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The view from the top: charity transforms how it views analytics

When this leading UK charity wanted to deploy a more powerful approach to analytics and reporting, packaged implementation services ensured it saw the benefits rapidly.

This campaigning organisation is known for its work researching products and providing consumers with objective information. "The organisation is a long-time user of our technology, and likes to keep up with the latest developments," says David Bailey, Client Manager, SAS. "We discussed what SAS Visual Analytics could deliver for them, and they were immediately interested." Specifically, the organisation was finding it increasingly difficult to share data across different parts of its operations. With growing numbers of customers and rising service requirements, the ability to simplify and speed up sharing across different departments and IT systems was increasingly critical. Bailey says, "They also saw the potential to extend the outputs from internal reporting purposes alone to form part of the information and reports that they provide to hundreds of thousands of external customers."

SAS® Visual Analytics is designed to provide faster and deeper insights through more engaging exploratory analysis. Multiple users can explore "Big Data" volumes simultaneously, applying high-performance analytics quickly and easily. For this organisation, clear gains lay in the capabilities it offered to better share the information gleaned from data discovery via, for example, more visual reports and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and being able to use the Web and mobile devices as required.

"Naturally, they wanted to implement fast so they could add these capabilities to the existing toolset," Bailey says. "Following discussions, they agreed a focused professional services engagement would enable SAS Visual Analytics to be installed with minimal internal effort, whilst also providing knowledge transfer to the individual who would be responsible for administering the solution in-house."

Fast and cost-effective implementation

SAS® Visual Analytics Quick Start service provides organisations of a certain size with cost-effective packaged services to implement a specific solution. "In this case, we were engaged to provide a single server, a single non-distributed environment, implemented on the customer's premises, with a proposed implementation timeline of seven elapsed working days, and for a fixed-price fee," says Paul Evans, Customer Services Manager. "We took responsibility for implementation, while our delivery partner – who already had a relationship with the customer – handled the actual installation."

Services provided include focused consulting to verify the project scope and agree a schedule, requirements gathering, and then installation and configuration. "Given the targeted nature of these engagements, the install is normally done remotely, after we've discussed requirements with the customer and have an accurate understanding of their environment, in terms of sizing and other factors," Evans says. The package also includes one day's training for knowledge transfer, and a one-day consulting follow-up engagement to assess how SAS Visual Analytics is being used in the business and make recommendations for the future.

Evans says that one specific implementation challenge centred on a recommendation relating to the hardware and using the Linux operating system; the organisation's environment is predominantly Windows-based. "They'd already ordered the hardware," he says. "I had to follow up and advise them to make the arrangements necessary to change that order. We then raised a new Electronic Software Download for SAS Visual Analytics on a Windows machine."

"Our clients expect us to deliver for them as quickly and effectively as possible, at the time they want us to," says Ross Hammett, SAS Professional Services. "They view us as a trusted adviser, and our role is to ensure the software is implemented in the right ways so that it can start delivering value fast. So this is about coming up with the right solution given the circumstances. In this case, as elsewhere, the right solution included using the resources of a proven delivery partner."

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Leading UK charity

Business Issue:
Rapidly deploy an analytics and reporting solution with minimal effort, gaining value in the shortest time frame
Solution:
Integrated implementation services via the cost-effective SAS Visual Analytics Quick Start service: consulting, requirements gathering, installation, configuration and knowledge transfer via SAS Professional Services and its delivery partner
Benefits:
Fast, quality assured installation of powerful new analytics capabilities to improve data sharing, analysis and reporting; providing more visually engaging inputs for internal and external (commercial) reporting purposes

"As this customer discovered, the SAS Visual Analytics Quick Start service is a really effective way to ensure the software can be implemented on time, within scope and to the right degree of quality."

Ross Hammett

SAS Professional Services

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