[caption id="attachment_950" align="aligncenter" width="437" caption="It's not enough that B.I. apps can digest massive amounts of data; now people want it all done before lunch."] [/caption] A new partnership between analytics firm Opera Solutions and SAP could result in a platform more capable of analyzing large amounts of business data in real time. Opera Solutions’ Signal Hub technology suite utilizes a combination of advanced machine-learning techniques and modeling to extract predictive patterns—i.e., “Signals,” in the company’s parlance—from massive amounts of data. In turn, these patterns can boost the power of businesses applications in delivering the right recommended actions to, well, anyone who needs to make big, crunchy, scary strategic decisions. Signal Hubs are delivered via cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) or within the context of a software-licensed model. Under the terms of the partnership, Signal Hub technology will be integrated with SAP HANA, an in-memory database technology. HANA is capable of aggregating massive amounts of data, executing parallel searches, and rapidly delivering answers to queries. “We focus on using the predictive information in Big Data to drive front line productivity improvement, and SAP HANA powerfully contributes to this effort,” Arnab Gupta, CEO of Opera Solutions, wrote in a May 15 statement. “By allowing us to keep both time series history and complex event processing in memory, it significantly reduces speed-to-answer and simplifies our own processing environment.” At least in theory, that translates into a predictive analytics platform more capable of delivering real-time and on-demand results, thanks to the combined technologies’ ability to more rapidly extract and process the necessary data. Opera Solutions also offered up the requisite customer quote. “The ability to look at large quantities of historical data combined with on-the-fly real-time algorithms is going to be important for any business that is trying to make real-time decisions,” wrote Jeffrey McMillan, managing director at Stanley Morgan. “In our firm, we are always looking for ways to drive better and faster decision-making.” The financial industry aside (although if any group of companies could benefit from better decision-making at key moments, it’s the financial industry), the need for speedy and accurate analytics is increasingly a factor in organizations’ decisions to adopt a business-intelligence platform. Research firm Gartner recently named SAP the top B.I., analytics and performance-management (PM) software vendor in 2011, with 23.6 percent market-share based on revenue. Oracle came in second, with 15.6 percent, followed by SAS Institute with 12.6 percent, IBM with 12.1 percent, Microsoft with 8.7 percent, and “Other Vendors” with 27.5 percent. As with nearly everything tech-related, however, those numbers can shift rather quickly; hence, the need for SAP and other vendors to set up partnerships that disseminate their products to more businesses.   IMAGE: SAP