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Business Intelligence Curriculum developed by Prof. Heesen

Professor Heesen was invited by SAP to form part of a global project team to develop a Business Intelligence curriculum.  This curriculum is now available to over 800 universities throughout the world which are a part of the SAP University Alliance Program. The other members of the global team were the professors: Lorraine Gardiner (California State University Chico/USA), Peter Lehmann (HDM Stuttgart), Klaus Freyburger (FH Ludwigshafen), Paul Hawking and Robert Jovanovic (Victoria University/Australia).

2009 SAP UA Curriculum CongressTo facilitate the adoption of the new curriculum, Professor Heesen was invited to teach faculty workshops in Atlanta (March 2008) and Chico/California (August 2008) presenting the newly developed curriculum to professors from North America. At the SAP University Alliances Curriculum Congress in Charlotte/NC (March 2009) about 50 faculty members from North America participated in the BI workshop. Business Intelligence seems a topic of high relevance for business students as well as MIS students. Because of the modular design of the course it can be used for undergraduate as well as graduate courses.

In November 2009 Professor Heesen conducted the first Online Workshop (Webinar using Adobe Connect) for faculty. The recordings of the webinar (3 x 1 hour) are available via the SAP Collaboration Workplace (see link below). The 24/7 availability of these instructions how to use the curriculum materials is meant to facilitate an easy adoption in all regions.

Additional information:

  • Interview with Professor Heesen and other team members published in SAP INFO (March 2008) on the topic of "Trends in Data Analysis: A Job for the Intelligence Services" (link to article
  • SAP and Business Objects Reported by Analyst Firm as Market Leader in Two Major Segments of Enterprise Performance Management (link to article)

The materials are available for members of the SAP University Alliance. Professors with interest in the course documents (slides with exercises) are able to download them on the faculty collaboration workspace from SAP at the website https://cw.sdn.sap.com/community/uac in the section "Business Intelligence".

Book recommendation:

The two-second advantage

Vivek Ranadive & Kevin Maney are convinced that in turbulent times it is not only critical to make the right decisions and execute them but time is of the essence. They use the ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky as an example: "Like Gretzky on ice, the most successful people in various fields make continual, accurate predictions just a little ahead of and a little better than everyone else. It is the one common denominator of almost all consistent success. Talented people don't need to have a vision of the future ten years out or even ten days out. They need a highly probable prediction just far enough ahead to see an opening or opportunity an instant before the competition. That's true for athletes, artists, businesspeople, or anyone in any field" (p. 6). These concepts apply anywhere: "The salesman who sells more than anybody else had developed a talent for anticipating people's reactions to his pitches, allowing him to steer the conversation before it gets off course. The teacher who seems to get the most out of her students with the least effort has developed predictive models in her head for how kids behave and respond to certain teaching methods" (p. 8).

Predictive analytics (Business Intelligence) allows Sam's Club to know what its members are going to want to buy when they walk into the store (p. 11).

The problem is often not only the availability of information. There is an abundance of information. "As it turns out, getting just a little bit of the right information just ahead of when it's needed is a lot more valuable than all the information in the world a month or a day later"... "using an efficient 'mental model' to get a little ahead of events and make instant judgments about what to do next" is key to anticipate customer needs or avoid carrying too much or too little of a product (p. 12).

Even with computers getting more powerful every year, business can't search all its data each time it needs an answer (p. 14). Designing and implementing a business intelligence framework to support the unique "mental model" of the organization is what successful organizations need to work on to be at least two seconds quicker than their competition...