SAS Documentation

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Occasional Contributor
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SAS Documentation

Hi there,

I'm about to, hopefully, start a new role where I will be asked to create/run/automate various Business reports - I've used SAS on and off over the years, but am no expert. My question is this - is there a book out there, with SAS examples, which has been written for someone in a Marketing Operations/Business Reporting environment - particularly relating to Sales and Marketing performance...metrics, lead management, propensity for a deal to close, comparison of one campaign's results against another...etc - there must be, right?

Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS Documentation

There is whole sea not just a lake of information/books, just some links:

- SAS Store  (select marketing)
- SAS Global Forum Proceedings 2014 select marketing , customer intelligence
I would be interesting to know if it is a solution based, BI-based (including SAS-VA) or classic coding approach.

---->-- ja karman --<-----
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: SAS Documentation

Thanks for this - I guess I would beed to start with some compelling analyses using a Base licence, and then build from there - so it would all be classic coding to start with.

These books are what I would call 'generic' stuff - I don't see anything there that shows a). a business question and b). a SAS-code solution.

Here are some questions, which should be generic across all businesses - and where I see a gap in the documentation/advice I've been given by SAS themselves in the past: -

1). Which of my Salesreps is the best?

2). Which of my leads will convert to a deal/opportunity and which won't?

3). what was the return on investment of that marketing campaign?

4). What is the value of each of my customers to my business?

5). Which deals will close sooner than others?

6). what does my marketing leads funnel look like in terms of lead volumes?

7). which of my prospects will respond better than others to this campaign/offer?

There has to be some kind of SAS guide that shows how to answer these sorts of questions assuming the source data is available?

:smileyconfused:

Super User
Posts: 6,928

Re: SAS Documentation

Even with just a simple problem like a) I find that most of the work is defining the algorithm to get from the business data model to the wanted values. And that this part is generic design work, independent of the tools used later on. It also means that this is highly specific to the organisation, and you won't find help anywhere else.

Putting it into SAS code is 10 to 20 % of the whole process.

So

a) what defines "best"?

b) where are the data to be found?

c) how can I access the data?

d) import & transform

e) calculate (put result of a) into code)

f) present

the SAS work does not start before d), and f) is often done with other means (Excel)

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: SAS Documentation

Don't get me wrong - i appreciate your comments, and I'm sure some of the links will help me in time - but I think the fundamental answer to my question is - 'no, there is no single, simple book'.

I guess if my Chief Marketing Officer says to me - why should I buy SAS?, I want to be able to go back to him with a myriad of real Business problems that SAS can solve...

rather than telling him that it will help me...

  • create effect plots and odds ratio plots using ODS Statistical Graphics
  • handle missing data values
  • tackle multicollinearity in your predictors

He's a simple guy...has fairly simple problems - but lots of them...and I need a simple reference guide to help him...

Contributor
Posts: 63

Re: SAS Documentation

Mike, in reply to your question about how to reply if your CMO says "Why buy SAS", well, if he's CMO and isn't familiar with SAS's capabilities then I'd be wondering how he got his job.  :smileyshocked:

Any of your business problems would be eligible to use as an example of SAS capabilities.... identify 'best' sales rep, determine campaign ROI, report/predict customer value, etc.  And I think that all your questions can be addressed with Base SAS although SAS/STAT and SAS/GRAPH would be very useful, and depending on where your data are stored (SAS dataset or flat file versus an RDBMS) you might need a SAS/Access product  In a pinch you can use ODBC but nobody I think really recommends that because of the performance hit.

Regarding your original question, I don't know of any reference that provides off-the-shelf code to answer your questions.  I have Jeff LeSueur's book "Marketing Automation" and it uses SAS to show how to improve marketing effectiveness and maximize investment.  It has screen shots and output but no code.  Googling "sas marketing" takes me to a whole list of potentially useful stuff.  Here's an on-demand webinar that probably provides an overview of what SAS can do for you.

     http://www.sas.com/reg/web/corp/1291086

But your questions are _very_ common and a solution is not hard to code.  There are probably SAS Conference papers that have examples. (Go to www.lexjansen.com)  But as both Jaap and Kurt have pointed out, framing the question--what's the definition of "best"--and data availability are critical.  I often say that programming is the easy part with SAS.  It's figuring out what exactly you want to do that is difficult.

Super User
Posts: 6,928

Re: SAS Documentation

It's figuring out what exactly you want to do that is difficult.

Couldn't have said it better.

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Occasional Contributor
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Re: SAS Documentation

What I WANT to do is to measure Sales Pipeline Velocity.

I have SFDC as a CRM, we have Sales Opportunity stages and we have $$$ value for all stages.

I can't seem to find a SAS paper that covers that - but maybe I'm typing in the English when I should be using some statistical term - but that's my point - I don't want SAS to solve my problems - but I want it to have a huge number of easily accessible example problems/code solutions

Super User
Posts: 6,928

Re: SAS Documentation

Maybe I have to shoot down a misconception here.

