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SAS Forum Milano 2015: Analytics drive us to Business Transformation

Analytics For Everyone is the title of 2015 SAS Forum Milan, the annual event dedicated to SAS community. The 2015 edition developed around the Leap of thought and the sharing of knowledge as the real innovation engine. Topics like Big Data Governance and the new application frontiers of Analytics have been discussed through the presentation of innovative success cases.

Gabriella Compagnone, Sand Artist

With more than 2000 registrations and 300 attendees connected via streaming, SAS Forum Milan 2015, has started with a suggestive evocation (the sand artist Gabriella Compagnone’s performance) and the welcome of Emanuela Sferco, SAS Regional Marketing Director Central East Europe.

“Data likewise sand – she declared – are simple and available for everyone, but data storm, as a sandstorm, can tarnish the path. SAS commitment is to allow information governance through Analytics, to enable the discovery of new and not evident phenomena, and reach new possibilities, not only in business terms.”

Analytics to enable the Leap of Thought

The speech of Marco Icardi, SAS Vice President Central East Europe, underlines the ongoing revolution in society and enterprises, mentioning disruptive companies as Alibabà (e-commerce) and Uber (taxi service): “We are speaking about 4.0 industry, even more connected and digitalized, with less stores e more software. Internet has removed intermediaries between enterprise and customer. The experience replaces possession, while the touch points with customers become a differentiating factor”.

How can we reach the paradigm’s change, the leap of thought towards innovative business models? The free circulation and exchange of ideas, the sharing of knowledge that gets over corporate pyramid, the culture propagation, and the analytic intelligence are the answers. Here the subject of SAS Forum Milan 2015 comes: Analytics For Everyone.

SAS strategy for innovation in three pillars

“SAS - stated Icardi - validates the leap of thought in a three levels strategy:

  • A solid platform with TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) available for SME too;
  • A range of broad-spectrum solutions;
  • A set of stable methodologies and skills.

We support our customers in a dynamic process that feeds new initiatives, based on a risk-sharing logic, determined by factors like lack of skills or underutilization of information assets (today enterprises use only 5 x 1000 of available data)”.

SAS enables excellence: successful cases

The effort of SAS is testified by successful case histories explained during the plenary session. On stage, excellent speeches coming from the research and academic’s world, the international and Italian business environment.

  • Massimo Delledonne, Full Professor of Genetics at University of Verona, spoke about progress made in DNA reading, a way to know in advance medical predisposition for diseases. Even if available data can save human lives, an ethical question is still open: on one hand is perfectly right to acquire this type of information, but on the other side, there is an inevitable risk to influence the human life.
  • Giovanni Bossi, Banca IFIS CEO, reflected on collateral consequences of shared and wide knowledge that subverts balances and corporate hierarchies. “Mind the gap” – he said - because if technologies are ready, people have yet to do a deep exchange of mindset. Banca IFIS has reached the goal: strategic undertaken actions and achieved goals are communicated every month to the entire company totally in transparency.
  • With Dino Pedreschi, Full Professor of Informatics at University of Pisa, discussion focused on the chance to obtain demographic and socio-economic indicators through data from smartphone and using Analytics power. The target? A sustainable planning of urban spaces and transports.

Stefano Fiorentino, Sky Italy
  • The pay television in the Italian market, SKY, invests two billion euros per year on contents, fruition mode research (supply bundle) and customer service. As Stefano Fiorentino explained, Churn Management & Customer Engagement of Sky Italy, Analytics allow obtaining useful information from Big Data, discovering customer’s preferences and proposing customized offers with specific marketing actions.
  • For ESA, European Space Agency, as Pierre Philippe Mathieu described, Earth Observation Scientist at Applications & Future Technologies department, the challenge is gather and aggregate petabyte of data coming from orbiting satellites, obtaining quality information about climatic and environmental phenomena, delivering them to users in a fast and immediate way (for example by text messages) and prompting useful actions. In this scenery, data quality represents a focal point that can be pursued through engagement and feedback from scientists-citizens. They allow validating information reliability via app and with gamification mechanisms.

Marco Fedi, Allianz
  • Marco Fedi, Allianz CIO, invited to think about puzzle and mysteries concepts applied to Analytics. If in the past, decisional process has been penalized by the lack of essential information pieces.

    Today, even if there is a full availability of data, the problem is to identify the right information which is useful to analyze, in order to reach the expected results.

  • Riccardo Sabatini, Phd-researcher scientist at SISSA and EPFL, explained the activities made with FoodCAST, a national research project that has the objective of processing predictive models in order to optimize the food market.

    The speech has pointed out the way in which data mining and neuroscience are cooperating to build a sustainable food spinneret, especially now with EXPO 2015.
  • Mauro Fanfoni, Eni Retail Market G&P SVP Marketing and Innovation Europe, underlined the need of using Business Analytics to maximize the efficiency during the interaction with customers and to give them even more personalized and developed products. According to recent studies users of Energy sector spend only 9 minutes per year connecting with their own supplier: since time is a missing resource, communication has to be perfectly targeted.


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