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On Wednesday December 5th, SAP participated in the final SAP Analytics project presentations shared by graduate business students of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. Together with several senior leaders of the university administration, we reviewed the student’s recommendations for improvements to procurement processes based on analysis of key data sets provided by the school. Three teams of students used SAP Predictive Analytics as part of a regular class project to discern patterns and opportunities in the procurement process. We were able to evaluate their presentations and provide constructive feedback.

The university procurement services office provided two large purchasing related data sets for the class to analyze using SAP software. The project prompt was: “How can Procurement Services more accurately categorize purchases and combine all of the data sources to fully understand what is being purchased to better support contract negotiations and direct purchasing behavior to achieve the best value for the University”.  The procurement team wants to operate more strategically in the following ways:

  • Create a portfolio of key spend categories to use as a road map in initiating RFPs

  • Engage top suppliers around analysis of annual transactions and spending

  • Facilitate the creation of contracts to cover top categories and transactions

  • Streamline the procurement review process

Through our ongoing work with Notre Dame on curriculum and extra-curricular co-innovation projects, we were able to identify this area of university business as particularly well suited to a classroom analytics project. This was a great opportunity to provide students with a complex real world project and for them to see how Intelligent Enterprises effectively use their data assets to achieve desired outcomes faster. Notre Dame stakeholders were very impressed with the various student insights and recommendations. The students involved delivered three professional presentations of their findings and recommendations to Notre Dame that will help influence future business strategies at the university.

The course description for Notre Dame’s SAP Predictive Analytics is as follows:

Gain hands on experience using analytic solutions from SAP. This course begins with the basics of data mining of Big Data with user-friendly interfaces to make faster and more informed business decisions. Students will then leverage advanced visualization capabilities to quickly reveal insights and trends using SAP Business Objects. The use of predictive models and algorithms with integrated and custom R scripts will be used to optimize resources and improve margins using SAP Predictive Analytics. Finally students will develop a custom dashboard and mobile app using SAP Design Studio.