Movies and TV shows are great at establishing narratives, hooking the audience into that narrative, and leaving them wanting more. This is the reason why we flock to theatres and spend hours binging entire TV series.
Would you believe me if I told you that one function in your business follows the same process as films and has the same power to engage its audience? Well, it exists, and it’s called marketing.
Ask any passionate marketer and they will tell you that marketing is an art. An art that requires creative marketers to weave narratives that address the pain points of consumers.
They would also tell you that the process is all about exploring the relationships between an action and its effect, just like in movies or TV shows.
While traditional marketing involves a lot of guesswork and trial and error, this process does not work in the contemporary market. In the modern business landscape—in which one wrong move can lead to significant ramifications—guesswork and trial and error is not enough. Marketers will need more than a good hunch to succeed in the market.
To be more precise, marketers need the power of data analytics to be successful. With SAS visual analytics, you will have the tools you need to share a meaningful story with your audience.
In this post, we will explore how SAS visual analytics on Viya can help marketers improve their strategies.
One of the important skills any marketer can possess is understanding the relationship between the actions of a consumer and their reasons for performing those actions. This allows for the creation of impactful marketing strategies.
To do this, companies collect large amounts of data and analyse them to establish connections between each variable. All data analytics tools are great at doing this. Only some of them, however, present the data in a way that is easy to comprehend.
SAS visual analytics on Viya excels at presenting the insights in a digestible way by using visual data tools such as bar graphs, charts, heat maps and many more. By doing this, visual analytics tools allow marketers to understand the relationship between variables easily and make better marketing decisions.
The success of a marketing campaign relies on its messaging. Marketers should focus on the main pain points of their audience through their messaging to make a meaningful impact. This is easier said than done.
To deliver an impactful message, marketers need to understand the preferences, behaviour, needs and wants of their target audience. Although it is possible to build comprehensive customer profiles using text-based data analytics tools, visual analytics makes the process simpler and faster.
With SAS visual analytics on Viya, marketers can centralise every piece of information they have about their customers in one visual profile. The advanced tools built into the platform makes presenting overall statistics of the target audience, or the individual profiles, easier.
Using these customer profiles, marketers can optimise their messaging to deliver a much larger impact.
In traditional marketing, marketers know the success of their campaigns only after they are taken live. This means that if bad marketing decisions are actioned, the marketing campaign will fail to connect with the audience, and there will be no way to prevent these events from taking place.
Advances in machine learning and data visualisation, however, allow marketers to simulate their marketing campaigns and predict the outcome. This helps marketers take a trial and error approach to their strategies without hurting their sales figures.
Marketing is about manipulating consumer pain points to deliver a narrative that prompts them to follow up on a campaign’s call to action.
In this day and age, to be successful, a marketing campaign must utilise the wealth of information available to them. SAS visual analytics on Viya can help marketers do just that.
With the power of data visualisation, marketers can deliver meaningful messages to connect with, and engage, audiences in the long term.
Here at Selerity, the administration, installation and maintenance of SAS Viya are among our core offerings. But what is SAS Viya? What are its features? But most importantly, can you yield the benefits we have discussed in one of our previous blogs? In this blog post, I aim to shed some light on one of our core offerings and why you need it – if you wish to make full use of an analytics environment.
What is SAS Viya?
SAS Viya is a data analytics framework to help organisations speed up their data analysing capabilities. The aim of SAS Viya is to make big data analysis more accessible to organisations and to speed up the process at every step from data collection to data deployment. I have worked with several companies across different industries and all of them have benefitted from SAS Viya due to an accelerated timetable and scalable operations.
What are the core components of SAS Viya?
SAS Viya has many key features that make it such a valuable asset for organisations. However, in my experience, the difference makers come down to two features.
I have talked about in-memory processing in one of my previous blogs and how it speeds up data processing. Essentially, analytics software shifts the processing function from ROM to the RAM, improving the rate of processing at a significant rate. SAS Viya takes this core technology and places it in an open environment.
With SAS Viya, computer operations are distributed across multiple cores in a single server. All data and tables are stored in a memory for as long as it is required. The SAS Viya engine offers a secure, scalable multi-user environment, which allows for collaboration between multiple people for concurrent users.
Having met several company representatives over the years, there is one tech feature that is becoming more and more important: Scalability. The desire to scale up or scale down the scope of operations without needing a significant investment is what organisations are looking for from their data analytics infrastructure.
Fortunately, SAS Viya supplants this need thanks to its secure, cloud-based infrastructure. Data processing automatically adjusts to both constrained and unconstrained environments allowing organisations to scale computing as needed and even experiment with different approaches, and even different scenarios. The flexible structure and open environment allow professionals from different professionals to collaborate on data collecting and processing.
