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Home » Data Visualization, Featured, Visual Analytics

Use Network Analysis to Understand Your Customers with SAS Visual Analytics 8.2

Submitted by on 2018-01-21 – 7:10 PM

You can use the SAS Visual Analytics 8.2 Network Analysis object to visualize relationships. For some recent data analysis, I was trying to understand the location of customer in relation to the assigned sales office. My suspicion was that it wasn’t evenly distributed. Most likely there were some customers not assigned an office together.

Understanding the Network Analysis Object

The network analysis object shows the relationship between two entities with a series of linked nodes. This data visualization technique is more commonly associated with social network analysis. Falko Schulz provides an in-depth look at the object in his Exploring Social Networks with SAS Visual Analytics post.

Using the Network Analysis Object

By adding a background map to a Network Analysis object, I could see the offices and their associated customers. I had added the geo coordinates for each customer/office when I created the data. Then I added a custom geographic data item for each customer/office based on their postal codes.

Here’s what the result showed. The node size is the total revenue from each customer. I wanted to understand where the larger customers were located in case we needed to change our strategy for them. The other benefit was the size also made the office node larger. Why? Because it was the value of all customer orders. Quickly you’ll see that the San Francisco and Paris offices generate the most revenue.

Check out the video to see the analysis and then how I created the network analysis object.

Trouble Viewing the Video?  If the embedded video doesn’t work, then click here to view it on the You Tube Site.

After completing the analysis, I could see most of the new customers were in Europe. I think I’ll suggest the customer consider adding an office in Germany to serve those customers and reduce shipping times.

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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.
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