Products & Solutions / Business Intelligence

SAS® Visual Analytics

Use data visualization and easy analytics to explore and understand data, discover new insights and publish reports to the Web and mobile devices

SAS Visual Analytics is a high-performance, in-memory solution for exploring massive amounts of data very quickly. It enables users to spot patterns, identify opportunities for further analysis and convey visual results via Web reports or the iPad®.

A key component is the SAS® LASR™ Analytic Server, which quickly reads data into memory for fast processing and data visualization. Users can then explore all data, execute analytic correlations on billions of rows of data in just minutes or seconds, and visually present results. This helps quickly identify patterns, trends and relationships in data that were not evident before.


  • Empower users with data visualization and easy-to-understand analytics to drive improved decision making.
  • Answer complex questions faster, enhancing contributions from your analytic talent.
  • Improve information sharing and collaboration.
  • Liberate IT by giving users a new way to access information.
  • Provide room to grow at a self-determined pace.

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  • High-performance SAS® LASR™ Analytic Server
  • Visual data exploration
  • Self-service approachable analytics
  • Web-based report building and distribution
  • Report viewing
  • SAS Mobile BI
  • Centralized user hub
  • Environment and data administration for IT

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" SAS Visual Analytics helps business users to visually explore data on their own. But it goes well beyond traditional query and reporting ... Its high-performance in-memory architecture delivers answers in seconds or minutes instead of hours or days."

— Jim Goodnight


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How SAS® Is Different

  • We offer a high-performance solution for visually exploring massive amounts of data without sacrificing agility. As the established leader in analytics, SAS has combined in-memory technology with the ability to easily and visually explore billions of rows of data, glean insights from data and share those insights quickly. SAS Visual Analytics was designed to use high-performance computing technologies as well as integration with Hadoop. However, the solution was designed to work around the metadata limitations of Hadoop to provide even more scalability. In addition to being available for database appliances from Greenplum and Teradata, it is also available on commodity hardware.
  • More approachable analytics help widen the understanding of data and analytics. SAS Visual Analytics can be used by anyone in your organization. Unique features, such as autocharting and "what does it mean" capabilities, make SAS Analytics easy to use, even by those with nontechnical or limited analytic backgrounds.
  • Scalability that knows no bounds. SAS Visual Analytics offers implementation options for organizations with any size data and performance requirements. It offers the ability to scale from a single-server environment up to a massive blade infrastructure with hundreds of nodes for a high-performance, big data solution. Combined with the ability to use commodity hardware, SAS offers the utmost in performance and scalability.
  • In-memory technology enables more analytic computations, more frequently by more people. SAS has combined the sophistication of visual data exploration with in-memory analytic computations in a way that makes it easier for large numbers of users to understand and benefit from complex data. Users at all knowledge levels have the ability to explore data quickly for a deeper understanding of their organizations' performance.
  • Provides the ability to perform descriptive analytics in-memory without having to develop SQL code. SAS LASR Analytic Server (a key component of this solution) was custom-built for analytical workloads and is tuned to deliver blazingly fast insights. Users are not limited by the constraints of having to develop SQL code.


  • Empower users with data visualization and easy-to-understand analytics to drive improved decision making. Subsetting or sampling of data is not required. By using all data that is available, users can look at more options, make more precise decisions and drive success even faster than before.
  • Answer complex questions faster, enhancing contributions from your analytic talent. SAS Visual Analytics augments the data discovery and exploration process by providing extremely fast results to enable better, more focused analysis. Analytically savvy users can quickly identify areas of opportunity or concern so further investigation can take place quickly.
  • Improve information sharing and collaboration. Large numbers of users, including those with limited analytical and technical skills, can quickly view and interact with reports via the Web or mobile devices, while IT maintains control of the underlying data and security.
  • Liberate IT by giving users a new way to access information. Free IT from the constant barrage of demands from users who need access to different amounts of data, ad hoc reports or one-off requests for information. SAS Visual Analytics enables IT to easily load and prepare data for multiple users. Once data is loaded and made available, users can dynamically explore data, create reports and share information on their own.
  • Provide room to grow at a self-determined pace. SAS Visual Analytics provides provides the option of using commodity hardware as well as database appliances from EMC Greenplum and Teradata to support increasing demands for fast access to big data. It is designed from the ground up for database optimization and scalability.


