Free SAS® data visualization tools help University of Alabama students gain valuable analytic skills

New Business Analytics Lab lets students tackle real-world business challenges

By tackling real-world business challenges, University of Alabama students are poised to gain highly marketable analytical skills using the latest in SAS® data visualization technologies. SAS, the leader in business analytics software, is donating software at no cost for use in the new Business Analytics Lab at the university’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.

“Our goal at the college is to ensure that our students have the education and skills they need to succeed in their careers and in Fortune 500 companies,” said Culverhouse Dean J. Michael Hardin. “SAS is ranked as the top business analytics software vendor by independent consulting groups, so it was a clear choice to partner with them for this cutting-edge lab.”

UA President Judy Bonner, Hardin and SAS representatives gathered for a signing event this morning in Tuscaloosa.

“The University of Alabama has been at the forefront of analytics education for years,” said Armistead Sapp, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “Employers are desperate for people who can analyze data to solve real business problems. The lab presents a tremendous opportunity for students to gain those valuable skills.”

The SAS technologies – SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Visual Statistics and SAS Office Analytics – will provide analytics, visual exploration, data discovery, reporting, and SAS Mobile Business Intelligence. The package features interactive, intuitive drag-and-drop web browser interfaces for building predictive models.  

The Business Analytics Lab, a research facility where faculty and students can partner with companies to solve real-world problems, has also received resources from Lockheed Martin and Healthcare Business Solutions.

In 2002, Culverhouse became one of the first business schools to offer an analytics specialization. In 2013, a team of Culverhouse students won the SAS Analytics and Data Mining Shootout. The six graduate students garnered the top prize for research into disease prevention. Their strategy for treatment and costs revealed potential savings of nearly $180 million.

University partnerships are a cornerstone of SAS Analytics U, a global academic initiative that supports the current and next generation of analytics experts via free SAS software, university collaborations and engaging user communities. SAS has worked with colleges and universities around the world to launch more than 30 master’s degrees and 60 certificate programs in analytics and related disciplines.

With more than three decades of experience working in education, SAS’ rich heritage in higher education presages a thriving future. SAS is used at more than 3,000 institutions worldwide for teaching, research and administration.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 83,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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