By Todd Morrison

SAP’s new Predictive Analysis software is now generally available, company officials announced today.

SAP says the advanced analysis offering is designed to let companies crunch data in an effort to uncover and predict future business trends. Company officials add that the software now also includes the SAP Visual Intelligence tools, which allow users to manipulate data and create charts and graphs to display query results.

The decision to incorporate SAP Visual Intelligence was the result of feedback they heard from trial customers, according to Mani Gill, vice president and general manager for SAP business intelligence software.

“The customers told us ‘[SAP Visual Intelligence is] great, but we would like you to take it even further,” he said. “We’d like you to bring it even closer to the rest of the [SAP] BI (business intelligence) capabilities.”

Customers can run SAP Predictive Analysis standalone or in conjunction with the HANA in-memory database platform.

SAP Predictive Analytics allows customers to perform a range of predictive functions, including determining how past sales and costs relate, how they will affect future performance and how those forecasts stack up against corporate goals, according to SAP. It also allows businesses to better understand sales trends as well as find correlations in the data so they can cross-sell and up-sell.

While there have been aspects of forecasting and planning in some of SAP’s existing business applications before, including software like SAP Smart Meter Analytics, SAP Predictive Analysis marks the first time SAP has created an application specifically devoted to predictive analytics. SAP had previously ceded that functionality to its partners and competitors.