SAS® Business Analytics Features

Data access

  • Provides access to data from more than 60 data sources, including relational and nonrelational databases, PC files, Hadoop, Amazon Redshift and data warehouse appliances with a single SAS Business Analytics license.
  • Provides direct, secure data access with native interfaces and integration standards.
  • Supports business decisions with complete, consistent, up-to-date and accurate data.

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Self-service data preparation

  • Provides an interactive, self-service, easy-to-use interface for profiling, cleansing and blending data using a GUI.
  • Enables full integration with your analytics pipeline.
  • Provides access to data lineage with network diagrams.
  • Enables you to reuse, schedule and monitor jobs.

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Visual data exploration & insights deployment

  • Provides an integrated environment for self-service data discovery, reporting and world class analytics.
  • Delivers easy-to-use predictive analytics with “smart algorithms.”
  • Enables data exploration and information sharing via email, web browser, Microsoft Office or mobile devices.
  • Provides web-based administration, monitoring and governance of a single platform.

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  • Import data from a variety of sources: databases, Hadoop, Excel spreadsheets, social media, etc.
  • Drag an Excel file, CSV or SAS data set onto your workspace, and quickly start building reports or dashboards.
  • Use standard data quality functions like change case; convert, rename, remove and split columns; and create calculated columns and transformations using custom code.
  • Prep data using append, join, filter and transpose functions.
  • Reuse, schedule and monitor jobs.
  • View lineage with network diagrams.
  • Quickly view descriptive statistics on measures to help you see the characteristics of your data.
  • Create calculated, aggregated or derived data items.
  • Create drillable hierarchies in a self-service manner without the need to predefine user paths.


  • Interactive data discovery enables business users and analysts to easily identify relationships, trends, outliers, etc.
  • Precise and responsive layout capabilities give you flexible layout and design options. You can stack or group items, and more.
  • A variety of graph objects or charts are included:
    • Bar.
    • Pie.
    • Donut.
    • Line.
    • Scatter.
    • Heat map.
    • Bubble.
    • Animated bubble.
    • Treemap.
    • Dot.
    • Needle.
    • Numeric series.
    • Schedule chart.
    • Vector.
    • Key value infographics.
    • And many more with flexible graph building capabilities.
  • Add content from the web (e.g., YouTube videos, web apps) and images (e.g., logos) to your report.
  • Custom sort allows you to rank order category data items in a table or graph by characteristics (e.g., products, customers). The characteristics that are most important to your organization will be displayed first.
  • One-click filtering (e.g., one way, bidirectional) and linked selections will allow you to spend less time manually linking content (e.g., visualizations, reports).
  • Text objects include date-driven or system-generated text for relevant context.
  • Synchronize selection and filters across visualizations in a report or dashboard.
  • Link different reports (e.g., link a sales report to an inventory report).
  • Report consumers can change calculation parameters and display rules using controls, filters, etc. to see information that is most relevant to them.
  • Report consumers can switch measures and change chart type and formatting all on the fly allowing them to make critical business decisions instantly.
  • Set refresh rates for individual objects, pages or your entire report.
  • Analytical visualizations include:
    • Box plot.
    • Heat map.
    • Animated bubble chart.
    • Network diagram.
    • Correlation matrix.
    • Forecasting.
    • Parallel coordinates plot.
    • Decision tree.
    • And many more with flexible graph building capabilities.
  • Geographical map views provide a quick understanding of geospatial data, including travel time and travel distance, demographics data enrichment with Esri integration.
  • Network diagrams enable you to display networks across a map.
  • Bring your own custom interactive visualizations (e.g., D3.js graphs, C3 visualizations or Google charts) into SAS Visual Analytics, so they’re all driven by the same data.
  • Key value visualization allows you to display important metrics (numeric or categorical value) in an infographic style for quick reference.
  • Perform path analysis (Sankey diagrams) to visualize relationships between a distinct sequence of events.
  • Add cell visualizations, like bars and heat maps, to your tables to quickly identify problem points and see trends in your data.
  • Generate forecasts on the fly with forecasting confidence intervals included.
  • The most appropriate forecasting model is automatically selected after running multiple models against data.
  • Scenario analysis lets you see how changes in different variables would affect forecasts.
  • Goal seeking enables you to specify a target value for your forecast, and then determines the values of underlying factors that would be required to achieve the target value.
  • Decision tree graphically depicts likely outcomes.
  • Custom binning moves continuous data into a small number of groups for better interpretation and presentation of results.
  • Text analysis capabilities enable you to automatically find topics and understand sentiment from text sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, YouTube comments and more.
  • Recover reports you are editing when your session ends unexpectedly. Reports are automatically saved every five seconds after an edit is made.
  • Pick up where you left off from a prior session on all your devices.

