Guide on selecting a partner for SAS Content Categorization

Guide on selecting a partner for SAS Content Categorization

Guide on selecting a partner for SAS Content Categorization

 

SAS and The SAS Institute

SAS is a statistical software that has the ability to mine data from a variety of sources and perform statistical analysis on it. Over time, its capability has kept expanding with the addition of advanced analytics techniques to its capability set, and a point-and-click interface for non-technical users.

The company that owns the software is called The SAS Institute and is a private company which traces its origins to 1966, when vast amounts of agricultural data were being collected through USDA grants – but no computerized statistics program existed to analyze the findings.

According to the company’s website, “A consortium of eight universities came together under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to solve that problem. The resulting program, the Statistical Analysis System, gave SAS both the basis for its name and its corporate beginnings.

North Carolina State University, located in Raleigh, NC, became the leader in the consortium because it had access to a more powerful mainframe computer. NCSU faculty members Jim Goodnight and Jim Barr emerged as project leaders. When NIH discontinued funding in 1972, the consortium agreed to fund the project, allowing NCSU to continue supporting their statistical analysis needs.

Over the next few years, SAS software was licensed by pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and banks, as well as the academic community. Jane Helwig, a Statistics Department employee at NCSU, joined the project as documentation writer, and John Sall, a graduate student and programmer, rounded out the core team. More than 300 people attended the first SAS users conference in 1976. With a growing customer base that already numbered close to 100 academic, government and corporate entities, it was evident that success as an independent operation was possible.

Goodnight, Barr, Helwig and Sall left NCSU and formed SAS Institute Inc., a private company devoted to the maintenance and further development of SAS. The company was incorporated in March 1976, and opened for business July 1. The primary focus, then and now, continues to be on meeting customer needs”.

SAS continues to be a trusted provider for organizations seeking to leverage their data. The software gives clients the power to discover insights from their data and make knowledgeable decisions based on it.

 

What is SAS content categorization?

It gives you the power to turn unstructured information into business analytics and data that can be applied to solve business challenges, with the aid of categorization and extraction rules that can be specified. Taxonomy development can be jump-started with the addition of taxonomies that are industry-specific, making it simple to define and refine rules. What is more, it is able to identify and extract context-sensitive data.

The challenge with the growing volume of data is that most of it is unstructured. Customer feedback, blogs, articles, comments, social media interactions, etc. are all examples of unstructured information that is available but cannot be readily harnessed.

Filtering this data is one of the challenges many organizations face. SAS provides tools that can help us extract relevant information that can aid business decisions.

Let us take a short example.

Your business has a number of different databases that are generated and built as a result of many different activities. There could be multiple client databases, multiple vendor databases and so on and so forth. So much so that the information that the business has in its possession is likely to be beyond the remit of most conventional methods of analysis.

Using advanced text analysis, SAS content categorization is able to identify relevant pieces of information that are likely to provide inputs into the problem the business is trying to solve, linking them to existing data. This often results in the manifestation of critical pieces of information that get hidden in mundane piles of textual content. In this manner, interlinked information can be extracted that is sensitive to the context of the exercise.

This can often result in simplifying information and making it available to company-wide users in a transparent, clear manner.

 

Should you outsource SAS content categorization?

While there are many technologies and tools available to the modern world, they need to be deployed in an intelligent manner. If not done effectively, your organization could be on the wrong end of the GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) principle. If not done right, even after getting an output you may be no wiser than when you did not have it.

For effective usage, technologies need to be understood, with users being trained and getting hands-on practice. All of it takes time.

There could also be expert users available for your projects. All you need to do is outsource your requirements, including the underlying data, of course with suitable contractual safeguards. How does that sound?

What would be the advantages of taking the decision to outsource?

First and foremost, outsourcing non-core activities leaves the specialist resources in your business to continue to work in jobs that they have knowledge and experience in. They can continue to create value for the business unhindered, instead of being distracted by work that they are neither trained for nor have ever expressed interest in. You may end up with a situation where the core work is being ignored while the non-core work is being done incorrectly and inefficiently.

Engaging a specialist team, on the other hand, that has signed up for the very task and has been trained in it, gives you the benefit of skill as well as motivation.

