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First Look: SAS Real-time Decision Manager


As part of our series on Marketing Decision Management Solutions, I got an update on SAS Real-time Decision Manager. SAS Real-time Decision Manager is a complete solution that delivers decision capabilities around customer intelligence for marketing and I was last updated on it back in 2010. The solution provides a unified capability for making customer decisions using both profile and transaction data (conversations, purchase and offer history, web analytics) across channels as diverse as retail POS systems, web sites, mobile devices etc. SAS Real-time Decision Manager integrates with the rest of the SAS platform and is able to consume data integration scripts as well as predictive analytic models managed using SAS Enterprise miner and SAS Model Manager etc.

SAS has clients for the solution across banking, communication, insurance, government, energy, retail, manufacturing, gaming, travel and entertainment though banking and communication dominate. Examples include a telecom company using Real-time Decision Manager for next best action in the call center for things like handset upgrades, adding a data plan, collecting email address – service and sales etc. SAS Real-time Decision Manager manages contact policy requirements as well as customer intelligence and they plan to roll out to retail stores and other channels. A hospitality company in contrast uses it to alert their hosts based on loyalty card usage and loyal customers’ behavior. This uses SMS to the host’s mobile phone to drive actions for loyal customers and to allow hosts to respond.

SAS Real-time Decision Manager v6 has just been released with new and upgraded features. Key new features include

  • New SAS Customer Intelligence Studio
    A whole new interface delivered, like all new SAS interfaces, as a pure browser-based interface.
  • Enhanced Campaign Analysis
    Historical and simulated data can be used to test a campaign using a batch simulation. Counts and results can then be viewed for the campaign allowing you to see how a campaign will likely work before deploying it. Node counts are displayed on the campaign workflow to show how results distributed through the workflow branches (this can also be used on real-time deployment too, showing how real transactions are flowing through the workflow) or end marketing results can be plotted and graphed.
  • Enhanced Segmentation and Categorization
    The new release allows for more complex categorization using a cross-tab node to reduce the number of nodes in the offer workflow. The Cross Table node lets you specify a decision table with two variables (say price and down payment) and specify a third variable value like loan amount that is set at the intersection of the particular values passed in. The new variable then becomes part of the campaign and can be used subsequently.
  • Testing response effectiveness using AB Testing and Champion/Challenger
    Rather than using general purpose split nodes in the campaign, the new release manages these explicitly. Champion/Challenger or challenger/challenger (A/B) testing are supported and the data is collected to make reporting and comparison explicit. The number of challengers involved and the percentage handled by a champion can be controlled. A key can be specified for a customer so that they can always be assigned to the same champion/challenger if they come to the website or call center more than once during the test period.
  • Bring web session data into real-time decisions
    SAS Customer Experience Personalization collects data about a customers use of a website (web analytic data like videos watched, forms filled out, pages viewed etc) and this data can be used by SAS Real-time Decision Manager. Data like the number of items in a shopping cart, specific products investigated, defined interaction goals met during the session etc can be identified by SAS Customer Experience Personalization and then consumed by Real-time Decision Manager. Real-time Decision Manager can also be integrated back into the original website to provide decisions.

From a roadmap perspective there is a focus on expanding the decision management capabilities available as SAS builds out its Decision Manager product. In addition common segmentation and eligibility rules can be surfaced and managed across SAS products, better access to customer interactions including batch campaign interactions from SAS Marketing Automation is planned and offer management is being enhanced. You can get more information on SAS Real-time Decision Management here.


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