Despite being the market leader in Advanced Analytics, SAS as a brand is in the shadow of corporations like IBM and SAP as well as under pressure from popular open-source software projects.
At the same time, the user and customer base of analytics solutions are more and more influenced by the millennial generation and its more casual, content-driven approach to communications.
As an answer to these combined market and communication challenges, SAS wanted to develop a multi-channel digital campaign across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with a strong emphasis on social media. The goal was to significantly raise the awareness for the new SAS Viya analytics platform within the digital native demographic while delivering responses and new impulses for online and offline sales activities.
Our idea was to use SAS Viya for a real project that highlights all aspects of Advanced Analytics from Data Management to Machine Learning to Visual Statistics by answering an engaging question everybody can easily relate to: "What is the best place in the world?" In short, we’re showing the power of analytics software by simply using it.
As a result, “Paradise Found – analytically, the best place on Earth” is not just another city ranking based primarily on editorial choices and limited statistics. It is the world's most comprehensive and first entirely objective and fact-based city ranking not geared towards intentional outcomes, applying an unbiased self-learning algorithm on top of massive amounts of freely available unstructured data.
Moreover, the exclusive algorithm created with the support of SAS experts and software should not only find the best place according to standard economical attributes but also be able to find new and surprising criteria like "ratio of sidewalks" or "dog poo per square meter". That’s why we combined geo-data about locations with open accessible user-generated content (social networks, blogs, review platforms, etc.) and let the algorithm itself discover the hidden patterns that define the most livable places.
Using Data in a Creative Way:
After building the evaluation set of 69 criteria from 5 million data points, the self-learning algorithm compared 148, 233 places to finally came up with what is analytically the best place on Earth: West Perth in Australia!
Because we used the SAS Viya analytics platform to build the algorithm and perform all analytic processes we had an actual “real life” use case based on the product and not just a mere advertising campaign. The process and the usage of the SAS tools were documented on the comprehensive campaign website that also included several video interviews with analytics experts from SAS about the approach and technology behind the project.
To reach a wider business audience and the millennial demographic, we turned the completely unforeseeable result into a highly targeted digital multi-channel campaign about West Perth as the newly found paradise including display-ads on IT-business related websites as well as videos, posts, and GIFs on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Finally, we even launched an exclusive web-based "SAS Paradise Configurator" that uses portions of the data and criteria to let everybody find their very own best place on Earth according to their personal tastes.