Analytics

Aspire Academy Enables Sports Talent with SAP and Clariba

SAP's Digital Boardroom presenting Sports Analytics powered by SAP and Clariba. Photo by Stefan Wagner (@Stefan_Wag) SAP

SAP's Digital Boardroom presenting Sports Analytics powered by SAP and Clariba. Photo by Stefan Wagner (@Stefan_Wag) SAP

Rising from the desert, Aspire Academy is a symbol of Qatar’s ambition in sports. Boasting coaches and sports scientists from around the globe and housed in some of the best training facilities in the world, Aspire Academy exists to develop sporting champions.

In June 2016, Aspire Academy and SAP announced an historic agreement in Doha, Qatar. This strategic partnership stands for a strong commitment between a global leading technology company and a knowledge-driven youth athlete academy with Aspire Academy becoming the ‘Strategic Sports Partner’ for SAP and SAP in the role of ‘Strategic Technology Partner’ of Aspire Academy.

The alliance aims to deliver a significant contribution not only to Aspire and SAP but also to the world of sports with a special focus on young athletes’ and team development by innovating in sports performance data management and analytics. The premise is to utilize performance data in new ways to unlock innovative approaches in developing sporting talent, starting at the sub-elite level.

Since its start in 2004, Aspire has invested in numerous performance and science technologies. In any given week, the number of data points added to the information ecosystem from matches, training sessions, assessments and more, is substantial.

Allowing coaches, sports scientists and management to tap into this valuable sports performance data in real-time, and providing them with a self-service analytics capability across all data sources became a critical requirement for Aspire Academy. In addition, engaging Aspire’s high school age student-athletes with visually appealing and motivating information by bringing together information from sources from inside and outside of the organization was a critical success factor. They also applied for sport results and performance planning data, medical, sports science and academics input, as well as data from the clubs, leagues and federations of the sports to which they belong.

Underlined by SAP’s principle to Run Simple, and thanks to the in-memory technology platform SAP HANA and the company’s analytics portfolio, a first step was to integrate the rich data sources of Aspire’s operating environment. In co-innovation with Aspire Academy, SAP and Clariba – an independent Big Data analytics consultancy based in Europe and the Middle East – the team developed Aspire’s Football Performance Analytics solution that provides the necessary analytical capabilities to the Academy allowing it to develop one of the world’s smallest talent pools and deliver on the State of Qatar’s global sporting ambitions.

Leveraging Aspire Academy’s expertise in driving sport performance, and equipped with the latest technology powered by SAP and Clariba, coaches can now analyze team and player performance right on the pitch. With the Football Performance Analytics solution, coaches now have access to all performance data around match analysis, training, individual player development and even video analysis on one single, easy-to-use iPad application.

The team at Aspire is currently working on finalizing its world leading Football Performance Center, to be inaugurated in summer 2017. For this prestigious project, Aspire Academy will be bringing together the most advanced technologies and are thinking toward leveraging SAP Digital Boardroom to provide interactive player assessment analytics.

At the recent Aspire Academy Global Summit 2016, Stefan Wagner, SAP’s global manager for Sports & Entertainment, and Luca Spinelli, general manager of Clariba in Qatar, presented the latest insights of the collaboration with Aspire Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The joint presentation to Aspire’s fellows from across the world outlined the importance of the integration and connection to multiple data sources — such as GPS data from training sessions, match data from external providers, or club-internal information — in order for today’s clubs and associations to achieve a competitive edge.

With a small talent pool and high global expectations Aspire is forced to develop competitive advantage in different ways than leading sport nations with a strong sports culture and ready access to talent can do today. In partnership with SAP and Clariba, Aspire Academy is now more than ever striving to become the world’s leading academy with the objective to enable the best coaching and performance decisions.

The original press release published by SAP can be found here.

Exploring SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2

BI4.2 beta testing has been very smooth and BI4.2 is now available for all customers to download.
There are numerous performance enhancements to the platform, tools and some very useful features have been implemented. One feature has even been added arising from popular demand via the ‘Idea Place’ portal. 
We have played with the platform and we highly recommend an upgrade. 

Below are a few of the important features we came across that will surely catch your interest. Note that there are many more enhancements but the ones listed below really left an impression on us. 

1. BI Administrators’ Cockpit

BO Administrators can now have a real time view of the infrastructure. This includes Servers, Scheduled jobs, Content usage and Applications. A demo can be found here.
The cockpit accommodates both an overview of the platform and a detailed view of the platform components.  

Location under CMC

Location under CMC

Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

Servers
- High level overview of the actual status of the servers: 

Servers

Servers


- Detailed status of all the servers with different display options: All, Failed and Running.

Server status

Server status

Scheduled Jobs
- High level overview of the scheduled job status with the possibility to filter by time

High lever overview

High lever overview

- Detailed overview of the scheduled jobs status with different display options: All, Failed, Running and Statistics (jobs with most instances and jobs with longest run time).
- Details of the selected instance. From the Failed tab it is possible to execute the failed instance.

2. Recycle Bin

Another great addition to the BI4.2 platform is the Recycle Bin. This comes from popular demand via the ‘idea place’.
Put simply, administrators can now recover deleted content without the need to look into backups (biar files or other possible sources). This feature saves time and provides an addition level of security for those accidentally deleted contents moments.
By default this is disabled and has to be enabled. 
However, there is a limitation of what can be recovered. Documents deleted from public folders may be recovered. Documents deleted from personal folders are not retained by the recycle bin and are not recoverable.

