How companies can succeed in an analytics economy


Artificial intelligence. Big data. Cognitive computing. These buzzwords are the ABCs of today’s marketplace.

In a recent interview at SAS® Global Forum, I discussed the unprecedented pace of change that we’re seeing in the market. It’s creating what I like to call an analytics economy.

In this economy, analytics – and how companies use analytics – are evolving rapidly. And because of the technology available today, companies are adopting analytics faster than ever before.

Disruptors are becoming the norm, causing tidal waves of change. So to remain competitive and survive in an increasingly volatile market, companies must rely less on gut feel and more on data and analytics.

But companies must do so in a focused way. They need to identify the key areas that will make the most difference for their business.

Here are a few examples of how companies are doing just that and succeeding in the analytics economy in six core areas.

1. Analytics

SAS has been doing analytics for 41 years – it’s at the heart of everything we do. One myth that we’ve heard is that only big companies need analytics. That’s not the case. Analytics can help any company of any size in any industry.

Take dairy farmer Oberweis Dairy. The family-owned-and-operated farm uses modern analytics to preserve an age-old tradition: delivering fresh milk in glass bottles to its customers’ doorsteps. Analytics has helped improve every facet of its business – from finding the right customers to improving marketing to increasing revenue. And it’s improved customer retention by 30 percent. Not to milk those results too much, but this story is an utter success.

2. Data Management

Data drives everything in the analytics economy. It has the power to drive every process and every decision.

For Santen, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, data analytics helped it improve eye health and develop new ocular therapies faster. For this cross-country company, our data management solution gave it the ability to use the same version of data, enhancing collaboration, improving drug studies and increasing the speed at which drugs can be developed.

3. Customer Intelligence

Gaining insights on prospects and customers is a differentiator for many companies. It helps them create relevant, individualized experiences in real time, right when it matters. If you’ve ever shopped at a place like Chico’s, you’ve seen this. The women’s apparel retailer uses SAS Customer Intelligence to stand out from competition and know what customers want to buy and where they want to buy it – online, in store or a combination of the two. And getting this data doesn’t take long. Chico’s reduced the amount of time it took to consolidate this data from 17 hours to two. That means they can dive into data daily and give customers the newest, most relevant deals on products they love.

4. Fraud and Security Intelligence

These days, customers can quickly pay for products or services with a click, swipe or tap. While it’s convenient, it can also pose security risks. As payment processing gets smarter and more efficient, so do criminals who take advantage of modern technology and unsuspecting customers.

And with pressures from regulations, like GDPR and IFRS 9, organizations need to take a unified, proactive approach to fraud, compliance and security.

That’s why Nets, the second-largest payment processor in Europe, turned to SAS. The results were astounding. SAS helped improve the fraud-detection rate by 50 percent and cut false positives in half for its more than 250 banks, 350,000 merchants and 19 million cardholders. There’s no sneaking around those numbers.

5. Risk Management

From managing portfolios to complying with regulatory demands, managing risk plays an important role in every company.

We help companies do this quickly. Bank of India uses SAS to produce reports from seven centers and portfolio positions in 17 currencies in one day. Plus, risk reports that were once run quarterly can now be done daily. This helps the bank meet regulatory and internal requirements with ease, keeping both its customers and the company safe.

6. Visualization

Now this one is cool. Data visualization allows business leaders to gain powerful insights easily in an interactive and collaborative way.

The New York Mets use our visualization tools to drive revenue, increase productivity and – if you’ll excuse the pun – knock the customer experience out of the park. The Mets can see a consolidated view of its customer data to easily understand why certain games sell better than others and even optimize game time schedules based on fan preferences. It’s a brand-new ballgame for them.

Partnering for success

I’m excited about the analytics economy because for many companies, it can spell opportunity.

Analytics gives companies the ability to innovate, collaborate, change and grow in ways they never imagined – if they use analytics in a focused way.

That’s why I love my job. We get to partner with companies to help them identify where analytics can help their company the most.

We’re helping our customers survive and thrive in today’s analytics economy, and in turn, they are using analytics to make a big difference. And that’s a story I’m proud to be a part of.

Learn more about the analytics economy and how you can benefit too. 


About Author

Randy Guard

Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Randy Guard is responsible for the SAS brand, providing global, strategic direction and marketing vision for SAS® products and solutions. He oversees several operational business units, including global marketing, product marketing, go-to-market, sales enablement, customer experience management, corporate communications and creative services.

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