What are the benefits of SAS Viya?
SAS Viya is invaluable because it comes with several benefits not found elsewhere beyond rapid data processing.
Foundation for other products
SAS has produced many analytics software products for different functions in different industries. SAS Detection and Investigation for Banking, SAS Visualisation and SAS Data Preparation are just some of the products available for users. However, to make significant use of any of these products, you need to be using SAS Viya, for it serves as the foundation for other SAS products. Foundational support is found in the form of a visual and coding user interface that makes analytics software more accessible.
Furthermore, the cloud-based infrastructure paves the way for additional gains by streamlining costs. It has been my experience that those who invest in SAS Viya first before moving onto other SAS products make bigger gains than without Viya.
Easier managing the platforms
Organisations have an easier time managing the platform because the infrastructure is designed in such a way that those individuals with the right knowledge can design and develop shortcuts. SAS Viya includes public REST APIs. These API’s allow developers to add the analytics framework to applications.
Data scientists can monitor assets within a common environment, solve synchronisation issues coming from different code bases and monitor production models, thus data consultants spend less time solving issues and more time making new discoveries. These features make SAS Viya more accessible and easier to use.
Investing in SAS Viya
Organisations who invested in SAS Viya saw significant improvements in data management, processing and turnaround time. These improvements came about because the analytics framework comes with several useful features, including in-memory processing, cloud-based infrastructure.
The features found in SAS Viya makes for an easier time managing other SAS platforms. In my experience, SAS Viya has brought several improvements to an organisation’s bottom line, provided it was installed, administered and maintained by a professional team who know the product (and environment) inside and out.
Since its announcement last April at the 2017 SAS Global Forum, SAS Viya has been heralded as the analytics platform’s stepping-stone into the future. As a cloud-enabled platform, with a powerful in-memory analytics engine that enables quick, accurate, and consistent results at all times, Viya is scalable and has the processing power required to address some of today’s most complex analytical challenges. By combining all its existing functionality with machine-learning and artificial intelligence technology, SAS software is not only becoming more efficient, but smart in the process. This scalability and dexterity are precisely what makes users of SAS software optimistic about the platform’s value in the future.
So, how exactly does SAS utilise machine-learning and AI capabilities? What noticeable benefits has this technology fostered? We explore all that and more in the following sections.
Which SAS Viya product has the strongest machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities?
While SAS Viya comprises of at least 12 varying products – from SAS Data Preparation to SAS Visual Text Analytics – SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning is by far one of the platform’s most intelligent and insightful. Given that the solution runs on SAS Viya, it is bolstered by the platform’s ability to manage any analytics challenge. Its relative user-friendliness means that anyone from data scientists to business analysts to developers, and executives can collaborate with another to realize insights and results faster.
SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning comes equipped with an incredibly broad set of modern machine learning, deep learning, and text analytics algorithms that are all accessible within a single environment. This makes the solution ideal for all kinds of business users, given the solution’s diverse analytics capabilities that include clustering, different modes of regression, random forests, gradient boosting models, support vector machines, natural language processing, and topic detection – to name a few. SAS users not only gain access to a platform that is highly functional, but one that is equipped with powerful predictive and decision-making capabilities that were previously limited.
Now, let’s look at how this benefits end-users – we begin with how the platform helps solve complex analytical problems much faster.
Since the software runs on the latest edition of the SAS Platform – SAS Viya – it has the ability to deliver predictive modeling and machine-learning capabilities at unprecedented speeds via powerful in-memory processing. Given the processing prowess and persistence associated with this in-memory data, the need to load data multiple times during various iterations of analysis is no longer required. This means that multi-user collaboration has been simplified where users across all segments of the business and/or organisation can explore the exact same raw data and build their respective models simultaneously. Through the SAS Viya platform, analytical modeling can be done in a matter of minutes, which enables organisations to find answers to their questions and challenges much quicker and efficiently.
A few years ago, the idea of building complex analytics models to drive data-based decision-making within an organisation was heralded as an extremely difficult task that required significant technical expertise. However, through the evolution of the SAS Platform and the development of SAS Viya, users now have access to a platform that comprises of interactive visual and programming interfaces that significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to set up data, build complex and insightful machine learning models, and, finally, make decisions based on these insights.
Even users who lack coding expertise and knowledge can leverage the platform by generating advanced machine learning algorithms via the platform’s built-in visual drag-and-drop interface without ever having to know or drop a line of code into the system. This is something we like to call complete organisational empowerment.
