Use Network Analysis to Understand Your Customers

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 the customer in relation to the assigned sales office. I suspected that some offices had more customers, which would cause issues in customer satisfaction. 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 usually is re 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 if the company was able to meet the needs of larger customers. If they were not receiving enough attention due to location, then 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.

After completing the analysis, I could see that 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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