Bringing science to customer relationships

HP turns 2.5 billion customer transactions into customer intimacy

At HP, one of the world’s leading makers of computers and peripherals, "Big Data" is reshaping customer relationships and business operations. Each year, HP conducts approximately 2.5 billion interactions: customer calls, Web visits, emails, chat sessions, and even more customer touches through retail partners – all generating massive amounts of service tickets, questions, complaints and suggestions. The result: a 900 TB data warehouse with 360 million customer records growing by millions each month.

"People can talk about terabytes and petabytes of data – but we're actually living it every day," said Prasanna Dhore, Vice President of Global Customer Intelligence at HP. "Fortunately, we have deployed the technology infrastructure to derive meaningful value from that data. We rely on SAS® for more than 95 percent of our analytics processes."

With SAS, we're accurately scoring more than 100 million customers in seconds to target our marketing and service efforts.

Prasanna Dhore
Vice President, Global
Customer Intelligence

Bringing precision to sales and marketing

HP’s goal was clear, but challenging: transform these data points into strategic advantages and bring science to customer relationships. Its vast reservoir of data was an unprecedented opportunity to know more about millions of customers and gain significant competitive advantage.

"Customer insights aren't worth a dime unless they are actionable," Dhore said. "We talk about 'information asymmetry' – that gap between what we know about the customer and what we want to know. With SAS analytics, we can close that gap and achieve customer intimacy, so that we know more than our competitors to meet needs more effectively, reduce operational complexity – and take action."

According to Dhore, SAS remains the right choice as data volumes climb.

Project Fusion: Understanding events as they happen

HP uses its SAS horsepower to assess operations – from finance to marketing to manufacturing – and make informed decisions about where to allocate its investments.

"Beyond looking at the past and predicting the future, we want to understand major dynamics of our business as they happen," said Dhore. "If there's something good happening, we want to amplify it, and if something is not happening the way we want, we need to respond quickly. That's why we created Project Fusion – using software from SAS and HP Labs – to do granular analyses of the valuable unstructured data in our social media channels."

With Project Fusion, HP merges unstructured and structured data – such as consumer product reviews on Amazon or CNET – to tap customer sentiment and gain insights and early market intelligence.

“Typical social media analyses only give a simple positive/negative rating,” he explained. “But what if the consumer says, ‘I love the printer, but I don’t like the paper tray’?" Project Fusion pulls out assessments on dozens of features and attributes – paper tray, software, ink cartridges or others. We score each one from -10 to +10 and convert that data into a structured database for statistical analyses. That helps us assess future product requirements and even anticipate service issues in the call center with pre-scripted responses.”

As a result of its success, HP plans to roll out Project Fusion for more than 200 additional products.

Marketing performance and ROI soar

By harnessing Big Data, HP has achieved that often-elusive 360-degree view of the customer.

"We have to be careful with this information, because there's a fine line between customer intimacy and customer privacy," Dhore said. "The distinction is this: Is it in the customer's interest? If you're providing value, customers appreciate your knowledge of their interests and needs.

"The numbers don't lie. We've achieved a 20 percent incremental ROI across campaigns from these initiatives. Our marketing ROI jumped 42 percent over a three-year period. Our orders shipped have increased by 50 percent in three years, and the overall operating profit of our store has increased by more than 50 percent. For the last four years, our customer satisfaction rankings have gone up consistently. And we do that by relentlessly focusing on our key performance indicators. We have 15-20 KPIs, and by tracking our performance we can know our efforts are making a difference.

"We're very pleased to have a fantastic relationship with SAS. We feel we're not only a customer – we are ultimately a partner."

HP Logo


HP captures petabytes of data on 2.5 billion customer transactions. It sought smart ways to derive insights from that data and achieve a 360-degree view of its customers to be more responsive and competitive.



By achieving a 360-degree view based on its Big Data, HP has seen a 20 percent incremental ROI across campaigns. Orders shipped have increased by 50 percent in three years, and the overall operating profit of the store has increased by more than 50 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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