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Kelley Blue Book picks SAS® Analytics, Turns Big Data Into Big Value

August 31, 2011 No Comments


Careening from scarce stats to data deluge, Kelley Blue Book embraces SAS Analytics software from the leader in business analytics to transform big data into unrivaled insights for the automotive marketplace. The premier provider of new- and used-car information grew from 100 to 500 employees in five years by working smarter. Today, big data analytics from SAS drive nearly every facet of the SMB’s business, including customer analytics, Web design, product testing, demand planning, financial forecasting, market research and vehicle valuation.

“Our enterprise analytics group expanded from one to 23 in just three years,” said Shawn Hushman, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics at Kelley Blue Book. “We’ve become an analytics-driven company by embedding SAS real-time analytics into our operations. Our new processes provide unbiased insights to decision makers, making the reliance on conjecture a thing of the past.”

Analytic center of excellence improves decision making

To extend the analytics culture across the company, Kelley Blue Book created an analytic center of excellence. The resulting improvements in decision making help the company consistently outperform competitors. Both costs and benefits of analytics projects are highly visible, making the power of analytics clear to all.

“We improved agility by placing analytic center of excellence and business team members together,” added Hushman. “As needs arise, analytic experts contribute ideas and answer questions. They also quickly bring in SAS predictive analytics and data mining to develop, deploy and evaluate analytic models. We have slashed our time to results and enhanced our analytic insight. We expect to identify additional business opportunities by analyzing unstructured content from social media and website interactions using SAS Text Miner from the SAS Text Analytics suite.”

A particular challenge facing automotive dealers and lenders is pricing vehicles close to market. Kelley Blue Book has outpaced competitors by adding SAS forecasting to assist in determining vehicle values. Values are updated using hundreds of thousands of transactions, including regional factors, helping businesses manage inventories to allay risk, minimize losses and increase profits.

Forecasting and optimizing advertising

Online ad revenues fuel Kelley Blue Book’s website. The Kelley Blue Book Enterprise Analytics team leverages SAS to forecast ad inventory, which empowers product managers to optimize impression volume and create effective pricing strategies. In addition, SAS analyzes site traffic and behavior patterns to determine which pages and ad combinations should perform best.

On, Kelley Blue Book uses SAS Analytics to deliver new-car prices, used car Blue Book® Values, classified ads, dealer locations, reviews and news to 12 million consumers each month. Understanding and adapting to visitors’ nonlinear thinking process, the site now offers multiple intent-driven paths, rather than traditional “new” and “used” linear paths. And since one change can affect ad traffic throughout the site, SAS forecasting simulation is critical in revealing how different attributes could affect revenues. SAS helps ensure visitors receive relevant information, ads and offers with the 35 million pricing reports generates each month.

“We have literally changed the DNA of our company by moving from a traditional book publisher to an analytics powerhouse,” said Dan Ingle, Vice President of Analytic Insights Technology at Kelley Blue Book. “Fact-based decisions have become our competitive strength. Whether or not to utilize analytics is no longer an option.”

“SAS helps improve the consumer vehicle purchase process. Additionally, it provides leads and insights to dealers and OEMs to support their buying, selling and finance decisions,” Ingle continues. “SAS is our standard for predictive analytics. As we continually look for ways to drive revenue for the organization, SAS helps us identify how much to invest and where. SAS gives us the innovative muscle to support the aggressive goals of Kelley Blue Book.”

SAS Alliance member Modern Analytics delivers additional implementation skills and predictive modeling resources when needed to drive growth, reduce costs and increase profitability.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 50,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .

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