With specialization and volumes, since a provider has volumes that can be aggregated across multiple clients, comes the ability to invest in technology and process improvement and deliver even greater benefits beyond the aspect of specialization and efficiency. Individual business may neither have the volume nor the inclination, as it is a non-core activity, for these investments.

As a result of specialised workforce, purpose-built technology and processes and control mechanisms honed over an existence of doing similar work, are likely to deliver work of a better quality.

This might be a sign of evolution, but engaging partners for specialized non-core requirements is now an accepted principle of business.

 

Criteria for Selection of Provider

The decision to outsource being taken, given below are suggestions on what you need to look for while evaluating vendors for a possible partnership.

Prior Experience and Excellence

The vendor should be able to demonstrate prior experience with the nature of services you seek to outsource, as well as excellence in delivery. Their willingness to connect you with their existing clients should be seen as a sign of confidence in their ability.

A note of caution – In some cases vendors who don’t have experience in a line of work but are keen to get it on their profile, will be willing to offer substantial other benefits if selected. Hence, while prior experience is important, it must be viewed as one of the many variables in the equation.

The clients of oWorkers are referenceable and willing to testify to our delivery capability. With over eight years of experience over multiple engagements, oWorkers offers unmatched experience, skill, consistency and variety in its services.

Quality and Accuracy

BPO operators have been instrumental in a prominent role for the Quality Analyst (QA) embedded within the delivery structure, though not a part of it. QAs serve to keep an external check on the quality of delivery and prevent poor quality from reaching the client. They have a reporting line to senior management and serve as their eyes and ears on the shopfloor, enabling intervention when required. Shortlisted vendors should be able to demonstrate a robust QA process in place.

oWorkers offers industry leading QC (Quality Control) and QA (Quality Analysis). They follow a strict regimen of sampling a set of primary transactions performed by agents to ensure they are compliant with guidelines and are delivering the quality and accuracy that oWorkers is known for. The sample size is increased or decreased keeping in mind client requirements as well as performance of individual agents and teams. The QA teams also actively coach delivery teams to drive best practices. oWorkers has consistently delivered over 99% accuracy levels as measured by different clients across different scales and measurement systems.

Pricing

This parameter often tends to receive outsized attention among the many variables since it is quantifiable and does not leave room for interpretation, doubt or suspicion. This aspect should be watched out for. The effort should not be to get the lowest bidding vendor but the vendor who provides the greatest value to your business.  

The location of our centers which are amongst the most favored BPO locations in the world, and access to the local community for drawing resources from, makes oWorkers price competitive for clients from around the world. We often enable clients to save upto 80% of their costs when they outsource SAS content categorization to us, especially from the US and Western Europe, without having to compromise on quality or timing.

Speed of work

This is also referred to as turnaround time or TAT. How fast is the vendor able to complete the assigned work? Since BPO work happens continuously around the world, in some cases, the vendor location can give a natural advantage of overnight delivery of work. Is the vendor willing to sign up to SLAs that offer quick turnaround for delivery?

With centers located in three different regions of the world, supported by a continuously operating machinery that runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week, oWorkers provides 24 hour or overnight turnaround on many projects. In fact, a quick turnaround for all work is our preferred model, which enables us to do even more for you.

Multilingual capability

A growing company needs partners who are able to support their growth, and not become entities that need to be worked around. A multilingual operational capability is one such requirement. It caters to a company’s global footprint as well as future expansion plans. You should not need to go hunting for more partners when you are expanding.

With its diverse workforce, multiplied by three global centers, oWorkers provides support in 22 of the most popular global languages. Most of our clients have not found a business language that we cannot support.

Technology readiness

Technology is a great enabler. In a way, it makes business global like never before in history. SAS itself is a technology solution. The BPO business as well rides on a backbone of technology. Technology, then, is a basic hygiene factor now. Of course, it can also be a differentiator.

oWorkers has access to state-of-the-art technologies through its partnerships with technology owners and providers, and offers them for the use of its clients. We are ISO (27001 and 9001) certified. Our staff sign and operate under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Where required, we offer physical segregation of projects of different clients.

Hiring capability

The other big enabler is human resources. Work is outsourced to companies who can access resources who are in a position to do the work of a higher quality at a lower price. The ability to hire the right resources, at the right price, and provide them with suitable training to make them ready for the task at hand, is often the difference between a successful and unsuccessful provider. SAS content categorization is no different.

oWorkers is a preferred employer in all communities we work with. This provides us the privilege of a steady stream of walk-in talent looking for a job while reducing our expenses in attracting talent. Our independent training team takes over hired talent and makes them ready for the project they are assigned to.

