SAS offers advisory services to assist marketers and others to overcome analytics challenges

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SAS Inc. is offering to help marketers and other lines of business frustrated by the results of analytics projects with a set of advisory services and a “health check” to optimize applications before they’re deployed.

Although Cary, N.C.-based SAS already offers a product called SAS Model Manager to help brands streamline the way analytics tools are deployed the advisory services are intended to offer a more tailored helping hand, the company said.

“What’s frustrated business owners and stakeholders is that the analytics seem to take too long to get to production,” SAS head of strategy and innovation Steve Holder told B2B News Network. “There are a lot of conversions (about the potential of analytics) but they’re often not able to be agile and as quick as they’d like. They want to be able to operationalize it.”

For example ModelOps Health Check Assessment, which is also being offered as a standalone service, will help organizations more closely examine the people and processes as well as the technology involved in an analytics project, Holder said. SAS experts will also look at the audibility, traceability and scaleability of the dat being used in analytics initiatives to improve the governance and compress timelines, he said.

Although SAS tools are used in many enterprise lines of business other than marketing, the company’s announcement about its advisory services highlighted the marketing division of Germany’s Commerzbank. The data-driven models SAS helped the firm deploy improved its customer experience and allowed analytics to be integrated in all customer-centered decisions, the company said.

“Marketers have struggled with the real-time aspects and digital transformation aspects of a customer relationships,” Holder said. “They’re often dealing with a batch process that may run once a week or a month. There’s so much latency baked into their process.”

If marketing teams can eliminate that latency and have offers or promotions to customers be remediated in real-time, on the other hand, the brand becomes more relevant to its target customer, he said.

The advisory services are necessary in part because many firms are facing what Holder described as the “last mile” problem — where companies use analytics tools to create a model that helps determine what’s going to happen in its business, but it fails to work as conditions change over time.

“How do you better understand what are the successful experiment, what should go to deployment, what’s degrading over time?” he said. “How to help you manage that longer-term analytic asset you’ve created?”

While some of the capabilities SAS is offering alongside its advisory services have been available for years, it represents a more agnostic approach for the firm, Holder added.

“Part of our branding is we’re not just a programming language,” he said. “We can help you do this whether you use SAS as your primary data science tool or not.”

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Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.