Just as guns don't kill people (because people kill people), SAS does not solve your business problems. YOU solve your business problems, and SAS is just one of the tools available for the job.

What, then, does SAS offer?

SAS is a comprehensible toolset that helps you handle (almost) every aspect of data warehousing, from extraction to transformation to consolidation to metadata management to reporting to statistics to presentation. Throw in a little security management on the side.

OTOH R is a great statisticians tool, but it completely lacks metadata management or any kind of transformation tools (it relies on a DBMS to do this).

If you do not already have a data warehouse infrastructure, SAS will be the way to go IMO. Costs a bunch, but you get the biggest bang for the buck. Where other systems are just pick-ups, SAS is the tractor-trailer of data warehousing.

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Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers
Super User
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Re: SAS Documentation

mikecollins wrote:

Thanks for this - I guess I would beed to start with some compelling analyses using a Base licence, and then build from there - so it would all be classic coding to start with.

These books are what I would call 'generic' stuff - I don't see anything there that shows a). a business question and b). a SAS-code solution.

Here are some questions, which should be generic across all businesses - and where I see a gap in the documentation/advice I've been given by SAS themselves in the past: -

1). Which of my Salesreps is the best?

2). Which of my leads will convert to a deal/opportunity and which won't?

3). what was the return on investment of that marketing campaign?

4). What is the value of each of my customers to my business?

5). Which deals will close sooner than others?

6). what does my marketing leads funnel look like in terms of lead volumes?

7). which of my prospects will respond better than others to this campaign/offer?

There has to be some kind of SAS guide that shows how to answer these sorts of questions assuming the source data is available?

:smileyconfused:

All of those questions are methodological in nature and incredibly subjective.

You won't be able to get away with BASE SAS you'll need SAS/STAT at a minimum and for some of the higher end marketing problems such as Market Basket Analysis you'll need Enterprise Miner.

I believe SAS has a custom Marketing Analytics Solution besides BASE SAS.

Why should you buy SAS? Because it's a single tool that allows you to handle the data management, manipulation to full end reporting to a PDF or Word Doc with analysts in control of most of the process. You're not limited in the size of your data.

If you try and use R and have bigger datasets you'll get hooped pretty quickly. I've been learning R and recently run into this, files that are 356MB just crash and my standard files can easily get to 36million obs/year.

SQL is good at the data management part but not the analytics portion, but it can be done. Getting those results nicely formatted and into a PDF or Word Doc is not so easy though.

My nickel (Canada doesn't have pennies any more Smiley Wink)

Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS Documentation

Mike I could not find your background. You are not the astronaut or some VP ofa company.
What I am seeing is questions that belong to the BI (business Intelligence) approach with dashboards applied to a marketing department.

Your questions:

1). Which of my Salesreps is the best?

The value calculation is the choice of your business.
There are a lot of measures: Number of new customers, churned customers, total earnings last period, earnings to be expected next year/years.

It depends on the vision short-term long-term trustworthiness, expected product replacement/life-cycle.

2). Which of my leads will convert to a deal/opportunity and which won't?

This is a topic of data-mining.The lift and prediction values are part of that game.

3). what was the return on investment of that marketing campaign?

This is a topic of data-mining.The lift and prediction values are part of that game.

4). What is the value of each of my customers to my business?

Customer segmentation is the common word. But which ones are the most valuable?.
The old-known ones needing only support (long-term), The new ones as you could sell more with cross-selling (short-term)?.

5). Which deals will close sooner than others?

Real marketing question with sales.

6). what does my marketing leads funnel look like in terms of lead volumes?

Analyse the data that is delivered as those results. I think this is part of a CI solution.

7). which of my prospects will respond better than others to this campaign/offer?

Analyse the data that is delivered as those results. I think this is part of a CI solution.

It seems to me you are starting with something that others has done already often.  

---->-- ja karman --<-----
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: SAS Documentation

So...

SAS book...with sample code...?

Using Base SAS only for now...

anyone?

Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS Documentation

Or use the free tutorials: SAS Tutorials | SAS Training 
A lot of those are also present in the mentioned doc/papers (examples). When you access to SAS there could be a tutorial pull-down in the menu'-s.
Often datasets in the SAShelp are used but sometimes there are additional ones. 

---->-- ja karman --<-----
Valued Guide
Posts: 3,208

Re: SAS Documentation

Mike we are changing rapidly how we should evaluate your question. That is teasing the minds.
For a investment decission there is whole different game to play. That is:

- your knowledge about business opportunities
- some ROI calculations on that.  (TCO - licensing - cloud/on premium - support staff - etc.)

- cooperation with IT staff - getting your data.

- SAS sales and technical support.
You can find the descriptions of SAS solutions. The case-studies that are to be found are al high-level. Nobody wants to give too much of those details.
The most simple "SAS for dummies" (Eguide oriented) book will be too technical.


 

---->-- ja karman --<-----
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