For users who are more technically-versed, data sources and code snippets can be shared among themselves and across departments to better improve organisational collaboration. Additionally, business users of the platform would not have to exclusively know how to code in SAS – other languages, such as Python, R, Java, and Lua can be used to code as well. The SAS code is automatically generated behind the scenes!
With machine learning capabilities built in, business users have the benefit of leveraging the platform to evaluate and compare all available options/approaches, prior to making or recommending a decision. Scenario-based decision-making is facilitated via the system’s “automated model tuning”, which lets users identify the best-performing model.
The machine learning programs can integrate both structured and unstructured data, enabling users to derive more insights from new data types by adjusting their models accordingly.
SAS Viya has many benefits, with its machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities being among its best features. If you would like to know more about Viya and its features, in addition to how you can install, administer, and host your organisation’s own SAS environment, feel free to reach out to us, or stay tuned to this feed.
One of the biggest benefits of SAS Viya is its value as a platform that can be used by a plethora of business users – irrespective of how technically savvy they are. Unlike traditional analytics software, SAS has built a reputation, over time, as a platform that contributes to the day-to-day processes and decision-making of all segments across enterprise. Combining a stunning interface, easy-to-learn functionality, and tailored customer services, SAS Viya, the entity’s latest game-changer, has elevated this quality to even greater heights.
It is safe to say that the days when the utilisation of complex analytics software was dominated solely by technical experts are now behind us. Organisations and enterprises no longer have to deal with a lack of interorganisational synchronisation between their various sections (development, analytics, marketing, for example). Today, business users from app developers, to analysts, and C-level executives, all benefit from the leading systems put forward by SAS.
In the sections below, we identify 4 specific organisational business users that have benefited the most from SAS Viya. First up, data scientists.
Perhaps the most traditional users of analytics and analytics-based software, data scientists focus on interpreting data and deducing actionable insights that help inform entire businesses, or segments of those businesses, on the latest trends or problems to follow. However, to get from the point of data collection to interpretation, a significant amount of work needs to be done.
This includes, validating the data to ensure accuracy and uniformity, developing models and algorithms to meaningfully utilise the data, and visualising/communicating the data once interpretation and analysis is complete. The breadth of these tasks demands a software or system that can do all this and more, which is where SAS comes in.
With SAS Viya, data scientists can build models significantly faster, with access to data quality, advanced analytics, and popular machine-learning methods. Through SAS, businesses can incorporate multiple coding languages, based on their preference, and compare models written on either SAS or Python, for example.
Yet another valuable role within modern businesses is that of a business analyst. These individuals play an important part in helping an organisation adapt to the constantly shifting factors of the business world. The primary task of a business analyst is to identify the requirements of an organisation’s specific project, product, or plan, support in implementing technology and initiatives to support them, monitoring the status of an initiative throughout its lifespan, and communicating these factors to the relevant stakeholders of the initiatives. To do this successfully, business analysts depend on significant amounts of data that helps them develop key insights, which are later translated into reports that are then shared with these stakeholders.
SAS Viya contributes in this regard, given that it provides analysts with clear access to easy-to-use analytics via an interactive and visual interface. Business analysts can easily prepare their own data, organise it accordingly by combining both text and structured data, and finally generate stunning reports that can be shared within the organisation.
Most businesses have a wide array of departments within them that perform key operations every single day – these departments include marketing, accounting and finance, sales, for example. Given that businesses are increasingly moving into highly data-driven environments, each of their respective departments are likely experiencing transformations. This means that departments like marketing and sales have become data-dependent in their respective domain. Typically, most marketing and sales personnel would not have the technical expertise to manage the complexities of a sophisticated analytics software, in addition to their many tasks. However, technologies like SAS software are a reason why this trend has shifted in recent years.
Irrespective of what domain a business user belongs to, SAS Viya lets them infuse data-driven insights into their investigations and analyses. The result of this is that users with basic technical expertise can utilise the comprehensive SAS platform to uncover reliable results, on a daily basis, via powerful analytics – easily accessible, without the traditional complexities associated with analytics platforms.
Running a business, big or small, is no small feat and comes with an infinite list of tasks and responsibilities that can make or break a business. Whether you are a CIO overseeing your organisation’s technology goals, or a marketing manager overseeing the overall marketing and advocacy targets of your business, data should be at the core of your decision-making. Leaders from the most successful businesses across the world point to data-driven decision-making as one of their fundamental keys to success. However, with all those responsibilities, its almost impossible for executives to stay on top of the latest data-trends for their business – even with the help of teams of analysts.
By deploying the right SAS environment, via a provider like Selerity, executives are able to stay locked in on the pulse of their business via the insights that SAS Viya’s dashboards and command centre metrics illustrate. This gives them the visibility they need in a matter of minutes.