Jun 04, 2020 | Updated: 12:07 AM EDT

The 49ers May Have Found A Better Way To Analyze Stats

Jan 13, 2014 05:27 PM EST


The San Francisco 49ers partnered with SAP to develop an app to improve its multivariate analytics. The application allowed access to all player stats and supports the processes that occur in the minds of the humans making or influencing draft picks, including the general manager, the player personnel executives, the scouts, and the trainers.


The app is an SAP solution that supports cognitive processes, such as comparing players and analyzing performance, while respecting intuition, experience, and debate among deciders and influencers states PWC. “We’re getting in the mind of the customer and being empathetic,” stated Jonathan Becher, chief marketing and communications officer of SAP. “We are getting to their mindset.”

PwC calls this new type of application a mindful app. A mindful app works to incorporate the mindflows of cognitive processes, in contrast to the workflows of the business processes at the core of standard enterprise applications, and it focuses on the “now” by delivering intelligence in the moment. Mindflows are the patterns of thinking that knowledge workers use while doing their work according to PWC.

The report also highlights the Google Now platform as an emerging assistant service example of mindful apps that transcend individual device capabilities while taking advantage of devices’ unique capabilities. “Google Now is a good proxy for the trend in apps that we are all going to be benefiting from in the next 10 years,” says Blackstone’s Murphy. “It’s almost like augmenting users with the best possible personal assistant who is with them all the time. If we can use technology to do that in the enterprise, we will have achieved a lot of productivity gains.”

Mindful apps differ from traditional enterprise applications in many areas:

  • A mindful app focuses on the cognitive goal and works backward. App designers accomplish this task by asking the “five whys” to make explicit the mindflows, thinking states, heuristics, and thinking patterns that were formerly implicit.

  • A mindful app understands context and uses that to aid the person. For example, an app might note related or contradictory information, suggest alternative approaches, or prepare for likely activities to speed the flow.

  • A mindful app is designed around the user experience, not the workflow. Therefore it simplifies the interfaces, filters information appropriately, and adapts to the user or persona to alleviate cognitive complexity. Users can drill down to get more detail and context as needed.

  • A mindful app integrates analytics into the user experience to deliver intelligence in the moment. Appropriate data and analysis are available to assist the person in context and as events are taking place.

  • A mindful app understands there can be many good answers and paths that lead to successful outcomes. Its goal is to aid the user on the user’s chosen path, not enforce a predetermined path. It does so by being pattern-centric and not process-centric the way workflow-based applications are.


Mobile apps and other consumerization-era apps have introduced mindfulness to enterprises. Today, mindful apps are most common on mobile devices, because they typically are used in the moment. “Mobile apps allow me to integrate data and context with the workflow,” explains Isaac Sacolick, CIO of McGraw Hill.  Apps like Google Now for Android have specific multiple features and abilities to provide apps and the right place as well the right time.

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