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Butler Group Technology Audit Sas For Customer Experience Analytics, September 2007
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Butler Group Technology Audit Sas For Customer Experience Analytics, September 2007

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SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics combines dynamic real-time on-line data collection from speed-trap, with SAS\' customer intelligence and analytics capabilities. The combination enables ...

SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics combines dynamic real-time on-line data collection from speed-trap, with SAS\' customer intelligence and analytics capabilities. The combination enables organisations that operate in a multi-channel world to understand precisely what customers are doing on-line, and apply that insight across all other customer touch points. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics does away with the need for tagging, network packet sniffers, and Web log analysers, therefore removing some of the expensive pain points of Web analytics.

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Butler Group Technology Audit Sas For Customer Experience Analytics, September 2007 Document Transcript

  • 1. Reference Code: TA001322BIN Publication Date: September 2007 Author: Sarah Burnett TECHNOLOGY AUDIT SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics SAS BUTLER GROUP VIEW ABSTRACT SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics combines dynamic real-time on-line data collection from speed-trap, with SAS’ customer intelligence and analytics capabilities. The combination enables organisations that operate in a multi-channel world to understand precisely what customers are doing on-line, and apply that insight across all other customer touch points. Product and service improvements can then be achieved based on a single view of customer experience; to help organisations improve services and increase cross- sell and up-sell opportunities. Currently only the data capture is carried out dynamically with real-time analysis planned for the future. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics does away with the need for tagging, network packet sniffers, and Web log analysers, therefore removing some of the expensive pain points of Web analytics. The solution is aimed at medium- to large-organisations, with multiple customer access channels. KEY FINDINGS Combines dynamic real-time on-line data Avoids the need for tagging, network packet collection from speed-trap with SAS’ sniffers, and Web log analysers. powerful business intelligence capabilities. Can be used with any system that has a The data capture systems are optimised to browser-based user interface; e.g. to gain provide the necessary real-time processing. insight into the employee experience too. Offers functionality for a single view of Currently lacks on-the-fly real-time analysis customer experience (on-line and off-line). capabilities. LOOK AHEAD In the future, we are likely to see SAS for Customer Experience Analytics enhanced in a number of ways: with additional embedded analytics; further customer touch-point data integration; additional data collection technology (mobile, for example); and last but not least, real-time decision making. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 1 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 2. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT FUNCTIONALITY Product Analysis In the last few years, we have witnessed how the technology revolution that is Web 2.0, accompanied by the ‘always on’ and pervasive broadband, weaved the Internet into the fabric of modern day living. As a result the Web has now become a major channel for commerce. Indeed, some would say that it is taking over from the more traditional channels and that no where is it more apparent than in the consumer arena. According to industry figures, UK sales over the Web were up by almost 50% in the 10 weeks before Christmas 2006. Furthermore, customers spent UK£4.98 billion on-line, compared to UK£3.3 billion for the same period in 2005. On-line sales in Western Europe are up too, by 36% this year. These increases in sales mean increased competition and as a result, no company can afford to take its Web channel for granted. Many organisations are turning to Web analytics to work out if their Web sites are as efficient as they can be in generating sales. The most common approaches to Web analytics are focused on Web pages and hits. These analyse Web server logs, or create custom log files for analysis by adding HTML tags to Web pages. These approaches have limitations: log files can fail to provide the full picture and tagging can be very time consuming – and expensive as a result. In contrast, SAS for Customer Experience Analytics changes the emphasis of Web analytics from Web pages to individuals, tracking and recording many important details of an individual’s visit to a Web site. Figure 1 shows an example of captured and reconstructed mouse movements from a Web site visit. Launched in the UK in February 2007, SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is a Web analytics package that is produced in partnership with Web data collection firm speed-trap. The software allows companies to integrate and analyse on-line and off-line customer data to improve multi-channel marketing efforts. The data capture is done by speed-trap’s real-time Dynamic Collection Web data gathering system that serves up statistical and business information on Web site activity. The data is then fed into SAS’ customer intelligence platform which provides complete data capture from all traditional environments and data sources, and is a full decision support stack. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics therefore allows data to be captured from all customer touch points, and for the data to be integrated to create a single view of the customer experience. That data can then be used for mining, clustering, and analysis in order for the organisation to understand its customers’ behaviour and experiences better, and respond to them more effectively. Butler Group believes that the combination of speed-trap’s data capture technology and SAS’ powerful Customer Intelligence offerings makes SAS for Customer Experience Analytics a very strong contender in the Web analytics arena, challenging the vendors who dominate the market. It provides a platform for companies to optimise channel effectiveness and profitability. It also allows organisations to target the best customers with relevant offers and campaigns. However, the product generates a massive amount of data which organisations must use responsibly if they are not to lose customer trust. Butler Group recommends that organisations inform their clients of the use of their site visit data. This can be achieved through privacy and data-usage statements posted on the Web site. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 2 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 3. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Figure 1: Captured Mouse Movements from a Web Site Visit Source: SAS DATAMONITOR Product Operation SAS for Customer Experience Analytics avoids the need for tagging, network packet sniffers, and Web log analysers. These approaches tend to be labour intensive and costly. Data capture is done through a patented collection technology by inserting a single line of code in the Web page or template, or added post code development, via proxy servers as the page gets rendered in real-time. The inserted code interrogates the page for values of interest – for example, if it has radio buttons, then the return values could be collected. Another example is that of links to other pages, whose usage would be of interest too. Put another way, the script looks at what is likely to happen when a customer visits the Web page, and then asks what it should collect. The user has control over the type and the amount of data collected. One option is to collect everything by setting up a couple of rules – to collect all button clicks and text inputs. Alternatively the user can add rules such as not to collect the actual value of text strings typed in by the customer, thereby protecting the customer’s privacy and security. Data can be collected at granular levels and the script installed into every page. These features mean that SAS for Customer Experience Analytics handles massive amounts of complex data to help organisations to understand site performance and be proactive in making service improvements. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 3 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 4. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Figure 2: Example of Pathing Source: SAS DATAMONITOR SAS for Customer Experience Analytics can be deployed for any browser-based application; for example, it could analyse both the customer Web site and the calls being generated in the call centre by instrumenting the call centre call management applications. The code is asynchronous and makes a small amount of difference to the loading and processing of Web pages and interactions. According to speed-trap, the additional processing might add up to one third of a second. The data is then collected and sent back. Typically, nine events per page are monitored, adding up to 800 bytes of data collected per page. The data is encrypted before it leaves the browser. If SAS for Customer Experience Analytics finds itself in a secure page or a mixed security environment, it automatically operates in a secure mode. The data analysis is done using SAS’ Business Intelligence (BI) stack. This provides extensive BI and analytics capabilities, including data integration, On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP), and reporting. It generates a selection of standard reports, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and forecasts. A large selection of standard reports is provided as shown in Table 1. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 4 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 5. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Table 1: Report Groupings and Types Visitor Analysis Visitor Population by Recency and Frequency Acquisition Campaign Effectiveness Campaigns & Promotions Campaign Effectiveness Goals by Campaign Promotion Effectiveness Forms Effectiveness Forms Time for Forms Phrases Used In-site Search Search Popularity Words Used Active Sessions Real-time Activity Page load times by hour Page Performance by hour Traffic by campaign Traffic by hour Broken Links Site Interaction Content Popularity Entry Pages Exit Pages Hottest Pages Page Grip Page Grip Detail Session length Site Grip Clicked Links User Interaction Goals Transactions Interactive Pathing Journey Analysis Interactive Funnels Scenario Analysis External Searches Traffic Referring Site Traffic Overview Browsers Environment Browser Size Platforms Effective Speed Performance Network Speed Script Errors Script Errors Detail Script Errors Detail Slow Loading Pages Slow Loading Pages Detail Source: SAS DATAMONITOR SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 5 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 6. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT SAS for Customer Experience Analytics allows form data objects to be created to provide information on form usability, e.g. metrics such as the number of people completing an on-line form, conversion rates for application forms, and so on. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics also provides the ability to build up data overtime, developing behavioural profiles of customers. The site design information is used to fill in the data models for data integration. The Web analytics include interactive pathing that can show where customers go, from given points (shown in Figure 2). The data models that are provided for analysis are unique intellectual property, specific to this solution. These manage the translation of raw Web data into business events or behavioural information. Figure 3 provides an overview of the product architecture. Figure 3: Architecture Overview Source: SAS DATAMONITOR SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 6 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 7. