Only a third of SAP user organisations in the UK & Ireland think they have the necessary skills to make effective use of all their data

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Three-quarters of organisations say their business intelligence/data analytics needs have increased over the last 12 months

London, U.K. – 15 April 2021 – Research from the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), the independent not-for-profit organisation representing all users of SAP software, has today revealed only a third (32%) of organisations think they have the necessary skills to make effective use of all their data. In addition, fewer than half (44%) think they have the necessary data and analytics/intelligence technologies. This comes at a time when three-quarters (75%) of organisations say their use of data for business intelligence/data analytics has increased, and nearly two-thirds (62%) say data analytics has helped them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

As data demands grow, the survey of 117 SAP user organisations reveals that more than half (58%) are using or planning to use SAP Analytics Cloud. Of those organisations planning to use SAP Analytics Cloud, 58% say they will do so in the next two years. When respondents were asked about their most pressing business intelligence needs, data accuracy and consistency (22%), dashboards/visualisation (20%) and using data to help reduce costs/wastage across the organisation (17%) were the most commonly cited.

“Even prior to the pandemic the data demands on many organisations had risen significantly. Having the necessary data analytics technology and skills is becoming hugely important, as our research reveals 70% of organisations have executive or senior level sponsorship of their data strategy,” said Paul Cooper, Chairman, UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “It’s clear that many SAP users are either using or planning to use SAP Analytics Cloud in the future. The onus will be on helping those organisations maximise their technology investment so they can realise greater insight and value from their data.”

The research goes on to reveal that more than half (55%) of organisations are currently using the SAP HANA in-memory database. When those organisations were asked for their reasons for using SAP HANA, strategic alignment with SAP’s roadmap (26%), processing data for real-time decision making (17%) and a need to process growing data volumes (13%) were the most popular answers.Interestingly, of those organisations not currently using SAP HANA, 45% said they were waiting to move to SAP S/4HANA rather than purchasing the in-memory database separately.

“The availability of skilled talent is vital to the success of all organisations and the fundamental growth of the UK and Ireland. Addressing the skills gap is a shared responsibility between industry, education and government. Investing in talent development, at all levels, will help all of us prosper in the years to come,” said Michiel Verhoeven, Managing Director, SAP UK and Ireland.

“While the SAP HANA in-memory database has certainly gained traction in recent years, the research shows that some organisations are simply waiting until they move to SAP S/4HANA before taking advantage of the technology. Our member research last year revealed that the pandemic has impacted the speed at which some organisations are moving to SAP S/4HANA, so the challenge for many will be ensuring they can effectively meet their ever changing data demands in the meantime,” added Paul Cooper.

The User Group will be hosting its annual Analytics Symposium as an online event on Wednesday 21st April 2021.

About the UK & Ireland SAP User Group

Founded in 1988, The UK & Ireland SAP User Group is an independent 'not for profit' organisation. Over the years we have grown and now comprise of over 600 organisations and 7,500 professionals. Our aims are to facilitate networking, knowledge exchange and best practice amongst SAP users.

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