Smart data isn’t just a tool, it is also a product

SAS gives Partena a competitive advantage

With SAS, Partena - the third largest payroll administrator in Belgium - is able to visualize and analyze evolutions in their customer’s behavior and portfolio. These insights will not only be used by Partena to deliver personalized services to their customers, but can even be used by the customers themselves to gain insight into their own businesses.

Partena is a service provider that supports and guides small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large companies in their administrative processes related to social security and human resources activities. Their services include a broad range of activities. Among others, these include establishing new businesses, taking care of the social status obligations of self-employed persons, the wage and personnel management of employees and their family allowances, medical control of absenteeism and training, legal advice and HR consultancy. Partena currently services 65,000 companies and 200,000 employers and self-employed persons throughout Belgium.

The SAS solution provides crystal clear graphics that are easy to understand instead of just ‘dead numbers’ and clearly show tendencies, which otherwise remain hidden.

Wim Demey
Customer Intelligence Manager at Partena

Service customers on an individual level

“There is a strong competitive character within our market”, explains Wim Demey, Customer Intelligence Manager at Partena. “We see many social secretariats merging as a measure to reduce costs. These costs are indeed quite high because the government is constantly introducing new regulations, which are often very expensive to implement. In addition, the market is saturated. The majority of Belgian employers have already joined a social secretariat. So the question facing Partena is how can we differentiate our self from the rest of the pack in order to attract new business? There are two obvious answers to this question: you can charge less for your services, or you can improve the quality and/or quantity of your services. If you choose the latter option, you face an explicit demand that you clearly understand the needs and desires of your client. Since Partena’s clients are individuals or companies pursuing their own particular goals, we need to know what each of them needs and wants on an individual level if we are to properly provide them with appropriate services. Thanks to our SAS and Salesforce set-up, we now have this insight.”

Linking Salesforce with SAS

Two years ago, Partena started using Salesforce, a CRM software and an enterprise cloud ecosystem that brings together customer information. Previously, Partena had been using an unwieldy number of data sources, in all possible formats and environments. Many of their clients were present in several databases since each product division within the company used its own database. Moreover, many clients were registered both as part of a company and as natural persons. This led to a vast variety of report types and dashboards, making it quite challenging to find efficient ways to create useful and accurate insights into those that were strategically important for Partena.

“We wanted to move away from pure data collecting and reporting in ‘past quarter style,’ explains Demey. “What we needed was a data system able to detect historical patterns, changes in previous patterns, and relevant correlations between parameters, to name just a few of the sorts of things we were looking for. Accomplishing this would enable us to create genuine added value and not mere empty promises.”

Partena decided to use SAS to analyze the data coming from Salesforce. “This is where the fun really starts, because SAS enables us to discover both expected and unexpected patterns and correlations in our data. Now we have coherent data we can analyze and link together. Today, we use all of this capability as a starting point to identify our client’s needs on an individual level.”

Replace dead numbers by visualizing valuable insights

Although Salesforce is also equipped with analysis and data visualization tools, Partena chose to integrate SAS. The SAS solution provides crystal clear graphics that are easy to understand instead of just ‘dead numbers’. The staff can use them as is in all of their meetings, saving vast amounts of time. A common complaint previously was the amount of time it took just to prepare a presentation. Another key advantage is that the graphs clearly reveal tendencies and potential trends which might otherwise remain hidden.

Create a new service

Collecting data and presenting it in a vivid and interactive report is so easy now that Partena has decided to gather data concerning absenteeism for its major clients and compare the results with their global data. This way, they can see—by region, by age, by sex, or other criteria— precisely how their clients are scoring. “These reports help our clients gain important new insights into how they are conducting their business. The information was always there but it was buried out of sight and of no use whatsoever. Now we have easy access to such data and the insights that result from it,” declares Demey.

“Our next goal is to make absenteeism analysis available to all of our clients. Once we can do that, the data from the SAS solution may very well become an actual product, helping us to clearly stand out as a leader in our sector.”



Improving service quality and quantity using smart data


SAS® Visual Analytics


  • New and more personalized services
  • Easier to share and interpret information

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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