digital Consumer Insight allowing companies to purchase big data insights based on consumer mobile data, SAP is shortening the path to real big data value.
  2. Digital Consumer Insight can provide information such as geography, gender, age, or mobile device of choice, making it a useful demographic tool for smaller marketing firms or SMBs who want to better target their advertising.
  3. SAP has traditionally been known as a vendor of analytics, not data, and the new direction of a major vendor selling its data is likely to raise some concerns among customers, despite steps taken to anonymize the data and manage privacy.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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