Behind the scenes with SAS’ Big Data Guy and the SAS Championship

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Big Data in Plus-Fours

As professional golfers tune up for the SAS Championship, I had the unique opportunity to sit down for a chat with Big Data.  Maybe you've seen him on TV or in your corporate board room.  He’s the guy with answers to many of the most complex issues faced by business today.  Here is some of our conversation.

Tom:  The knickers are a good look on you.
BDG:  
Knickers?  I’m wearing plus-fours, a traditional type of sporting attire dating back to the 1860s.  This style of knee pants got their name because they are four inches longer than ordinary knickers.  Professional golfer Payne Stewart brought them back to prominence when he wore them on the PGA Tour.

Tom:  I stand corrected.  I never knew the difference.
BDG:  I could go on with the history lesson, but I’m sure you have more important questions for me.

Tom:  In your most recent TV commercial you relate golf and business.  What’s the connection?
BDG:  Having looked at some of the scorecards from many a Pro-Am, I can tell you there’s some big data going on there.  But golf and business have a lot in common.  A golfer needs a lot of data to execute a shot properly.  It’s the same in business.  Not taking advantage of all available data, well you’re likely to come up short against the competition.

There’re no mulligans in business.

Tom:  You clearly know about golf, but you know the hospitality business too.
BDG:  I do know my way around a mini fridge.  The hospitality industry collects huge amounts of data.  Think they’re doing much with it?  There’s data from customer loyalty programs, market conditions, competitors – the opportunities to improve the business are endless.

Filling rooms and maximizing revenue and profits.

Tom:  It’s not just hotels that need to attract and retain customers.  The same thing hold true for communications providers.
BDG:  Just like out here on the course, players drop shots when they aren’t paying attention.  Same is true for telecom companies.  How many dropped calls does it take to lose a customer?  Think most providers knows?  Well I know.  Customer churn is a huge problem, but you know, I can help if you’ll let me.

Go or no-go, that’s the million dollar question.

Tom:  Telecom subscribers aren’t the only ones shopping around for a better deal.  The same holds true for other industries.
BDG:  Got some data to back up that statement?  Just kidding.  It’s true, take retail for example.  Many retailers deal with huge inventory, multiple locations, and fickle buyers.  Fat chance keeping up with all that merchandise using a spreadsheet.  And what’s a customer think when the item they want isn’t in stock?  I’ve seen it before and it ain’t a pretty sight.

Let big data slim down retail challenges.

Tom:  Big Data, thanks for your time.  As we look ahead to this year’s SAS Championship, one last question.  With all you know about golf, who is going to win this year’s tournament?
BDG:   Simple.  In looking at all the data, I’m 99.947 percent sure the winner will be the player who records the lowest score.  Got any more dumb questions?

Tom:  No, Mr. Data.  Thank you very much for your time.

 

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Tom Morse

Principal Multimedia Project Manager

Tom Morse works in web-based, new media for SAS. When not chained to his keyboard, look for him on the golf course.

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