World leader in AI and advanced analytics announces expansion of its Glasgow R&D Centre

SAS has confirmed a further significant expansion of its Research & Development (R&D) Centre based in Argyll Street, Glasgow. Having doubled the size of its Scotland R&D centre since its inception in 2014 to around 100 employees, SAS will now expand it by a further 20 per cent in 2020, investing in a team of highly skilled data scientists to focus on technology development.

SAS’ commitment to developing local talent will be at the centre of its recruitment campaign which will include adding a number of talented data science graduates - predominantly from Scottish universities - to its ranks.

In conjunction with its recent investment in The Bayes Centre – a major scientific research centre created by Edinburgh University in 2018 - this further investment by SAS in the R&D Centre underlines SAS’ commitment to supporting public and private sector ambitions in Scotland, and to build the country’s reputation as a truly significant regional player in the enormous and rapidly expanding global AI and advanced analytics market.

The R&D Centre in Scotland is one of only four major global R&D centres based outside SAS’ global headquarters in the US and forms part of its ongoing investment in AI. Last year SAS announced a $1 billion investment in AI, comprising investment in three main areas: R&D innovation; education initiatives addressing customer needs to better understand and benefit from AI; and expert services to optimise customer return on AI projects.

SAS’s investment comes off the back of significant success associated with projects either led by or jointly supported by its Scotland R&D Centre in AI, advanced analytics and visual analytics which address client issues relating to areas such as fraud, risk, compliance, customer intelligence and data management. Of particular note is the centre’s contribution to the development of SAS’s ground-breaking Visual Investigator solution which is being deployed by major public sector departments and agencies around the globe including those in Whitehall in a bid to reduce fraud, error and improve compliance. It is estimated that the systems supported by Visual Investigator will allow the UK Government to either recover or save many billions of pounds which can be redirected back into to mainline Government services. It is estimated that anything from £31 billion to £49 billion of public sector money is lost to fraud and error each year in the UK, which is up to 40 per cent of total spending on the NHS in 2018/2019.

“We recognise that the latest AI and advanced analytics technologies have the power to deliver massive improvements in efficiency and innovation, as well as tackling problems such as the huge amount lost to the private and public sector – including citizens everywhere – due to fraud,” explained David Macdonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at SAS.

“At SAS we’re proud to be leading on innovation in this area, with expertise built up over more than 40 years and considerable investment into R&D which is above the industry average. We know the opportunity is there for all organisations to use AI and analytics to better understand themselves and the world around them, so they can ultimately make better, faster decisions.”

Further validation of how SAS is serving customers came from analysts in several categories including big data and analytics software market share,1 and data science and machine learning platforms2.

SAS also prides itself on its commitment to equal opportunities and enjoys global recognition for being one of the world’s best workplaces. Last year it was ranked in the top 10 of the World’s Best Workplaces, making it onto the list for a ninth straight year.

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1 IDC #US44803819, Worldwide Big Data and Analytics Software 2018 Market Shares: Demand Across All Use-Case Patterns, Dan Vesset et al., September 2019.
2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms.


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