Cover Story: Finding 'Definitive Insights'
"Once you get into something like Test&Target that requires somebody to continually use the software and develop expertise," explains Samardzija, "enterprises find themselves in this environment where they've spent a significant amount of money on technology and then trained and are trying to create these power users, but the technology's really not being utilized. And if it's being utilized, you get these kind of entrepreneurial pockets and folks that are able to pick that up, but they're doing tests for the sake of testing that don't really necessarily line up globally with some overall vision or marketing objectives"
"I started with a platform," Burns recalls from the experience. Now he had to "get people and get a process so that the people and the platform are used to derive the most value for the company."
P for People ...
The Test Lab was created as a way for SAP to put the people and the process behind Test&Target to make the overall testing program a stable, three-legged stool. It's one department headed up by Sapirstein with support from KBM Group.
The lab takes testing proposals from throughout the company, prioritizes and vets them, and runs approximately 100 statistically rigorous tests a year across SAP's multinational markets to derive definitive insights that are then evangelized throughout the company.
"'Definitive' is a big word for us because it means we won't test it again," says Burns. "If everybody [in the marketing department] is doing their own tests, what I can guarantee you is in the next 24 months, we will test the same button 26 different times and nobody will leverage what the other guy did." With Test Lab hunting for definitive insights, it can say to those users, "We did that six months ago, we already know this is how you have to lead that approach."