2021 Customer Awards: SAS - Best-in-Class: Community

2021 Customer Awards: SAS - Best-in-Class: Community


sas logo.png




Company: SAS

Company background: SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence.

Contact: Shelley Sessoms

Title: Community Manager

Related URLs: https://communities.sas.com/ 

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it in the last year? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.) What is the purpose of your community?

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence.

Our community is a support community, serving more than 380,000 registered members around the world. Since migrating platforms in late 2015, the community has generated almost 7,000 accepted solutions. Forty percent of topics get a reply within an hour, 85% within 12 hours. And approximately 90% of all topics receive a reply. We’re extremely proud that the average response time is approximately 5 ½ hours.

In 2020, we saw almost 40,000 new members, more than 16,000 new topics and more than 6,000 solved topics. And so far in 2021, we have seen more than 3,000,000 visits by registered members and non-registered lurkers.

We began as primarily a Q&A and TKB-based forum, but we are so much more now. Earlier this year we added the Events module, and in early 2021 we began hosting a global Hackathon in the community, bringing in-house what had been hosted by a 3rd party.

Community also plays a large part in our global conference each year. Since 2015 we have hosted conversations before, during and after the event. This year, we added more than 100 presentations and their associated videos from YouTube.

SAS Global Forum ProceedingsSAS Global Forum Proceedings


2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations?

Our goal as a team is to add features and functionality to the community that support the needs of our members and the goals of our company. By enhancing the community over the past 6 years, we have succeeded in making the SAS Support Communities the place for SAS customers. At their disposal, they have:

  • Hundreds of thousands of topics, many with accepted solutions.
  • Thousands of TKBs on popular SAS topics.
  • More than 25 private and regional groups that allow for more concentrated conversations.
  • Global events that are easily searchable via labels.

Because we are judicious in the things we add, we find it’s easy to drive adoption. In the same way that it’s easy to drive adoption, it’s also easy to get executive buy-in because we have a mature community that has proven its value through reduced tech support calls (with an estimated $7,000,000 in cost savings), and an increase of 7% in cNPS over surveyors who are not community members. In fact, communities has had a positive impact across the board (ROI, cutting edge, ease of use, etc.).

3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.

As mentioned earlier, the global Hackathon has been our biggest ‘add’ to the community. SAS has previously supported regional hackathons. The new global hackathon gathers people from different regions, backgrounds and skill levels to collaborate and develop applications and solutions using SAS analytics, AI, cloud and open-source technology. The vision is to empower everyone to be involved in solving business and society’s most compelling challenges, such as fighting the pandemic, addressing climate change, helping a bank reduce fraud or a retailer improve its online customer experience.

Through these hackathons, participants can explore entrepreneurial approaches, network with fellow innovators, and try out new and emerging SAS technologies.

The Hacker’s Hub hosted 100 teams from more than 30 countries, making it by far our most popular group hub with 10 times more traffic than any other group. Since Jan. 1, 2021, the Hacker’s Hub achievements include:

  • 68,000+ page views
  • 11,000+ unique visitors
  • 200 topics published

The Hacker’s Hub attracted participants and spectators. The winning teams were announced at our virtual global conference in May, which is sure to bring even more attention to the Hub. The community will continue to host future Hackathons.

Hacker's HubHacker's Hub


Having been a member of SAS Support Communities for over a decade, it's wonderful to see how the platform has evolved and grown each year to support the changing needs of the user community, and the pandemic, to empower learning, sharing and engagement.

Kudos to the community-focused SAS Support Communities team and the khoros community platform that has enabled the team to attain another successful year and hopefully achieve this Best-In-Class Community award!!! 👍




Many kudos!