SAS Channel Partner Kick-Off highlights the UK business analytics opportunity

SAS sees its channel partners delivering more expertise to design, deliver and manage big data analytics projects

As demand for big data and analytics projects continues to see exponential growth, SAS UK & Ireland, the leader in business analytics, is taking the next steps in developing its partner channel. SAS sees its channel partners as a way of addressing challenges with their expertise in designing, delivering and managing analytics projects — especially with the ongoing shortage of UK professionals with big data analytics skills.

To examine the growing opportunity in the UK market and how channel partners can help customers to understand and harness the value of data through analytics, more than 100 channel professionals will gather at the SAS UK & Ireland annual Channel Partner Kick-Off 2015. The event will be held at the Courthouse Hotel in Central London on Thursday, November 27.

Among those present will be strategic technology partner Cloudera, the leader in Apache Hadoop-based software, and Acuma, the information management specialists who are both contributing during the session. The Channel Partner Kick-Off will include sessions on the scale of the UK analytics market, how it is expected to grow between now and 2018 and SAS's vision for the future of analytics.

Mark Lewis, Senior Director Marketing EMEA at Cloudera, and Laurie Miles, Head of Analytics at SAS UK & Ireland, will discuss the impact of Hadoop on big data projects. The session will demonstrate how data visualisation helps businesses unlock the business value hidden in huge structured and unstructured datasets.

"Hadoop offers the scalability to store and analyse data in volumes that previously was completely cost prohibitive," said Mark Lewis. "Through our strategic partnership with SAS, we've enabled customers to use familiar SAS data management and visual analytics tools in Hadoop without the need for additional training. For a fast growing market such as the UK, where the skills shortage is apparent, removing this barrier to adoption can help partners and the organisations they serve better harness big data analytics in the cloud. It allows them to get to answers to business problems, which were previously out of reach."

Andy Cutler, Director of Strategy at SAS UK & Ireland, and Nick Sullivan, Commercial Director at Acuma will explain why, in light of the substantial growth forecast for the sector, now is the time to partner with SAS.

"We're committed to helping our customers manage, consolidate and organise data using business intelligence solutions to improve decision making and drive revenue. As the volume of data generated increases so does the potential value hidden within these massive datasets," said Nick Sullivan. "This has helped propel analytics to the top of the CIO agenda and created an opportunity for us to bring even more value to customers. With SAS Visual Analytics, we're able to offer the business intelligence and reporting they know and love but also add a layer of high-performance analytics giving teams across the business the ability to dig deeper, ask more questions and extract real business insight from their ever growing data."

The continuing challenge for UK businesses to find the big data professionals was highlighted by a recent report from SAS and The Tech Partnership, entitled 'Big Data Analytics: Demand for labour and skills, 2013-2020'. It showed there will be a 160 per cent growth in demand for big data professionals between 2013 and 2020.

Richard Bradbury, Alliance Director, SAS UK & Ireland, commented: "The business intelligence and analytics marketplace is at a crossroads. More and more organisations are recognising the importance of treating data as a high value asset, yet for many the cost of processing and storing large data sets along with the shortage of analytical skills are major barriers to entry. Traditional Business Intelligence (BI) suppliers cannot deliver the visualisation, exploration and rapid insight that customers now want from their data. There are too many new entrants that are just providing pretty front ends. Customers want enterprise class analytics and BI as a single solution – through strategic partnerships with other organisations SAS can provide this. Delegates at the SAS Partner Kick-Off will see this differentiation clearly demonstrated and discussed."

Delegates will also be able to hear from British Rowing CEO, Neil Chugani, on how analytics from SAS is supporting the GB Rowing Team's quest for medals at the next Olympic Games in Rio. Announced in May this year, the partnership will harness the power of analytics to enable the coaches, sport scientists and rowers to make better decisions from all the available data, enhancing training and preparation for major events.

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®.

About Cloudera

Cloudera is revolutionizing enterprise data management by offering the first unified Platform for Big Data, an enterprise data hub built on Apache Hadoop. Cloudera offers enterprises one place to store, access, process, secure, and analyze all their data, empowering them to extend the value of existing investments while enabling fundamental new ways to derive value from their data. Cloudera’s open source Big Data platform is the most widely adopted in the world, and Cloudera is the most prolific contributor to the open source Hadoop ecosystem. As the leading educator of Hadoop professionals, Cloudera has trained over 27,000 individuals worldwide. Over 1,400 partners and a seasoned professional services team help deliver greater time to value. Finally, only Cloudera provides proactive and predictive support to run an enterprise data hub with confidence. Leading organizations in every industry plus top public sector organizations globally run Cloudera in production.

About Acuma

Acuma, a leading provider of Information Management (IM) solutions, has unrivalled expertise in Business Intelligence and Information Management. Utilising our 25+ years’ experience, we have built an enviable track record in successfully delivering projects for hundreds of public and private sector clients. From strategic consultancy and the delivery of niche technical services, to a complete IM programme, Acuma offers end-to-end expertise, together with support and training. Our complementary services in Web Development and Testing deliver an unmatched value proposition to our customers.

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