Getting to the Analytics Crystal Ball: SAP to Acquire KXEN

Analyzing score of data for its own sake is not so interesting – but what if you could predict future trends and behaviors with the data you have today? The business implications are huge. But how?

Enter “predictive analytics.”  Predictive analytics applies statistical algorithms to prescribe or recommend actions based on patterns in data that can help predict the behavior of employees, customers, products, services, markets and other business outcomes. For HR professionals, they may enable the ability to predict retention risks, retirement patterns, future staffing requirements and the like.

IDC estimates the market for predictive analytics software as worth US$2 billion today and is expected to exceed US$3 billion in 2017. (IDC, “Worldwide Business Analytics Software 2012-2016 Forecast and 2011Vendor Shares,” June 2012).  Using the increasingly pervasive big data environments, organizations are seeking to better understand the present and anticipate – and ultimately shape – the future.

There are many companies, mature and young, that offer predictive analytics solutions. Among them are Revolution Analysis, Civis Analytics, ForeSee, Angoss Software, Versium and Inkiru. Another such company, KXEN is the target of an SAP announced acquisition (the sale should close in Q4).

Shekhar Iyer, SAP GVP and GM of Analytics & Business Intelligence, reports that the KXEN technology is being integrated on SAP’s HANA platform to help users derive actionable predictive information from  the big data they are harnessing.

Our crystal ball: one doesn’t need predictive analytics to know that this area, coupled with the amassing of big and bigger datasets, is a hot button in business today.  And with that, we anticipate that SAP is just one of many who will be scooping up predictive analytics software providers in the coming months.

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