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Information delivery in SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is done based on specific user needs, with portals providing customised views for groups ranging from senior executives, decision makers and power users to information consumers, business analysts, and IT users. Capabilities available range from self-service analysis, forecasting, and configurable reporting to guided analysis and interfaces to Microsoft Office products. The data capture systems are highly optimised to provide the necessary real-time processing. For example a single dual-xeon server can manage all the traffic from a site experiencing up to 10 million visits a month. A similar server would handle the associated normalising functions. Cluster support is built in to accommodate configurations where higher levels of availability are required or larger sites are to be handled. This feature allows multiple servers to be deployed in parallel load-sharing (or hot-standby) configurations. Automated failover sub systems are included. The data collection systems are also engineered to prevent failure of collection infrastructure from impacting the user experience on the monitored site. Fault tolerance is provided through utilisation of the SAS® Enterprise Intelligence Platform capabilities. Additionally, the platform has scalability features, including SAS® Intelligence Storage (single threaded and parallel database support) and enterprise-class management capabilities, such as load balancing, multi-tier architecture, and support for grid configuration. Product Emphasis When it comes to analysis of on-line activity, unlike many other solutions, SAS for Customer Experience Analytics allows marketers to focus on the customer and not Web pages. The resulting single view of customer experience can be used to not only improve customer services and sales opportunities, but also to reduce risks from on-line fraud, to test usability and site design, to do campaign effectiveness and audience analysis. Therefore, SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is capable of delivering more than what it was originally designed to do. DEPLOYMENT Implementing SAS for Customer Experience Analytics requires the insertion of the single piece of code, using an ‘include’ statement, into each Web page or template, or via a proxy server. This must be taken into account at times of upgrades or other changes to Web pages. The next step is the installation of a capture server to collect the data. According to SAS this is typically installed in under four hours. Then the product can be set up for business requirements such as definition of business goals, transactions, and campaigns. The length of time to full deployment will vary with requirements. A basic deployment typically takes one or two days. Additional requirements can be phased in and set up over time as users gain hands-on experience of the product. Occasionally the set up of corporate network environments can prove to be challenging and slow down the deployment. Data collection begins as soon as the first party code is inserted into the Web pages, with standard reports populated. This can be very fast and only take a matter of minutes. SAS estimates that for a large commercial Web site, total deployment can be completed within one week; that includes testing, staging, performance,and security analysis. The data analysis and reporting elements can be deployed with pre- configured data models and standard reports. These can be tailored by the customer to meet their specific needs. However easy the deployment of SAS for Customer Experience Analytics may be, Butler Group advises organisations to review their working practices to ensure that all the departments that collect customer data collaborate with each other, in order to ease data integration and analysis on a wider scale, and work towards that single view of the customer experience. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 7 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 8. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT SAS provides implementation support to its customers, as do a growing network of third-party system integrators. After the product has been deployed, BI and IT resources will be required for change management; i.e. changes to business goals, transaction definitions, or visitor segmentations. Changes to reporting requirements will normally be managed by the information consumers or BI staff. Training needs are likely to vary with specific customer requirements. For example, using the product with its pre-configured reports would require the minimum level of training, but customers looking for tailored reports would benefit from short courses that can be delivered on site or at SAS locations. Additionally SAS provides training for those operational staff that are responsible for the in-house running of the installations. Overall technical support for the product is provided by SAS. The SAS for Customer Experience Analytics’ data collection systems can be deployed on Windows or Solaris (Intel or Spark) servers. The analysis and reporting servers can be one of many that are supported by SAS: OS/390 (zOS), V2R10 (V1R2), 32-bit; Windows NT/2000/XP (WNT/W2K/WXP) 4.0, 32-bit; OpenVMS Alpha (ALP), 7.3-1,64-bit; Compaq’s Digital UNIX (ALX), 5.1, 64-bit; HP PA-RISC – HP-UX, 11.11, 64-bit; HP Itanium – HP-UX, 11.23, 64-bit; Itanium based – Windows 64-bit XP/2003, 64-bit; Solaris 64 (S64), 8, 64-bit; AIX 64 (R64), 5.1, 64-bit; RedHat Enterprise Linux (AMD/Intel), V2.1, 32-bit; RedHat Enterprise Linux (Itanium), V3, 64-bit; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, v9, 32-bit; and Windows 64 (W64), XP/2003, 64-bit. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is a single module solution with pricing that is based on the number of customers using the Web site/service (sessions per month). SAS for Customer Experience Analytics’ collection sub system utilises MySQL (bundled) or Oracle databases for temporary data storage. Legacy data sources can be accessed via the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform and combined with the dynamically collected data. Any HTML-based applications can be instrumented for on-line data collection and CAE supports most script-capable browsers (e.g. Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer v4.0 and upwards). PRODUCT STRATEGY SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is targeted at any organisation which has a strategic investment in e- business, that requires an understanding of the customer experience. Butler Group believes that, as a horizontal solution, SAS for Customer Experience Analytics can benefit any organisation that manages multiple customer access channels, on-line and off-line, by providing them with that single view of the full ‘customer experience’. Besides, some organisations are deploying SAS for Customer Experience Analytics internally to analyse employees’ interactions with Web-based applications, to improve their business procedures and the employee experience. Those organisations that already use Web analytics are expected to gain a fast Return On Investment (ROI) by eliminating tagging requirements and thereby making immediate savings on manpower. Further returns can be realised from improved customer services and processes, better targeting, and more effective campaigns. SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is sold direct, through partners and channels. The key business partnerships and alliances that support this product include speed-trap, Atos-Origin, Detica, IBM, and Accenture. Speed-trap is also the key technology partner for this product in the UK. The software, as with other elements of the SAS portfolio, is licensed on an annual basis, with subsequent renewal fees. Maintenance and support is included in the licensing model. SAS estimates the average software licence costs for a typical project to be UK£250,000, with a further UK£30,000 to UK£100,000 for deployment services of between one to three months. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 8 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 9. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Currently SAS for Customer Experience Analytics is only available in the UK, although Butler Group expects to see the product released in other countries in the not to distant future. The development roadmap is heading for a number of product enhancements: additional embedded analytics; further customer touch-point data integration; additional data collection technology (mobile, for example); and last but not least, real-time decision making. COMPANY PROFILE Originally incorporated in 1976, SAS is the world’s largest, privately-held Software Company. Today it has grown to encompass 10,094 employees in more than 400 offices worldwide. The company was launched from North Carolina State University by Dr. Jim Goodnight, now CEO, and three of his colleagues. SAS has its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, and its UK offices can be found in Marlow, Manchester, and Glasgow. SAS integrates leading data warehousing, analytics, and traditional BI applications to create intelligence from massive amounts of data. It is one of the leading vendors in the decision support and data warehousing market, providing an integrated enterprise BI-platform. The company reinvests 24% of revenue back into Research and Development (R&D), with the stated aim of driving its domain expertise in analytical intelligence and information capture out to end-users through its solution range. Over 43,000 customers at business, Government, and university sites use SAS software solutions. Customers include 96 of the top 100 companies on the 2007 Fortune Global 500 List. The company has more than 400 alliances globally managed through its SAS Alliance programme, including: Computer Sciences Corporation; EDS ; Hewlett-Packard ; IBM; Intel ; Sun Microsystems ; Unisys; Accenture ; BearingPoint; Capgemini; Deloitte Consulting ; and IBM Global Services. Table 2: Financial Details 2006 2005 2004 Year ending Revenue (US$ Billion) 1.9 1.68 1.53 Change on Previous Year (%) 12 9.8 14 Source: SAS DATAMONITOR SUMMARY SAS for Customer Experience Analytics offers a fresh approach to Web analytics that does away with the need for tagging, network packet sniffers, and Web log analysers, therefore removing some of the expensive pain points of Web analytics. This fresh approach combines the dynamic data-capture capabilities of speed- trap with SAS’ BI stack to produce a powerful product – one that Butler Group recommends highly for consideration by those organisations that operate multiple customer-access channels. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 9 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  • 10. TECHNOLOGY AUDIT Table 3: Contact Details SAS Institute SAS Institute Inc. Wittington House, Henley Road 100 SAS Campus Drive Medmenham, Marlow Cary Bucks, SL7 2EB NC 27513-2414 UK USA Tel: +44 (0)1628 486933 Fax: +44 (0)1628 483203 E-mail: info.uk@suk.sas.com www.sas.com Source: SAS DATAMONITOR Important Notice Headquarters Butler Direct Pty Ltd. Butler Group Europa House, Level 46, Citigroup Building, 245 Fifth Avenue, This report contains data and information up- to-date and correct to the best of our 184 Ferensway, 2 Park Street, Sydney, 4th Floor, New York, knowledge at the time of preparation. The data Hull, East Yorkshire, NSW, 2000, NY 10016, and information comes from a variety of HU1 3UT, UK Australia USA sources outside our direct control, therefore Tel: +44 (0)1482 586149 Tel: + 61 (02) 8705 6960 Tel: +1 212 652 5302 Butler Direct Limited cannot give any Fax: + 61 (02) 8705 6961 Fax: +1 212 202 4684 Fax: +44 (0)1482 323577 guarantees relating to the content of this report. Ultimate responsibility for all interpretations of, and use of, data, information and commentary in this report remains with you. Butler Direct For more information on Butler Group’s Subscription Services please contact Limited will not be liable for any interpretations one of the local offices above. or decisions made by you. SAS – SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics Published 09/2007 Page 10 © Butler Group. This Technology Audit is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied