By tapping into Ariba’s existing resources, the SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Business Network in SAP’s ICN, and SAP Design collaborated to transform the network’s high volume of complicated transactional data into a simple application, for a more streamlined user experience.
Mining for Insights
Before delving into the data, the design team needed to understand Ariba users’ financial struggles. So, they began by investigating user scenarios, and found that SMBs largely have one mission when browsing invoices; to free up enough revenue to continue an uninterrupted flow of business.
Because businesses can buy and sell at the same time through SAP Ariba, many SMBs run into cash flow problems when they must pay suppliers, while also awaiting payment from invoiced goods or services. So, to acquire money, SMBs utilize invoice financing.
However, this requires preparing invoices to be underwritten by banks- a time consuming process that involves searching for transactional data through traditional list views, using different filters, and conducting secondary searches. All of this occurs before then waiting for banks to confirm or deny the value of an invoice, further prolonging the financing process.
To alleviate this standstill, SMBs often look to acquire loans. Yet, without a FICO equivalent credit score, they are unable to secure approval, as banks are reluctant to provide the money without more information.
The Ariba Network provides a unique solution, because it offers transparency into supplier’s transaction volumes, pending payments, upcoming invoices, fulfilment cycles, and more. The information simply needed to be utilized.
Design for Financial Success
To tap into Ariba’s existing data, the Machine Learning Business Network team in SAP ICN initiated a design thinking workshop. The entire SAP project team worked with underwriters and data scientists from Ariba to ideate and develop storyboards, based on user insights, which the design team eventually crafted into the backbone of the final design.
The end goal became clear: to help businesses identify usable invoices for short term financing, while also providing more information for banks, in order to facilitate a more streamlined and secure financing process for both parties.
Fortune at a glance
SAP’s final design allows SMBs to intuitively dive into dense transactional data in more meaningful ways.
"By eliminating cumbersome searches and filters, the new visualization helps SMBs rapidly find new opportunities, enhancing their productivity and effectiveness. Ultimately, this visualization is capable of demonstrating the dimensionality of information, which truly is the key to success."– Jerry John, User Experience Design Expert, SAP Design AppHaus Palo Alto
The dashboard displays an array of invoices and KPIs at a glance. Additionally, the SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Business Network leveraged machine learning to help identify the most valuable assets to underwrite for loans, putting an easy to navigate user interface on a machine learning topic for the first time. The team also created a business-grade credit score, based on Ariba data, that minimizes risk by allowing data-driven underwriting for bank credit managers. Combined, these features help SMBs find ideal invoices for trading and enable fast acquisition of loans, in order to seamlessly navigate the invoice financing process.
Intelligent Financing for the Future
The Ariba design was showcased at Ariba Live and Sapphire Now, and will be productized, allowing SAP’s innovative intelligent financing solution to empower businesses and banks alike to make informed financing decisions.
Moving forward, the team aims to apply similar visualizations to diverse data sets, such as retail, entertainment, or connected devices, paving the way for Machine Learning topics to leverage design and display the multi-dimensionality of data in every industry.