Customers embrace big data visualization, self-service in SAS® Visual Analytics

BI software from business analytics leader SAS provides fast answers from analytics

More and more enterprises are finding value in big data with SAS® Visual Analytics, the in-memory solution announced in March to wide acclaim. Global customers and industry watchers quickly recognized the advanced graphic solution's self-service data visualization as the key to yielding valuable insight.

SAS Visual Analytics combines industry-leading analytics with unique in-memory architecture, intuitive data exploration, and information-delivery options – including iPad® and Android tablets. SAS offers the only in-memory engine designed specifically for business visualization of big data on general-purpose, nonproprietary hardware.

SAS Visual Analytics, which runs on commodity hardware or database appliances from EMC Greenplum and Teradata, supports increasing demands for fast answers from big data.

The US currently faces a serious shortfall of workers with deep analytical skills, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. That, plus corporate data rising 60 percent to 100 percent annually, has made SAS increasingly popular.

"Anyone in the organization can use SAS Visual Analytics to derive insight from data, regardless of data size," said Jim Davis, SAS Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "With its easy, drag-and-drop interfaces, business users can parlay powerful analytics and reporting into full understanding of data relationships.

"Customers are sharing exploratory insights from SAS Visual Analytics among a wide range of information consumers, including executives, business users, data scientists, managers and analysts. Many SAS customers have said this is exactly the scalable visualization solution they sought."

Customer momentum

Among those who quickly saw value in SAS Visual Analytics was XL Group's global insurance and reinsurance arm (NYSE: XL). XL Group will use SAS to rapidly visualize business data from internal and external sources to explore new ways of analyzing risk.

The resulting proprietary insights will enhance decision making and profitable growth, said Kimberly Holmes, Head of Strategic Analytics for XL Group. She said the results will enhance decision making and grow profits. The company will tailor data visualizations specifically for a business team, extending advanced analytical modeling within the company.

"The quality of our decisions determines our success. With SAS Visual Analytics, we will explore our data in new ways to develop unique insights and drive profitable growth," Holmes said. "Data visualization will enable us to clearly communicate complex statistical insights to colleagues and encourage widespread use of analytics in business planning and decision making across XL."

In addition to XL Group, the US Internal Revenue Service, SM Marketing Convergence in the Philippines and Cosmos Bank in Taiwan are among others choosing SAS Visual Analytics to expose valuable insight in their big data assets.

Expert Opinions

SAS Visual Analytics previewed in March to industry analysts. The immediate, highly positive reaction continues today.

"SAS Visual Analytics brings speed of thought analysis to business users with its capability to explore huge amounts of data," said Cindi Howson, Founder and President of research firm BI Scorecard. "Business users can interactively analyze data without submitting an IT request and waiting for the results to be returned. The big benefit is that if a certain view of the data doesn't produce the desired insight, the user can visually and interactively explore the data differently, whether from a browser or an iPad."

Fern Halper, PhD, a Partner at Hurwitz & Associates, said, "Because SAS Visual Analytics runs in-memory, it's capable of analyzing more than 1 billion rows of data in a matter of seconds. This can enable a high degree of interactivity with huge amounts of data, which can lead to better decisions."

For more information, visit SAS Visual Analytics (

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 80,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.


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