It’s My 10 Year Blogging Anniversary!

10-year blogging anniversary: 2007 Hampi, a temple town in South India recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site
10-year blogging anniversary: 2007 Hampi, a temple town in South India recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site (Flickr)

A Milestone Blogging Anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but I’m celebrating my 10-year blogging anniversary! I’m filled with gratitude for those who have read, encouraged, and inspired me throughout this adventure. Without you, blogging would be only half the fun. Now, let’s take a moment to reflect on this incredible decade…

The Early Years: SAP and India (2007-2009)

It all started in 2007 when I decided to explore an internship abroad in India. I was studying Computer Science and decided to go for an internship abroad. China and India were on my shortlist. I decided for India, applied for a scholarship, and asked some companies for interesting project work. Before starting the adventure, I published my very first blog post to keep family and friends in the loop.

For the next seven months, I lived in Bangalore and worked for SAP Labs India to develop prototypes for mobile BI apps. I spent plenty of weekends exploring India and surrounding countries. After returning from India, I continued to work for SAP at their headquarters while finishing my degree in Karlsruhe.

CERN: Data and Discovery (2009-2012)

Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and Lake Geneva, CERN grabbed my attention at the end of my studies. CERN has tons of data: some petabytes! Challenge accepted. CERN is known for its particle accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC). We applied machine learning to identify new correlations between variables (LHC data and external data) that were not previously connected. This chapter was all about embracing the challenges of big data.

Capgemini and MBA: Expanding Horizons (2012-2015)

Back in Germany, my focus shifted to bringing Big Data Analytics to companies. To one company? No, to many companies! So instead of getting hired as Head of BI for an SME, I started to work for Capgemini. I had fantastic projects, designed data-driven use cases for the financial sector, and gave advice for digital transformation initiatives.

In order to keep in balance with all the project work, I dedicated many of my weekends to studies and got enrolled in Frankfurt School’s Executive MBA program. During my studies, I focused on Emerging Markets and visited a module at CEIBS in Shanghai.

Tableau and Futura: Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2015-201?)

I knew Tableau from my time as a consultant. It is an awesome company with a great product and a mission: help people see and understand their data. That’s me! Joining Tableau allowed me to assist organizations in transitioning from classic BI to modern self-service analytics by developing data strategies so that data can be treated as a corporate asset. This includes education, evangelism, and establishing a data-driven culture.

In the evenings I’m working for Futura Analytics, a fintech startup, which I co-founded in 2017. Futura Analytics offers real-time information discovery and transforms data from social media and other public sources into actionable signals.

What’s Next? A Glimpse into the Future

Currently, I’m excited to present my Data Strategy talk on TC17, accompanied by a TensorFlow demo scenario. I’m also learning Mandarin, the predominant language of business, politics, and media in China and Taiwan, for quite a while. Let’s see if that is going to influence my next steps… 🙂

Follow my ongoing journey in data analytics and more on Twitter and LinkedIn.

7 Big Data Analytics Use Cases for Financial Institutions

Big Data Analytics
Big Data Analytics

Recently we hear a lot about Big Data Analytics‘ ability to deliver usable insight – but what does this mean exactly for the financial service industry?

While much of the Big Data activity in the market up to now has been experimenting about Big Data technologies and proof-of-concept projects, I like to show in this post seven issues banks and insurances can address with Big Data Analytics:

1. Dynamic 360º View of the Customer:
Extend your existing customer views by incorporating dynamic internal and external information sources. Gain a full understanding of customers – what makes them tick, why they buy, how they prefer to shop, why they switch, what they’ll buy next, and what factors lead them to recommend a company to others.

2. Enhanced Commercial Scorecard Design and Implementation:
Financial institutions use Big Data solutions to analyze commercial loan origination, developing scorecards and scoring, and ultimately improving accuracy as well as optimizing price and risk management.

3. Risk Concentration Identification and Management:
Identify risk concentration hotspots by decomposing risk into customized insights. Clearly see factor contribution to risks and gain allocation consensus through downside risk budgeting.

4. Next Best Action Recommendations:
Make „next best action“ an integral part of your marketing strategy and proactive customer care. With analytical insight from Big Data, you can answer such questions as: What approach will get the most out of the customer relationship? Is selling more important than retention?

5. Fraud Detection Optimization:
Preventing fraud is a major priority for all financial services organizations. But to deal with the escalating volumes of financial
transaction data, statisticians need better ways to mine data for insight. Optimization for your current fraud detection techniques help to leverage your existing fraud detection assets.

6. Data and Insights Monetization:
Use your customer transaction data to improve targeting of cross-sell offers. Partners are increasingly promoting merchant based reward programs which leverage a bank’s or credit card issuer’s data and provide discounts to customers at the same time.