High-performance SAS® LASR™ Analytic Server
  • Uses in-memory analytics to quickly conduct exploration and analysis.
  • Optimized for distributed computing environments to leverage parallel processing capabilities of many nodes, in essence creating a SAS super-computing environment.
  • Can be used on commodity hardware or on database appliances from our partners EMC Greenplum and Teradata.
  • Can also be run in a single-server mode (SMP environment) for workgroups and departments.
  • Designed from the ground up for performance optimization and scalability.
Visual data exploration
  • Web-based, interactive data exploration mode for any type of user.
  • Autocharting. Based on data items selected for analysis, the SAS Visual Analytics Explorer automatically selects a chart best suited to display the type of data selected: one measure yields a frequency chart, two measures yield a scatter plot, three measures yield a bubble chart, etc.
  • Geographical map views provide a quick understanding of geospatial data.
  • "What does it mean" capabilities automatically identify and explain the relationships between variables.
  • Exploration capabilities are provided for in-memory server data sources.
  • Graphical skins can be applied for 3-D appearance and light effects on visuals.
  • Compelling visuals to choose from, including box plots, heat maps, bubble charts and more.
  • Toggle ability for displaying grid lines or adjusting axes to optimize on-screen viewing. Change queries by selecting items to be displayed from a sidebar or dynamically filtering and grouping.
  • Resizable overview bar to subset visual portion of data sets with many records (high cardinality).
  • Viewable descriptive statistics, such as min, max and mean, enable you to gain an overall sense of a particular measure.
  • New forecasting capabilities help you explore data to find out what might happen in the future.
Self-service approachable analytics
  • Explore and seek correlations on data sets using in-memory server sources for big data analysis.
  • Lets different levels of users query data from a seamless set of viewing modes.
  • Forecast on the fly with forecasting confidence intervals to further enhance data exploration and analysis.
  • Automatically selects the most appropriate forecasting algorithm for the selected data.
  • Slice and dice multidimensional data by applying filters on any level of a hierarchy.
  • Drill up and down through hierarchies or expand and collapse entire levels.
  • Calculate new measures and add them to any view.
  • Save views as report packages to share with other advanced data exploration users in Web reports, images or SAS mobile apps.
  • Remove complexity of data structures from nontechnical users.
Web-based report building and distribution
  • Web-based, interactive report-building interface for report authors.
  • Data acquisition wizard for previewing, filtering or sampling data prior to creating visualizations or reports.
  • Precision layout capabilities provide flexibility in report layout and design. Stack or group items, use send-to-back or bring-to-the-front capabilities, and more.
  • On-the-fly hierarchy creation for adding drill-down capabilities to visualizations and reports.
  • Ability to select predefined filters, set groupings and sorting, and override default formatting.
  • Create custom calculations and filters.
  • Add filtering and selection capabilities to your reports with easy-to-integrate common action elements such as radio buttons, drop-down/combination boxes, check boxes and sliders.
  • A variety of charts are included: bar/3-D bar with multiple lines, pie/3-D pie, line, scatter, heat map, bubble, and tile – all with the ability to add annotated reference lines to graphs.
Report viewing
  • A Web-based, interactive report-viewing interface is provided for information consumers.
  • Interactive report viewing is provided for information consumers using iPad devices and Android tablets.
  • iPad reports are delivered through the SAS Mobile BI app, which is a free iOS app that can be connected to SAS Visual Analytics.
  • Android reports are delivered through the SAS Mobile BI app, which is a free Android app that can be connected to SAS Visual Analytics.
  • Ability to view reports as they will display on targeted mobile devices before publishing.
  • Rich desktop-like experience with drag-and-drop functionality enables resizing of objects on the screen.
  • Ability to print reports to PDF or PNG.
SAS Mobile BI
  • Native iPad and Android tablet support leverages the most popular gestures and capabilities, including zoom, swipe, etc., to optimize ease-of-use and user engagement.
  • iPad reports are delivered through the SAS Mobile BI app, which is a free iOS app available on Apple iTunes.
  • Android tablet reports are delivered through the SAS Mobile BI app, which is a free Android tablet app available from Google Play.
  • Link indicators enable data brushing as defined while creating reports. A selection in one indicator is applied as a filter or selection in the related indicator(s).
  • Reports can be viewed on mobile device while offline.
Centralized user hub
  • View thumbnails of recent and favorite items and select to open.
  • Open items directly from the SAS Visual Analytics Hub seamlessly, whether they are reports, visualizations or data sources for exploration.
Environment and data administration for IT
  • Enterprise user authentication and information authorization are persisted across all of the SAS Visual Analytics components in support of data governance and IT policy implementation.
  • Data is provisioned to in-memory servers based on volume, frequency of required updates  and scalability requirements.
  • Visually prepare data for analysis (i.e., joining tables, defining custom calculated columns and creating custom expressions).
  • Single Web-based interface is provided for managing SAS enterprise information assets, including users, servers and data.


