Wharton Research Data Services adds SAS® Visual Analytics for global economic research

Easy-to-use data visualization helps users grasp a complex financial world

Disruptive events such as Brexit underscore why our understanding of the world economy must be based in fact. Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is helping answer complex economic questions more easily, thanks to SAS. WRDS has added SAS® Visual Analytics to help researchers, professors and students visualize and understand more than 250 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines, including accounting, economics, finance, health care, and marketing data.

WRDS, a part of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is trusted across the globe to provide thought leadership, data access and insights needed to accelerate impact. The award-winning data research platform and business intelligence tool, with more than 40,000 corporate, academic and government users worldwide, stores its data in SAS data sets. SAS Visual Analytics quickly analyzes its massive data stores, revealing stories concealed in the data and unknown trends and relationships.

“WRDS is really excited to bring SAS Visual Analytics to our offerings,” said Robert Zarazowski, Managing Director of WRDS. “The volume of data our users handle requires analytics tools that help them see the data in a whole new way and gain real insight. Adding SAS Visual Analytics is a natural step for WRDS, and I’m confident it will be invaluable for our researchers.”

“The global economy is tumultuous and complex. If we improve our understanding of it, we can make better decisions to help society,” said Emily Baranello, Vice President, SAS Education Practice. “WRDS empowers users with both the data and technologies to tackle daunting economic challenges.” 

Last year, researchers using WRDS to examine Greek banking and tax data created a new way to uncover income tax evasion.[1] They estimate that, during the time period analyzed, 43 percent to 45 percent of self-employed income went unreported and untaxed. That represented “foregone tax revenues of over 11 billion euros or 30 percent of the deficit.” The Greek government is making policy changes based on the research.

SAS® Visual Analytics brings clarity to massive data sets

SAS’ interactive data visualizations lets users study more options, uncover opportunities, identify key linkages and make precise decisions faster. Regardless of analytics skill level, users can make sense of complex data by creating sophisticated visualizations and analytics such as network diagrams, on-the-fly forecasting, decision trees and scenario analysis. Easy-to-use features include autocharting, “what does it mean” pop-ups, and drag and-drop capabilities.

Create reports in SAS Visual Analytics and learn from higher education leaders how they are using analytics to modernize decision making.

About SAS in Education

SAS software has been part of education for four decades, and is used at more than 3,000 educational institutions around the world. With a special focus on education, SAS strives to give everyone THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS provides degree granting educational institutions access to SAS software at a significantly discounted rate, as well as free and low-cost access to world-class analytics and statistical software for teaching, learning and research. Additionally, SAS collaborates with colleges and universities around the world to launch degree and certificate programs to foster the current and next generation of analytics talent.


Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the award-winning research platform and business intelligence tool for 40,000+ corporate, academic, government and nonprofit users at 400+ institutions in 30+ countries. WRDS provides the user with one location to access 250+ terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Accounting, Banking, Economics, ESG, Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Marketing, and Statistics. Flexible data delivery options include a powerful web query method that reduces research time, the WRDS Cloud for executing research and strategy development, and the WRDS client server using PCSAS, Python and R.  Our Analytics team, doctoral-level support and rigorous data review and validation give clients the confidence to tailor research within complex databases and create a wide range of reliable data models.

From partnerships with data vendors to our own tools, including the WRDS SEC Analytics Suite and Event Study by WRDS, Wharton Research Data Services is the global gold standard in data management and research, all backed by the credibility and leadership of the Wharton School.


Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The Wharton School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 95,000 graduates.

[1] Artavanis, Nikolaos T. and Morse, Adair and Tsoutsoura, Margarita, Tax Evasion Across Industries: Soft Credit Evidence from Greece (September 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21552.

About SAS

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