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Leading International Payments Business Uses SAS® to Drive Data Segmentation and Transactional Analysis

An international payments business wanted to offer value-added services to its business customers including retailers and SAS® appealed as the best solution to achieve this.

A leading international payments business initially engaged with SAS because it wanted to be able to carry out additional analysis of transactions and offer value-added services to its top tier customers.

In doing this, its main challenge was that it had to manage large volumes of data, and it needed a solution to enable flexible manipulation of that data and the application of quantitative statistical techniques. According to a spokesperson "We chose SAS because we already have SAS expertise in-house and we knew that it would be able to scale to the current problems that we have."

Part of the analytical process involved segmenting massive quantities of data to create better insights. The payments business was also working to a tight timetable of six weeks.

Its spokesperson explains: "We were looking for a solution that was usable and would meet the business requirement. We already had staff with SAS experience which was an accelerator. Our challenge was to ensure that we could architect the solution to deliver the required SAS business benefit within the tight project timescales – so we set out on a journey working collaboratively with SAS."

Scoping the Solution
The SAS® implementation, run on the principles of massively parallel processing, almost achieved new records within the business for the speed of its execution. The SAS solutions were installed, and up and running just two and a half weeks after the initial contact between the two companies. The business customised its own solution from the SAS development environment using a range of SAS coding software including Base SAS® for data manipulation, SAS/STAT® for complex analysis, SAS/GRAPH® for high-impact visuals, and SAS/ACCESS® Interface to DB2, which streamlines the process of data access, transformation and analysis.

SAS runs within the environment of the business's customer database. By the time data gets into the SAS area it is all anonymised, allowing the in-house analyst team to segment customers.

The business has a 62-terabyte transactional warehouse containing records of all of its transactional data. The SAS solution provides a tool capability that receives information from that warehouse and adds meaning to it.

The business can take records of transactional data and then assign records of cardholder behaviour to them. Technically, the database is integrated with SAS® Analytics compounds that act upon that data to analyse it statistically, and produce data clusters, trend and cohort analysis. The implementation was carried out by the business, although SAS expertise from the SAS technical support team was used to resolve specific queries.

Assessing the Benefits
Since its implementation, the SAS solution has been successful in its primary aim of delivering enhanced value-added services to the payments business's members and top-line customers, alongside enhanced customer insights.

One of the key benefits of the SAS implementation is its ease of use. According to a spokesperson from the business, "Internal users delivered positive feedback on the implementation within the first week, commenting that it was delivering a strong performance and enabling them to resolve business problems that would have taken them a lot longer before. From a business benefit realisation perspective, it was ticking all the right boxes." Another benefit is market familiarity.

SAS is market mature, making it easier for the business to go out and find SAS analysts in the marketplace. Using SAS also makes its customer safe in the knowledge that it will be able to scale the solution. As the spokesperson explains, "It is normal when you are looking for a solution capable of rapidly processing vast volumes of data for people to overstate what they can actually do. You can be pretty confident about the scalability with SAS though, and, because it is a well-tested well-worn solution, you know that when you implement it, it is likely to work smoothly every time."

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Leading international payments business

Business Issue:
Carry out additional analysis on transactions from the payments business and offer value-added services to top-tier customers.
Solution:
Base SAS for data manipulation, SAS/STAT for complex analysis, SAS/GRAPH for high-impact visuals, and SAS/ACCESS Interface to DB2, which streamlines the process of data access, transformation and analysis.
Benefits:
Delivering enhanced value-added services to payments business members and top-line customers, alongside enhanced customer insights.

Internal users delivered positive feedback on the implementation within the first week, commenting that it was delivering a strong performance and enabling them to resolve business problems that would have taken them a lot longer before. From a business benefit realisation perspective, it was ticking all the right boxes.

Payments business spokesperson

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