Location under CMC

Location under CMC

Example of Recycle Bin

Example of Recycle Bin

It is also possible to empty the recycle bin, same as in a windows environment context.

3. Notifications

Another great innovation for BI 4.2 are the new user notifications. This allows administrators to easily broadcast information to single user/group or to all users. For example, if there is upcoming system maintenance. Administrators can specify the timeline for the notification to be visible and also send it as an email notification. Notifications will show up in the BI Launchpad and the “My Alerts” area as well. 
In yellow, on the side screen the alert can be seen.

Alert notification when logging in

Alert notification when logging in

Example of notification

Example of notification

4. Webi Comments

The new Commentary feature allows any user with assigned rights to add comments to a report in the form of cell element. The comment appears in a different format from a normal cell and can only be added under “design” mode view. Users can assign the comment a title and corresponding text.
After the initial comment is created and document saved, another user can open the same document and view the comments. They can then reply to this comment thread in the side panel, all categorized under the title, and add additional notes to the comment as well.
Webi comments get exciting in the context where multiple business units need to interact on a single report. Imagine a manager, report designer, data analyst, key user or more stakeholders sharing comments on a WEBI document without a single email!

Commenting directly on webi document

Commenting directly on webi document

5. Parallel Queries in Webi

Parallel queries are now activated by default. There is the option to deactivate and the also number of concurrent refreshes are customizable. 
Before 4.2 queries were run in sequence and the performance was obviously highly affected. 
Now with BI4.2, queries are run in parallel. This has a huge impact on report performance. 
This feature is supported on UNX, SAP HANA direct access (we will come to this shortly). Can be performed via rich client, html and applet. 

The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

6. Webi Direct access to SAP HANA

Now you can create a document directly on a Hana view as source. Same as you would do for an excel as source. 
All calculations will be done on Hana engine as much as possible adding a great performance touch to the report. 
There is no query panel, only drag and drop. This leverages the full power of SAP HANA on a simple WEBI document.
This is supported on OLAP and relational connection, html interface as shown and with the java applet.

Source of information for this blog can be found here. In case you are thinking about upgrading to BI 4.2 and are seeking the best partner to support you, don’t hesitate and contact us at sales@clariba.com.  We are running time-limited offers on upgrades to BI4.2 which you can review here.

Top 3 industry events in the Middle East for IT Management

Don’t miss out on attending key industry events in Doha or Dubai covering various IT trends and strategic initiatives, such as Big Data, Business Intelligence & Information Management, Infrastructure & Operations. Check them out below and register to attend!

Enterprise mobility for joined-up decision making and greater productivity

As the demand for mobile data explodes and the number of mobile solutions and applications continues to expand, enterprise mobility is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate.
The consumerisation of IT, increased workforce mobility and flexible computing brought on by the movement towards ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) are all drivers of this. And this reflects just how much smartphones and tablets are now part of our daily lives.
Many popular desktop business apps are now being used on consumer devices and the world of enterprise computing is ever changing. This has led to more innovative ways of working and greater productivity, quite simply because users are accessing data and information anytime in their personal lives so they expect this at work too. Enterprise mobility is giving field-based, travelling or customer-facing personnel access to data anytime, anywhere any device – giving them the tools, information and power they need to make critical decisions without even being in the office.
The scale of this evolution can’t be ignored. The world population now stands at over seven million1. The number of cellular subscriptions is around six billion and mobile broadband subscriptions are around 1.2 billion2. And with the global mobile workforce expected to exceed 1.2 billion by 20133, it’s clear that the consumerisation of IT is increasing – with far-reaching implications for your business.

It’s little wonder businesses are seeing enterprise mobility as a strategic necessity. A necessity that gives them the connectivity, visibility and timeliness that allow them to be more collaborative, more responsive and more competitive than ever before. Boris Evelson of Forrester says mobile BI will go mainstream in 2012, and this is the result of years of evolution, look how far mobile BI has come since 1999.

But the Mobile world can be complicated. Even well-managed enterprises are having problems as they embrace mobility.  SAP has run a research to find the main Things Confounding Businesses Going Mobile, and has found that although the technical side can be tricky, it is the business and strategic side that tend to give IT managers a headache when developing their Mobility strategy.

As a SAP partner, Clariba can help you give your employees the tools they need to mobilise their work, increasing efficiency and productivity. We will aid you on building your mobility strategy, and will present you with the adequate solutions based on your needs, that is flexible and capable of being extended as your requirements develop.
Clariba also have a partnership with Exxova, another SAP partner, to distribute their mobility application, called Exxova MyBI mobile, which allows users to securely and instantly access enterprise-wide content held in their SAP BusinessObjects environment anywhere, anytime from their iOS, Android or Windows devices without the need to re-design platforms or content.
When the Mobility strategy is carried out correctly,the improvements to business processes are clear; see the SAP Mobility Clients Montage to find out how other companies are benefiting from Mobile solutions. If you are interested in discovering how mobility can help you to better run your business leave a comment below or contact us at info@clariba.com