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Are Data Scientists Replaceable? SAP CTO Juergen Mueller Weighs In

Are Data Scientists Replaceable? SAP CTO Juergen Mueller Weighs In

Juergen Mueller SAP Data Scientists

“It takes tremendous effort and time to build machine learning models. Of course, you can try to hire more data scientists but they are hard to get on the market. So for an SAP context, we decided to give you an alternative with Automate in SAP Data Intelligence,” said Juergen Mueller.

SAP for a very long time has been one of the leaders in enterprise application with the most comprehensive Cloud ERP and solution portfolio to help companies run their businesses. With a focus on Intelligent Enterprise, the company is aiming to help customers bring operations and experiences together, and have a deep understanding of operational data.

To throw some light on the innovations at SAP, we can look at a recent business event. When Alibaba recently made a world record of making $38 billion revenue in 24 hours as part of its 11/11 mega sale, there were over 500 thousand transactions per second at the peak time. And in those 24 hours, over 900 petabytes of data was processed. Ma Jin, Chief Product Officer of Alibaba Cloud revealed that SAP was part of the system that helped the company achieve this feat. The cloud vendor leveraged S/4 HANA Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform which helped achieve such a mega scale of data operations.


Speaking at SAP TechEd 2019 event in Bengaluru, Juergen Mueller, member of the executive board and Global CTO of SAP spoke on what is new and innovative in the company’s offerings. According to Mueller, SAP is focusing heavily on the Intelligent Enterprise Program.

“We run an internal engineering program, call it an Intelligent Enterprise Program, and this is the largest engineering program we currently have at SAP. We focus on seamless user experience, functional enhancements, intelligence, analytics and of course, functional integration,” said Juergen Mueller.

When small as well as large companies need to manage customer operations, they need to have the right solutions in place to manage your financials, organise manufacturing supply chain and procurement of material. In all those areas, according to Mueller, SAP offers modular yet integrated solutions. SAP’s focus is to help integrate applications or to create entirely new applications with the right development tools and frameworks.

How SAP Is Strengthening Its Analytics Prowess

For companies with ERP system and CRM system, there could be terabytes if not petabytes of data currently sitting in a data lake. If businesses cannot turn this data into business value, that just stretches cost. Now, the challenge that a company faces and many companies face is the unification of master data.

To counter this, SAP has a Master Data Governance solution that helps data scientists consolidate and centrally govern master data lifecycle. So, it is easy for a company to consolidate the app customer master data with the existing customer database by specifying matching rules which can be in any business process.

On the SAP cloud platform, even non-analytics experts can get valuable insights from their business data, enabling customers to create thousands of dashboards. These dashboards of course, help to understand the details of the business and give you information and to make informed decisions through something called SAP Smart Discovery. On dashboards powered by NLP, business users can immediately see the revenue the average customer spends, predictions of revenue, distribution channels, types of customers profiles, segmentation, and so on.

“We provide SAP technology to store vast amounts of data generated by consumers, combine them with the operational data and also combine them with external sources using our database and data management solutions. Also, we have to generate the necessary business insights, even without being an analytics expert with SAP Analytics portfolio,” said Juergen Mueller.

Mueller On Replacing Data Scientists With Automate

For companies bogged down with the abundance of data in the enterprise and how to derive insights from it, SAP has launched Automate. With Automate, a wizard guides you through the process of designing your business problem, and you specify the data sets for training and for testing.

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Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India

“With more and more questions coming in, the Data Science team will not be able to keep up. They have to select through algorithms, they have to build machine learning models, and it is very complex to fine-tune hyper-parameters of these models. It takes tremendous effort and time to build machine learning models. Of course, you can try to hire more data scientists they are hard to get on the market. So for an SAP context, we decided to give you an alternative with Automate in SAP Data Intelligence,” Juergen Mueller stated.

Automate can help specify the objective of a project and how much time in compute resources a company is willing to spend. Automate then automatically tests multiple algorithms in parallel to figure out which one works best for business data and for a particular business problem.

SAP Will Integrate Analytics Cloud into S/4 HANA

SAP Analytics Cloud also has a tool called Search to Insights, and here you can ask questions in natural language. So, a machine learning model is running in the back, analysing all the data, then having a natural language generation created such that all that is combine embedded to dashboards. SAP builds such a dashboard automatically for you.

According to the company, the data model is only possible because of HANA, with the lowest level of granularity which gives great flexibility. SAP is embedding SAP Analytics Cloud into S/4 HANA, which, according to analysts, may be a game-changer for democratising analytics. Both of these are available with the upcoming 2019 Q4 Release with SAP Analytics cloud embedded at no extra cost.

“We say that the data is the new oil, but what does that mean? And in order to do that, we must democratise analytics. But still, we have to do in a way that is governed but also gives users the freedom to work with data,” Juergen Mueller stated.

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