Scalability

While volumes often are predictable, to a degree, they go through ups and downs periodically. It could be because of a seasonality impact, or based on events like promotional activities. Some spikes are predictable while some are not. Hiring resources for handling peak volumes and keeping them idle the rest of the time is a financial burden most companies would rather not incur.

With its model of working with employed staff, and not contractual or outsourced staff, oWorkers provides flexibility to clients in changing jobs and roles at short notice, as required by a client. With deep involvement in local communities, we remain an employer of choice and can offer the ability to scale up by 100 resources within 48 hours, significant for any region of the world.

Financial stability

Maintaining a healthy bottomline, while engaging in certain kinds of activities, such as SAS content categorization, is the aim of all businesses. If a provider’s financials are stretched, it is likely to lead to operating decisions that are less than suitable, and create challenges in delivery. Hence, choosing a provider with a sound financial situation should be the aim.

Operating as a locally registered company in all three different geographies of the world, oWorkers is intertwined with local lives. It pays local and social taxes on behalf of its staff and complies with all regulatory requirements. With costs carefully managed, the organisation has been a profitable enterprise from the get-go. Operating from the Eurozone, we are necessarily GDPR compliant.

Management commitment

Unless there is commitment from the leadership team to deliver on the contract, challenges can be forecast in a contractual relationship. While there may not be any specific parameters to assess this, the several rounds of interactions that happen between leadership teams of the two entities planning to enter into a B2B relationship, normally provides enough information for both sides to take a view on this aspect.

oWorkers has a hands-on top management team with over 20 years of experience in the business. Despite the development of a competent middle management layer in the company, they stay immersed in delivery, provide direction to the team and often directly interacts with clients

 

Conclusion

As a pure provider of data entry BPO solutions, with multilingual capability, oWorkers has few peers. That is perhaps the reason why several unicorn marketplaces have chosen to work with us. We have been chosen as one of the three leading providers of data-based BPO services in the world, on more than one occasion.

We have been able to create a path for many deserving youngsters from underprivileged communities to enter the global digital economy. Your partnership with us for SAS content categorization will enable us to do the same for a few more.

Content Categorization vs. Contextual Analysis; Meaning, Method and Purpose

Content Categorization vs. Contextual Analysis; Meaning, Method and Purpose

Content Categorization vs. Contextual Analysis; Meaning, Method and Purpose

We will begin with an attempt to understand content, since that is the underlying matter or subject or item on which categorization and contextual analysis will operate, to produce possibly different outcomes, before moving on to a discussion on content categorization vs. contextual analysis.

What do we need to categorize? Content.

What do we need to perform contextual analysis on? Content, in some shape or form.

The word ‘content’ itself has two meanings. One is a feeling of satisfaction or happiness at one’s situation or how the situation is. The other refers to the subject matter or what is contained. It could be the content or contents of a story, it could be the content of a speech made by a prominent personality, it could be the content of an educational program.

Our usage of content is with reference to its second meaning. The content could be of something that is written, or a verbal discussion or speech, or an audio recording, or an image or video. It could be a story or a set of numbers. It could be a poem or an abstract sketch. As long as it has the power to communicate or express something, it could be classified as content or having content.

oWorkers is an award-winning BPO In the data services space, and identified as one of the top three providers in the world. Our leadership team has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the industry and leads from the front, regardless of the type of service a client requires.

 

Content categorization vs. contextual analysis: what do they mean?

Let us look at what the terms content categorization and contextual analysis mean.

Content categorization

Since the dawn of the internet age, humankind has been besieged by content. There is content everywhere. Unlike the pre-internet days when content publishing was the preserve of a few, today each one of the seven billion people in the world is a content publisher, apart from being a consumer of course.

The generation of huge volumes of content creates the need for storing it in a manner that it becomes useful to the owner of the content. It should be identifiable, retrievable when required and held securely so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.

While organizations may not have interest in the volumes of content being generated around the world, they are perhaps interested in the content that is being generated by them and for them. This data belongs to them and is their responsibility. In today’s hyper competitive world, content and data can be a competitive advantage that no company would like to forego.

