SAS Solution Analyzes Online Behavior

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SAS Inc., Cary, NC, a data warehouse and decision support software company, will release a software and services solution this month that helps companies understand online behavior and personalize marketing responses.


The SAS Solution for e-intelligence "is going to extend their reach by allowing companies to bring Web transactions and click-stream type information into the data warehouse and apply the data modeling to that," said Henry Morris, a data mining analyst at IDC, Framingham, MA. The offering will significantly "increase the speed in which [direct marketers] can bring things down from the Web and use that information as the basis to impact the environment that users see on Web sites."


According to Morris, the new service lets the company own more of the process, instead of just being the data mining engine. "Ultimately, this will allow them to compete with the many Web-oriented data mining software vendors out there today that are offering things such as Web-based personalization engines, which essentially are Web-based data mining tools," he said.


The solution has three modules, which can work together or separately:


• e-Discovery will deliver analysis for profiling and segmentation so organizations can personalize communications from all channels in a data warehouse for analysis and delivery to touch points. In general, it allows customers to better understand online behavior, and manage customer and supplier relationships. The solution builds upon SAS' data mining product - Enterprise Miner - but includes new technology and services developed inhouse that leverage Web data.


• WebHound analyzes click streams in high volumes of Web traffic and provides report templates and supposes ad hoc queries into Web-site visitor behavior so organizations can improve the ratio of Web-site visits to sales/response through better design.


• IT Service Vision ensures the reliable performance of an enterprise's e-business infrastructure - including Web server, networks and phone systems - and data from these systems is warehoused and analyzed to provide IT departments with intelligence on e-business infrastructure usage, for example.


Pricing starts at $200,000 for e-Discovery and $80,000 each for IT Service Vision and WebHound. John McIntyre, director of global marketing at SAS, said the solution is unique in that it integrates and adds intelligence to data from all of an organizations' customer or supplier contact channels - including the Net, extranets, call centers, e-mail and campaign management systems.


"Businesses with more than one channel are going to be faced with trying to integrate the activity of visitors to the Web channel with activity of customers from other channels," said McIntyre. "This is an expansion strategy that analyzes all of this information in a closed-loop system."


In addition, he said, other offerings that focus on single channels leave companies unable to determine which are most profitable for which types of audiences because they have an incomplete picture of those audiences and their channel presence.
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