SAS Visual Analytics Demo

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Data preparation wizards

Data preparation wizards enable IT staff and data architects to easily perform joins, create calculated columns and load massive amounts of data into the SAS® LASR™ Analytic Server for use by others.

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Autocharting displays the most appropriate visual when you drag and drop any combination of categories and measures onto the visualization pane.

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Geographic visualizations

Geographic visualizations provide interactive maps with bubbles for each category value.

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Create and publish to the Web, PDF or iPad

The SAS Visual Analytics Designer provides an easy and interactive way to create and publish reports to the Web, PDFs or an Apple iPad.

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Mobile reporting on the Apple iPad

From your Apple iPad, you can access, view and interact with reports anywhere you go.

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Mobile reporting on Android tablets

From your Android tablet, you can access, view and interact with reports anywhere you go using the SAS Mobile BI app.

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System Requirements

Client environment

Operating systems
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit): Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista*, Windows 7**
  • Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit): Windows XP Professional for x64, Windows Vista* for x64, Windows 7** for x64

*  NOTE: Windows Vista supported editions are: Enterprise, Ultimate and Business.
** NOTE: Windows 7 supported editions are: Enterprise, Ultimate and Professional.

  • Firefox 3.6 and above
  • Internet Explorer 8 and 9
Flash player
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3

Server environment

Operating systems
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
  • SAS Visual Analytics is supported on chassis hardware provided by:
    • HP and Dell (with preconfigured hardware and software packaging options).
    • Teradata and Greenplum (dedicated database appliances).
  • In addition, SAS will work with customers who would like to deploy SAS Visual Analytics on hardware provided by alternative vendors, including IBM, Cisco and others.  Please contact your local SAS software sales representative for more information.
Middle tier
  • JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 5.1
Required software
  • Additional software may be required, including one SAS/ACCESS® interface to a data source.


SAS Mobile BI client support

SAS Mobile BI for iPad is a free application for iOS available in the iTunes App Store.

  • Platform/OS: Apple iOS v5.1 and above
  • Devices: iPad 2 and 3

SAS Mobile BI for Android is a free application for Android available from Google Play.

  • Platform/OS: Android  v 4.0 and above
  • Devices: Android tablets 10.1" with 4.0

For further information, please contact your software sales representative.

Ready to learn more?

Call us at 1-800-727-0025 (US and Canada) or request more information.