Content categorization makes content useful for the future. Organizations with content to store and secure need to have a strategy for it. The strategy needs to be based on its future application and use. It defines how data is to be stored and how it is to be retrieved. It defines the sensitivity of each piece of content and the audience to whom it should be available. The greater the sensitivity, the smaller the audience. Technology systems operate based on these definitions to define access levels for the different roles and people in the organization.

Content categorization could be defined as the process of collecting, sorting and storing content in a manner that will enable easy retrieval when needed as well as access for retrieval, editing and deleting only to a defined set of personnel, or positions, based on the policy of the company.

With its talented pool of resources who have a deep understanding of content, oWorkers possesses the ability to go beyond the content categorization vs. contextual analysis discussion. Our position as a preferred employer in the communities we work with gives us access to the best talent, who are further polished by our dedicated training team.

Contextual Analysis

The word context is described by the Cambridge dictionary as the situation within which something exists or happens, and that can help explain it.” Its usage could be in reference to a text or piece of literature, or it could be in reference to any other happening in the world. As an example, if we are analysing the performance trend of a certain company and find that after a few years of growth, there is a contraction in its business in the year 2020, when we go deeper in an effort to understand the reasons behind the dip and find that the Covid-19 epidemic is the main reason, it becomes the context that influenced the performance of the company in that period.

The effort we made in uncovering reasons for the unusual performance, since the last few years it had demonstrated a growth trend, can be referred to as contextual analysis.

Some people use contextual analysis to mean an extension of textual analysis. Textual analysis analyses a piece of text and draws out its meaning, in a sort of literal manner, without any reference to the context. When the context is woven into the explanation, it becomes contextual analysis.

While this usage is not incorrect, it does not encompass the entire scope of the term. Any analysis where the meaning is drawn with reference to the context, whether it is a piece of text, a game of football or a war, it becomes contextual analysis.

Contextual analysis provides a more complete picture of the situation the analysis of which is being attempted.

With its access to a rich vein of resources, oWorkers is able to plug the gaps between demand and supply of resources that arise on account of seasonal or short-term spikes. It has the ability to hire an additional 100 people within 48 hours. This is a huge saving for many of our clients who have some variations in their volumes.

 

Content categorization vs. contextual analysis: how they are done

Content categorization

Historically, content categorization has been viewed through the prism of security and confidentiality. Many of us might have witnessed examples in period Hollywood movies where words like ‘Top Secret,’ ‘Confidential,’ ‘Strictly Private & Confidential,’ ‘Classified’ were dramatically stamped on a sealed Manila envelope presumably containing the referred-to documents. They are generally related to the government or the military. That is categorization as it was known in those days. Of course, if none of those stamps found their way onto the envelope, it could be presumed that the content of the documents was for public consumption.

The world has evolved. Though processes have changed. With the rise and rise of free markets around the world, a huge private sector has come into existence. Technology and software have taken over many of the manual tasks of yesteryear. The government and military systems of categorization are no longer adequate.

Today the preference is for multi-dimensional categorization. Not only must we know the level of confidentiality of the content, we must also know other aspects about the content, like:

  • What area does it belong to? Is it HR related, or concerned with Marketing?
  • Is the content relevant to clients, or employees, or other stakeholders like vendors?
  • Who should have access rights to retrieving and updating the content? Should it be the Head of HR or the VP of Marketing?
  • What are the aging guidelines? How long does it need to be stored for? At what stage, if at all, would it need to be refreshed?

It goes with saying that digitization has facilitated this process of storage, multi-dimensional tagging and retrieval. Some organizations determine the level of availability of data and access rights on the basis of the other surrounding categories that are attached with the content.

On account of its model of employing the resources needed for client projects, against the freelancing or contractual model adopted by some competitors, oWorkers is able to create a pool of experienced resources to handle the content categorization vs. contextual analysis discussion with resources adept at handling both sides of the equation, as well as a pool of multi-skilled resources who can step up when needed.

Contextual Analysis

It is difficult to put boundaries around how any content is to be analyzed. Who is to say what is the right way to analyse data? It all depends on the situation and the person doing the analysis, or for whom the analysis is being done.

One school of thought tries to break content down into quantitative and qualitative and then apply tools relevant to each. That is exactly the problem once again. Even if you have broken it down into quantitative and qualitative, there are so many ways of analyzing each, that it does not really bring us much forward.

