Pittsburgh Pirates tap SAS® Analytics
Baseball team "knows" fans with SAS® Visual Data Discovery
CARY, NC (Sep. 23, 2011) – Baseball loves the numbers, both traditional RBIs and ERAs plus newer sabermetric measures like walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) and value over replacement player (VORP). As "Moneyball" has become a valued statistical approach to selecting talent, teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates are also embracing analytics to improve operations and marketing and build stronger relationships with fans. Using SAS Visual Data Discovery, the Pirates surface a treasure trove of fan insights. The point-and-click interface gives quick entry to advanced analytics from SAS, the leader in business analytics. It helps them better understand how their fans are changing, where fans are coming from and how promotions affect ticket sales.
Before, the Pirates used Excel but they struggled to integrate data from applications driving direct mail and online promotions. Now, SAS integrates and analyzes data and provides interactive visualization to help decision makers understand trends and fan-behavior patterns. With analytic insights, the Pirates can boost database marketing to increase ticket and merchandise sales.
Building in-house analytics expertise
"We interact with fans in several ways and SAS analyzes data from all those sources," said Jim Alexander, Senior Director of Business Analytics, the Pirates. "We use SAS to build powerful predictive models that draw out customer insights and help us deliver the right offers to the right fans. This is just the beginning. We want to empower more Pirates employees with the information they need to strengthen fan relationships. Building our own SAS Analytics skills is giving us incredible flexibility to spot new opportunities and solve problems."
"SAS Visual Data Discovery offers multiple analytical modeling capabilities and lets us test different scenarios and select the analytic model that produces the best results," said Jason Witzberger, Manager of Business Analytics for the Pirates. "It's great toggling from SAS' point-and-click view to the programmatic view when tweaks are needed – that's a real time saver."
Better able to focus their resources, Pirates sales and marketing teams are more efficient. The team is now using SAS to forecast 2012 attendance to help plan the next season. The Pirates will begin analyzing fan data in near-real time, enabling them to formulate more timely marketing campaigns.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world
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