SAS Customer Intelligence 360 release promises to take marketers beyond prediction

LAS VEGAS – Marketers struggling to pool together data from across myriad channels, both digital and traditional, now have one more solution available to them as the SAS Institute added a new product to its Customer Intelligence line of predictive analytics software on Wednesday.

Customer Intelligence 360 aims to help marketers build a unified view of their customers as they interact with companies across many different touchpoints. From email to web, from entering a retail location to calling a support line, the solution groups customer data together and makes it accessible to marketers to help them understand customer behaviour and then take action. As described by SAS executives, the software not only contains built-in predictive analytics models so marketers can use it without help from a data scientist, but it can go beyond prediction-level analysis and yield an understanding of customer propensities.

“We are extending our digital capabilities such that we can allow more channels, more devices, and more points of contact for brands interact with their end customers,” says Jonathan Moran, principal product marketing manager for SAS. “It’s a place to get information from a digital intelligence perspective.”

At its launch, Customer Intelligence 360 has two core modules.

  • SAS 360 Discover delivers reporting and insights about customer’s behaviour on a brand’s web and mobile properties. It can also include other information to broaden out beyond online analytics.
  • SAS 360 Engage allows marketers to design a customer journey and make tweaks to it in order to improve its effectiveness.

SAS has continually improved its Customer Intelligence suite over the past three years, says Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research. Many companies use the suite as an abstraction layer, feeding data to it from other software pieces to glean insights.

Helping customers move beyond predictive analytics would be another boon for the solution, he says. “You want to use intention driven design… To learn over time from a bunch of context clues what’s going to happen next.”

Understanding customer propensities is something that Yann Jodoin, senior vice-president of client strategy, marketing and branding at National Bank of Canada, says that he values. With 40 data scientists on his team, Jodoin says he’s worked to move past just understanding the potential actions a customer could take, and instead understanding how likely each individual is to take such an action.

He points to his grandmother as an example, who’s been with the same bank for 60 years and is 94 years old.

“She has a lot of potential as a National Bank client if she was going to move all her savings to us. But she doesn’t have the propensity,” he says. “The type of modelling we’re doing is different levels of combinations of different scores and characteristics to pinpoint better and better accuracy of the leads.”

Customer Intelligence 360 is delivered as a cloud service. While it’s not yet on the new SAS Viya architecture that was also unveiled at Global Forum, SAS says they plan to incorporate it at some point down the road. Users can also expect more modules and capabilities to be rolled out to the solution later this year.

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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