SAS Ireland new head of analytics says industry must focus on outcome value

SAS, the global leader in analytics, has appointed Jean de Villiers as its new head of analytics in Ireland. 

A bona fide SAS and AI expert, Jean has more than a decade of experience leading data science teams, most recently at Idiro Analytics and before that at MultiChoice.  He also has an impressive 23 SAS Certifications (qualifications) to his name.

A specialist in the full analytics lifecycle, he has a particular interest in bridging the gap between technology and people, with a key focus on how it complements human endeavour, rather than forcing people to fit into technology frameworks. 

In 2023 Jean believes we will see an acceleration in the democratisation of analytics, led by businesses transitioning to the cloud, a greater emphasis on explainable AI models and a laser focus on output value.

Jean said: “Data science teams are becoming more tool agnostic and more focused on delivering value to business. A big enabler for this is the adoption of data science platforms that are open to a variety of proprietary and open-source programming languages. SAS Viya is a good example of such an inclusive platform embracing this change.”

The data analytics industry in Ireland has been going through a period of rapid expansion. Late last year Dublin played host to more than 1,500 delegates as part of the National Analytics Summit, which has grown to become one of the biggest analytics focussed events in Europe, attracting speakers from the likes of Netflix, Arsenal FC, Paramount Movies and NHS UK.

SAS Ireland business lead Alan McGlinn added: “There’s a thriving data industry in Ireland and I am excited and energised to bring Jean into the SAS team. He’s already having a significant impact and I know his expertise will add a lot of value for our customers and for the entire SAS community here in Ireland.” 

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