From Idea to Innovation

Reading time: 3 mins

Meet the Experts

  • Noele Crooks

    Director, Business Intelligence & CRM at San Francisco 49ers

Key Takeaways

⇨ How to design SAP Analytics Cloud dashboards to provide actionable insights

⇨ How SAP technology can transform your business operations

⇨ See the business impacts of an SAP BTP solution

Noele Crooks will present Idea to Innovation: How the San Francisco 49ers Use Real-Time Analytics to Enhance the Fan Experience at MASTERINGSAP. With only 10 home games a year, the 49ers needed a way to operationalize and visualize their data, in real time. Crooks sat down to share a preview of her presentation.

In your role as Director of Business Intelligence & CRM for the San Francisco 49ers, what are your key objectives and area of focus? 

Within my role, I oversee the maintenance and expansion of our team’s data environment and infrastructure, the strategic development and execution of our CRM system, developing automated reporting and data visualizations for several departments within the organization including ticket sales and service, corporate partnerships, community relations, digital and email marketing, as well as serve as the lead on fan feedback initiatives, including surveys and HappyOrNot. Specifically on game day, I run the Executive Huddle powered by SAP, which is a real-time SAP Analytics Cloud data center in a suite used for 49ers games and events. The Executive Huddle’s interactive dashboards provide real-time updates on event-day metrics for parking, ticketing, concessions, retail, fan feedback, sustainability, and more. 

You’ll be presenting a session called Idea to Innovation: How the San Francisco 49ers Use Real-Time Analytics to Enhance the Fan Experience at the 2023 MASTERINGSAP event in June. What’s your story about? 

The session will be focused on our journey to get to real-time analytics during a 49ers gameday using SAP technology. I won’t spoil too much ahead of the session, but it’s a story of how one idea turned into a major change in business operations, how important real-time data is to improve the fan experience for the fans in our building, our overall process on how we got there, and the results that followed. At a high level, the Executive Huddle has several different data integrations feeding into SAP HANA Cloud, and SAP Analytics Cloud enables the visualization of that data in the Executive Huddle dashboards, which update every one to five minutes on game day, allowing our team to respond to issues at the stadium in less than 10 minutes.  

Getting leadership buy-in and investment for innovation projects can be challenging for SAP customers. Could you share some success factors for getting this initiative up and running? 

One piece of advice I always like to give others when they are thinking about embarking on innovation or a new business process is that you need to first understand the problem you want to solve for, and work backward from there. Building the business case on why a certain technology or product will save X in cost, generate X in revenue, or save X number of hours is critical. I’d also start small—and pick something that you can show ROI or impact on in a short amount of time—that will help get others bought in initially and then you can keep innovating from there. I’d also recommend having one or two dedicated stakeholders on the project. Innovating isn’t as easy as people make it seem, so having dedicated resources and project managers on the team is imperative for its success.  

Australian SAP customers are eager to hear from SAP customers that are getting great results from SAP Analytics Cloud. What tips do you hope to impart to the Mastering SAP Community in June?  

I hope to inspire new uses of SAP Analytics Cloud by showcasing some of the dashboards we have built in SAC, and how we use them and interact with them to solve issues that we previously were blind to. While these dashboards are specific to 49ers gameday use cases, I hope to inspire attendees and help showcase how our use cases can apply to other industries outside of sports. If you can dream it—you can do it, and SAP can help!  

What conversations are you looking forward to having with the Mastering SAP Community when you join us in Melbourne this June?
I’m looking forward to networking and connecting with others on how they are using SAP BTP and SAP Analytics Cloud in their businesses to help generate new ideas for us at the 49ers and hearing all the other sessions at the conference. I love hearing about what other organizations and industries are doing in the technology space, so I’m looking forward to a few insightful days of absorbing new ideas and solutions to bring back to San Francisco. 



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