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Analytics Services, in cooperation with UNICEF and SAP University Alliances will host the second EMEA Dashboard competition. This time we will do so at Sapphire Madrid where 3 finalists teams will showcase their solution to the business problem that is presented to them by UNICEF (France). This element of adding a real life business issue is an extra challenge for the students. On top of that, and a first for SAP, is that we are asking the competitors not only to use SAP Dashboards, but also to include Visual intelligence into their efforts. This powerful and intuitive graphical analysis tool should help the students to better grasp the business problem, understand the data they are looking at better and identify patterns inside the data that their “customer” UNICEF is looking for.

UNICEF is a well known non-profit organization that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. Most of UNICEF's work is in the field, with 200 countries carrying out UNICEF's mission through a program developed with host governments. UNICEF's programs emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children

SAP is proud to work with such a well established organization. Being able to support them in analyzing their business data for better performance in this competition format is a whole new way of working together. We will be working with the French branch or committee as they call it themselves on a real business problem. Adding this to the equation makes the competition real and exciting as students may have a total new viewpoint, may ask different questions or may even come up with new solutions or examples.

Interesting business case

UNICEF’s business problem is that they rely on governments, organizations and individuals for funding. The challenge today is that more and more governments are rationalizing their spending and that the emphasis for income shifts more and more to individuals. People like you and me who donate money on either a regular or irregular basis. It is easy to understand that growing this base of donors secures the funding for a longer time. For that to work it is important that donors remain keep giving money year after year. Ideally even increasing the amount or the frequency and avoiding what is called churn or attrition, which is exactly the opposite of remaining loyal. Therefore the questions our students need to give answers to while using data that has been supplied by UNICEF are the following:

  • Identify profiles of distinctive donor groups that show a specific donating behavior (like early leavers, high propensity to donate, low propensity to donate etc…
  • Create a dashboard out of these profiles with relevant information as to behavior, new joiners, leavers, size, geography etc… that can be used for making informed decisions. Such decisions could be to start a marketing campaign or to develop special offers as examples.

Why are we so excited about this ?

It is an opportunity to have young people get acquainted with SAP solutions. Which is important for themselves but also gives us a lot of insight in how the new generation of users of our software learns, uses and approaches our products. Also, we can learn a lot from students as they bring the latest insights from business and computer science into the competition. Let’s see what we can learn from their creativity too. SAP Analytics services created this competition based on the great results we had with a similar event during Sapphire Orlando. And by working together as OneSAP , we joined hands with University Alliances to reach out to the university community which has resulted in the participation of 27 teams from a wide variety of universities in different countries. We can say that the interest from universities is exceeding our expectations and with universities from UK, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Ireland, France, Spain, Hungary and Slovenia, we have an interesting group of business cultures adding to the variety of potential solutions.

What happens at Sapphire?

The teams have all been supplied a real life datafile from UNICEF France with data over the last three years with close to 100.000 regular donors and their characteristics. Using SAP Visual Intelligence and SAP Dashboards, they had about 3 weeks to come up with a plausible design and present this to a team of judges. Based on criteria like usefulness and usability of the dashboard but also skills in presenting a solution to an audience of business and IT users, we have selected three finalists who are invited to present their findings in real life at Sapphire as a guest of SAP Analytics Services and University Alliances. This will all happen on Nov 15th and we will make sure we have an expert jury of SAP executives and Unicef to select the best team.

And with competitions, there will be prizes for the winners. At the same time, we can see in the media that the help of organizations like UNICEF is very necessary in this world. Therefore SAP will make a donation to Unicef's program that helps Syrian children to the very basic access to continued education inside and outside of this torn apart country.

Like to find out more ? Please contact Edwin van Geel ( or +31 6 51722321)