by Divina Paredes

Doing business with Ryan Treichler of SAS: Digital channels, customer focus – and churn

May 22, 2016
Big DataBusiness IntelligenceCareers

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It’s not enough to collect a lot of data. You need to get it into a structure that is actionable and leverage powerful analytics.

Name: Ryan Treichler

Title: Director of product management, customer intelligence, SAS

Twitter handle: @IamTrike

How long have you been in your current role?

Two years.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

Helping customers leverage analytics so that they can deliver better customer experiences. The proliferation of digital channels has created tremendous opportunities for organisations to better understand and communicate with their customers.

Most CMOs make no clear distinction between offline and online marketing: Gartner

What are your interests away from work?

I enjoy running. Long runs give me time to mull over problems and come up with solutions, and long runs with friends give me time to connect with them better. I also enjoy coaching Odyssey of the Mind. (It’s a creative problem solving competition for kids). It is really rewarding to get to see kids grow and watch as they develop new skills.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The advice I received from a mentor that has been the most valuable recently is, “A confused mind says ‘no’”. Technology is changing so rapidly and is so broad now, we need to make sure that we are working with our colleagues and customers in a way that helps them understand these changes so that they can take full advantage of these changes.

Professionally, who do you admire most?

Walt Disney. He was great at identifying and developing talent in the people in his organisation. If you constantly make the team you work with better there is very little you can’t accomplish.

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A confused mind says ‘no’. Ryan Treichler, SAS

How long have you been working in IT? How did you get into this industry?

I’ve been in the tech space for 17 years. My first professional job out of school was working as a system administrator for a major telco. I was excited when I realised that I could write scripts to automate most of the manual processes of my job.

If you weren’t working in tech, what would you be doing?

I’d be working with kids. Growing up I wanted to be a youth pastor.

Can you share one key pointer for keeping abreast of business technology trends?

It’s important we use time smartly, so I try and leverage my down time for learning. I use a portion of my time when running or commuting to listen to technology podcasts.

One good example of ‘smart use of data’ by an organisation and a key pointer on why it was successful in this endeavour?

We were working with a global bank that had 18 months’ worth of data on their customers. Leveraging analytics and marketing optimisation on top of this data enabled them to better understand their customers. It helped them change the way they did marketing. Running a much greater number of campaigns but targeting them to smaller groups of customers. The improved customer experience resulted in a lower churn rate, and growth in their existing accounts. It’s not enough to collect a lot of data. You need to get it into a structure that is actionable and leverage powerful analytics, if you want to get the most value from that data.

The ascent of analytics: A rundown

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