Contextual analysis the boundaries get blurred even more. But where does contextual analysis begin and where does it end? Views differ. According to one view, all analysis is contextual. Without context there is no relevance to an analysis. It should be considered incomplete if the context is not used while arriving at conclusions based on certain content.

While there is no direct answer for this conundrum, we could perhaps use some of the techniques of contextual analysis used in the study of literature, where it is an established practice, that provides insight beyond the mere words and their arrangement, to get some understanding of how contextual analysis could be performed even in other situations.

In general, there are several questions a contextual analysis seeks to answer about the work in order to gain greater insight. Some of them are:

  • Does the language provide any clue about the period; either in which it was written or the period it I set in?
  • Can we draw on the personal situation of the author to understand the characters and the twists the story takes?
  • What about the target audience? Is it intended for the eyes of a certain segment of the population or a certain type of person? It could even be taken a step further in an effort to understand the segment for whom it is not intended.
  • Where do the morals, goals, objectives of the work draw sustenance from?
  • Can we divine the purpose of the author in writing this text? Is it similar to, or different from, other works of the same author? Either way, does that similarity or difference provide us any insight?
  • Does the text provide insights about the social fabric during the times the author lived in?

As you can probably make out, it is not a list that flows in any particular direction. It meanders. Each question is probably different from the others. And it is by no means a comprehensive list. To summarize, contextual analysis should be done in the manner that is most suitable to the purpose for which it is being done.

oWorkers is GDPR compliant, ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified and operates from super secure facilities in each of its three delivery locations. oWorkers is able to access the latest technology tools suitable for this activity, thanks to the enduring partnership it has forged with leading providers of technology.

 

Content categorization vs. contextual analysis: their purpose

Content categorization

Leveraging the content generated by or for the company, for furthering the objectives of the company, is one of the key goals of content categorization. This leads the organization towards creating a strategy in order that content can be best leveraged by the company when it is needed.

Categorization of content also serves to fulfil regulatory requirements from time to time, especially for closely regulated registered companies. This is true not only in terms of providing relevant information to authorities when asked, but also making changes if regulators mandate that it should be done. If, for example, a new regulation mandates that companies cannot store the phone number of customers, they need to be able to locate where phone numbers are stored and then delete them, as per the mandate. If information has not been categorized, they will not be able to find the numbers. And if they cannot find them, they cannot comply by deleting them.

Through an Internal Quality (IQ) team that serves as their eyes and ears, the leadership team stay abreast of developments on the shop floor and are able to intervene when the requirement arises. The IQ team also leads improvement initiatives and keeps a check on output to ensure the client does not receive sub-par quality. They monitor transactions and provide feedback and inputs to the operating units.

Contextual analysis

All relevant analysis being contextual is reasonably well established. After all, what purpose would an analysis serve if not done within a context?

Contextual analysis serves to highlight its position in the marketplace for a business when done with reference to external benchmarks. It can also serve as a gauge for internal evaluation based on contextual analysis of internal parameters.

Analysis of any type is never done for its own sake. It is always done with a purpose. The purpose usually, especially when being done by a company, is to understand the environment and position themselves for an improvement in performance in the future. It is the only period of time one can influence. The past cannot be influenced by our actions. It is done.

In short, contextual analysis serves as a key input for managerial decision-making. It is also often referred to as an ‘environmental scan.’

However, there could be other reasons for contextual analysis of the past. In the study of history, for example, context plays a key role in divining reasons for why something happened the way it did, especially when we go to a time period for which we have no authentic, recorded information available. It has to be built based on contextual analysis.

With several unicorn marketplaces as long-time clients, oWorkers understand the challenges of this work and is equipped to handle them. With centers in three of the most sought-after delivery locations in the world, oWorkers employs a multicultural team which enables it to offer services in 22 languages.

 

The oWorkers advantage

As one of the first BPOs to create an environment for their staff to work from the safety of home in times of the epidemic, as and when required, oWorkers has also emerged stronger from the global emergency created by the Covid-19 pandemic. With our technology, all staff can operate fully either from home or office, as dictated by the unfolding situation. Content categorization vs. contextual analysis ceases to be irrelevant when we can operate with equal facility on both.