Giving clients the tools to interpret their customer data

89 Degrees uses SAS® Visual Analytics to help companies drive customer engagement and loyalty

Every interaction a customer makes with a company leaves a trail of data. Magnify this by millions of customers, and the data gets bigger. And if you’re an agency responsible for powering better marketing across a number of brands, the data also becomes complex.

Where we had previously spent meetings taking notes for follow-up analysis, we are now presenting what happened and why using SAS Visual Analytics and discussing the implications.

Rosie Poultney
Vice President of Analytics

But analysis shouldn’t just be confined to a small segment of analysts. It should be accessible to everyone – even if you’re not a data scientist or a coder. That viewpoint, held by Rosie Poultney, Vice President of Analytics for 89 Degrees, played a strong role in the marketing services firm’s decision to modernize its client reporting with SAS Visual Analytics. The technology allows clients to visually explore data and create new reports rapidly, without having to consult an analyst.

Putting analytics to work

89 Degrees provides customer segmentation and targeted communications, designing loyalty programs and creating business metrics for strategic decision making by its clients.

For example, furniture company IKEA used 89 Degrees’ services to power its omnichannel marketing program and develop its loyalty program from scratch to 8 million members. And automotive manufacturer Hyundai relies on 89 Degrees to find new ways to help its customers earn rewards and keep them coming back.

How? 89 Degrees turned to SAS Visual Analytics to help clients explore and produce reports from their own data autonomously. And having more interactive and flexible ways to analyze data leads to better data interpretation, which leads to better service and better results. Since 89 Degrees began using analytics from SAS, the company has achieved an annual revenue growth rate of 20 percent.

From tedious to transformational

A previous reporting system was manual and inflexible – and lacked any graphical punch. “Creating reports was slow, and if we didn't have quite what we wanted, we had to go back, recode, re-extract and do the whole thing all over again,” Poultney explains. “The entire process could end up taking several weeks.”

The agency needed a way to reflect a growing set of data about customers in a way that made sense to their clients. With SAS Visual Analytics, 89 Degrees can create engaging, interactive dashboards and reports that are immediately available via desktop, tablet or smartphone. More than that, 89 Degrees benefits from increased flexibility and ease in exploring the data.

“You don’t need a coder,” Poultney says. “You can hire a marketer and still get data into the decision process.”

Now when a client comes to 89 Degrees with a question about its customer base, the agency can respond faster. 89 Degrees can either generate a new report or create a standard report that allows the client to access the answers autonomously.

For regular reports, 89 Degrees can create a table at the customer level and load it daily, weekly or monthly. “Clients don’t have to go through a massive briefing process to get a number out,” Poultney says. “And it frees our analysts to concentrate on things that are of more value to the company and its clients.”

SAS Visual Analytics allows 89 Degrees to explore its clients’ customer data and split those customers into useful segments. The technology also helps 89 Degrees create a customer health report that tracks how segmented groups are behaving. The company gets standard reports for tracking key performance indicators, taking a deep dive into marketing campaigns and tracking changes in media input over time based on geography.

The solution also makes reporting projects easier. “In the past, a project that normally would have taken us two weeks can now be done on the same level in just three or four days,” Poultney says.

More time for data interpretation and idea generation

Because 89 Degrees can quickly make changes to reports, the company spends a lot more time collaborating with clients on ideas, not going back and forth on minor changes.

“Where we had previously spent meetings taking notes for follow-up analysis, we are now presenting what happened and why using SAS Visual Analytics and discussing the implications,” Poultney says. “We can even make changes to the reports or charts in the meeting, so no one has to wait for answers or wait to make decisions collectively.

“And since we trained our clients to make their own reports, they’re also starting meetings sharing those reports. By removing the barrier to data access, our clients can focus on what the data is telling them, which ultimately leads to improved marketing campaigns that yield higher ROI.”

89 Degrees Company Logo with tagline


  • Generate reports faster and give marketing clients more autonomy in exploring their data and generating reports on their own.



  • Non-technical individuals have the ability to explore data on their own.
  • Quicker turnaround on reports and explorations and the ability to change variables and hierarchies faster.
  • Projects that used to take weeks to complete now can be done in a few days.
  • Internal analysts have time to focus on more critical projects.
  • The company has achieved an annual revenue growth rate of 20 percent.
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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