7. Regulatory and Data Retention Requirements:
The need for more robust regulatory and data retention management is a legal requirement for financial services organizations across the globe to comply with the myriad of local, federal, and international laws (such as Basel III) that mandate the retention of certain types of data.

India still the Top Destination for Outsourcing

SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore
SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore

Asian countries, especially countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, keep on being favored picks among organizations interested in contract out business processes offshore. India remains the top outsourcing destination, with its unrivaled advantages in scale and people skills, said the 2014 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) released by A.T. Kearney. China and Malaysia are second and third respectively.

The GSLI, which tracks offshoring patterns to lower-cost developing countries and the ascent of new locations, measures the underlying fundamentals of 51 nations focused on measurements in three general classifications, such as financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment.

Distributed since 2004 the GSLI, revealed that leading IT-services companies in India, to whom IT-related functions were outsourced, are extending their traditional offerings to incorporate research and development, product development and other niche services. The line between IT and business-procedure outsourcing there is obscuring, as players offer packages and specialized services to their customers and are developing skills in niche domains.

Furthermore, the GSLI identified a trend of multinationals reassessing their outsourcing strategies, after having aggressively outsourced back office operations in the mid-2000s; it has been noted that some companies are starting to reclaim some of these functions and undertaking them in-house again.

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Alternative: SAPGUI for Java

SAPGUI for Java (Linux)

Die SAPGUI for Java bietet eine alternative Zugriffsmöglichkeit auf SAP-Systeme. So ermöglicht die in Java implementierte GUI den Einsatz von Clients mit unixoiden Betriebssystemen. Aber auch Windows-Anwendern würde ich raten einen Blick auf das plattformunabhängige Frontend zu werfen.

Im Vergleich zur klassischen SAPGUI for Windows ist das generische Java-Pendant nämlich äußerst ressourcenschonend und platzsparend (ca. 90 MB Festplattenplatz). Dafür müssen im Gegenzug auf Gimmicks wie Screen Painter und MS Office-Integration verzichtet werden. Letzteres habe ich bisweilen nicht vermisst. 🙂

Reflecting on my Internship in Software Engineering and Project Management at SAP

I recently completed an internship in the software engineering department of SAP, a large international software manufacturer, where I had the opportunity to work as a software engineer and project manager. Looking back on my experience, I am proud of the exceptional performance I was able to achieve in both of these roles and the great success I had in leading a team of 12 developers.

Leading a Complex Project: Developing Mobile BI Infrastructure at SAP

One of the main responsibilities of my internship was to lead the development of a mobile BI infrastructure. This was a complex and challenging project, but I was able to effectively manage it by using my project management skills to ensure that everything was completed on time and within budget. I was also able to contribute to the development of the infrastructure by using my software development skills to create high-quality code.

Collaborative and Inclusive Work Environment at SAP

One of the things that I enjoyed most about my internship was the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of developers. Each person brought their own unique skills and perspectives to the table, which made the experience all the more enriching. By fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment, I was able to create a positive team dynamic that made it easier for everyone to work together effectively.

Top Learnings in Software Project Management

These are some of my top learnings in software project management:

  1. Setting clear goals and objectives: It is important to have a clear understanding of what the project aims to achieve, as well as specific goals and objectives that need to be met. This will help to guide the project and ensure that it stays on track.
  2. Managing resources: A software project manager must be able to effectively allocate and manage resources, including budget, staff, and equipment, to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
  3. Communication: Effective communication is crucial in software project management. The project manager must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with team members, stakeholders, and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
  4. Risk management: It is important to anticipate and mitigate potential risks to the project, as well as have contingency plans in place in case something does go wrong.
  5. Adaptability: A successful software project manager must be able to adapt to changes in the project and the industry, and be able to pivot as needed to ensure the project’s success.
  6. Leadership: A software project manager must be able to effectively lead and motivate the team to ensure that everyone is working towards the common goal.
  7. Attention to detail: A software project manager must have strong attention to detail to ensure that all aspects of the project are properly planned and executed.
  8. Time management: Managing a project requires effective time management skills to ensure that tasks are completed on schedule and that the project stays on track.

Conclusion: A Rewarding Internship at SAP

In conclusion, my internship at SAP was a valuable and rewarding experience that has helped me to develop my skills in software development and project management. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a talented team and am confident that the skills and knowledge I gained during my time at SAP will be invaluable as I pursue a career in the software industry.

Want to know more about my journey in the software industry? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more insights.

This blog post is an excerpt from the Personal Development section of my internship report written for my university.