SAS® Analytics U spurs record software use, certifications, university partnerships

Company celebrates high-impact uses of analytics in higher education at SAS® Global Forum

In just one year, thousands of professors and learners of all ages have seized the opportunity for free SAS® software and training through SAS Analytics U. In intensified efforts to combat a persistent analytics skills gap, SAS kicked off the global education initiative in 2014, offering free software, university partnerships and compelling user communities. At the same time, SAS has launched more degree and certificate programmes at colleges and universities worldwide.

Technology is no longer the key inhibitor for organisations struggling to derive value from analytics, according to a new research report from MIT Sloan, The Talent Dividend. It's the lack of analytical talent.

"We hear it every day from customers: They need people who can make sense of data and apply it to make better business decisions," said Emily Baranello, Director of the SAS Education Practice. "Budding data scientists and existing experts alike are flocking to SAS Analytics U to build and hone their skills. They'll be positioned to capture tremendous career opportunities."

SAS University Edition, which provides free access to SAS software quickly and easily for students, professors and independent learners, has been downloaded nearly 245,000 times since its launch last May. Users can also access SAS University Edition through the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Part of the AWS in Education programme, the new service combines powerful, easy-to-use SAS Analytics with on-demand AWS cloud computing.

In addition, nearly 34,000 professors, students and researchers are now wielding powerful, advanced analytics through free, cloud-based SAS OnDemand for Academics.

In the last year, hungry learners accessed free SAS e-learning courses more than 45,000 times and viewed video tutorials nearly 1 million times. SAS certifications are up 8 per cent.

SAS is collaborating with traditional and non-traditional graduate and undergraduate programmes around the world, such as Wake Tech Community College and Capella University, to launch associate and bachelor's degrees in business analytics. In addition, SAS has helped launch more than 30 master's degrees and 60 certificate programmes in analytics and related disciplines. The past year saw new master's programmes at Michigan State University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, George Washington University, Shiv Nadar University, Indian Institute of Management and University of South Australia.

Honouring analytics excellence in higher education

SAS also builds interest in analytics by highlighting innovative uses of SAS software in higher education at SAS Global Forum. This year's awards and winners:

The SAS Distinguished Professor Award – Alan Olinsky, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems at Bryant University. Olinsky worked with SAS to create joint certificates in applied analytics, data mining and business analytics. The university also introduced one of the country's first undergraduate applied analytics programmes. Olinsky co-founded Bryant's Advanced Applied Analytics Centre.

SAS Excellence in Education Award – Sinclair Community College. Sinclair has used SAS Analytics for years to boost student enrollment efforts, reduce dropouts, manage course accreditation and balance faculty and course resources.

The SAS Student Ambassador Program recognises and supports students using SAS in innovative ways that benefit their respective fields of study. The 2015 ambassadors are:

  • Ashley Collinsworth, Tulane University
  • Lauren Cook, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology
  • Mihaela Ene, University of South Carolina
  • Betty Johanna Garzon Rozo, University of Edinburgh
  • Ila Gokarn, Singapore Management University
  • Lisa Henley, University of Canterbury
  • Gibson Ikoro, Queen Mary University
  • Ramcharan Kakarla, Sastra University
  • Catherine LaChapelle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Isabel Litton, California Polytechnic State University
  • Juan Ma, Balamurugan Mohan and Narmada Panneerselvam, Oklahoma State University
  • Jun Neoh, Southampton University
  • Deanna Schreiber-Gregory, National University

Today's announcement was made at SAS Global Forum, the world's largest gathering of SAS users, attended by more than 4,500 business and IT users of SAS software and solutions.

Find out more about 'What Makes a Great Data Scientist' here.

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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