Augmented analytics

  • Autocharting automatically chooses the graph best-suited to display selected data.
  • Automated Explanation determines which variables contribute to an outcome and provides a simple natural language explanation that is easy to understand.
  • Quickly detect and highlight patterns and outliers in your data with Automated Explanation.
  • Automated Explanation determines the key difference between the top and bottom cases in data. For example, what best differentiates the lowest risk and the highest risk cases?
  • The steps taken to automatically explain your data are displayed for transparency.
  • Use Automated Explanation to identify interesting groups based on factors you select.
  • Automatically builds an interactive analytical story based on all your data, ready to be published.
  • Suggested insights automatically derived from your data allows you to quickly build informative reports and dashboards.
  • Related measures highlighted within the measure list so users can quickly identify potential interactions.

Sharing & collaboration

  • Reuse and share report modifications, such as filters, calculations, hierarchies and report element formatting.
  • Collaborate across mobile devices and the web by adding comments to a report.
  • Create alerts for a report object so that subscribers are notified via email or a text message when the threshold condition is met.
  • Distribute reports as PDFs or email in a secure manner. Distribute reports once or at recurring intervals, such as daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Playable dashboards let you put your report in slideshow mode.
  • Administrators can configure support for guest access to view report or visualization.
  • Guest users can view the insights that are available to the public.
  • Users can see, organize and collaborate on their work using SAS Drive:
    • Users can favorite, share, preview and tag their content from one place.
    • Create projects that share data, content and other resources with project members.

SAS® Visual Analytics Apps

  • Available for free from:
    • App Store for iOS iPhone and iPads.
    • Google Play for Android phones and tablets.
    • Microsoft Store for Windows 10 devices.
  • The app lets you connect and interact with your SAS Visual Analytics reports and dashboards using gestures native to your devices.
  • Interact with your SAS Visual Analytics app for iOS using voice commands.
  • Reports created once in SAS Visual Analytics can be viewed anywhere.
  • Gain secure access to content on mobile devices, both online and offline.
  • Annotate, comment, share and email reports to others for increased collaboration.
  • Screenshots can be captured and comments shared with others.
  • Notifications alert business users when a report is updated, data is changed or the application is updated.

Embedded insights

  • Create your own mobile apps using the SAS SDK for iOS and SAS SDK for Android to create embedded insights:
    • Personalize your mobile app with embedded SAS Visual Analytics content, your corporate logo and name of your choosing.
    • Preconfigure your mobile app to connect to SAS servers and subscribe to specified reports.
    • Develop completely customized mobile apps that embed SAS Visual Analytics content (e.g., GatherIQ).
    • Manage and secure your mobile app and data by integrating with mobile device management (MDM) service (via new APIs).       
  • Embed full reports or individual objects in websites and web apps using the SAS Visual Analytics SDK:
    • Combine insights from multiple reports in one location.
    • User selections within an embedded SAS Visual Analytics object can drive other elements anywhere on the webpage.

Location analytics

  • Geographical maps are enabled through Esri ArcGIS Online or OpenStreetMap. 
  • You can lasso data points on geographical maps to select specific data for further analysis.
  • Geographical maps make it easy to visualize measurement variances over a geographical area.
  • Access to all Esri basemaps and geosearch is available through Esri ArcGIS Online at no additional charge.
  • Custom polygons (e.g., sales territories, voting districts, floor plans, seating charts) will let you see the world just as your business demands for it. These polygons can be animated to show how key metrics change over time.
  • Geographic point clustering makes it easier to visualize high-volume location data and identify areas of interest. Get more or less details at different zoom levels.
  • Add map pins to mark points of interest and insights on a map.
  • With Esri ArcGIS Online license, you can enrich your data with Esri demographics data:
    • Start from a pin, and select the area that can be traveled based on travel distance or provided travel time.
    • Create travel routes between points.
    • Understand how location affects outcomes by geocoding your data – adding latitude and longitude columns to your data based on location information in your data (country, state, zip code, city, street).

Security & administration

  • SAS Environment Manager provides easy-to-use, web-based centralized administration and monitoring of your BI and analytics environment, including users, data, content, servers, services and security.
  • User authentication and content authorization support governance.
  • Object-level security (folders, reports, etc.) and data security (table and row level) support governance.
  • Seamless integration with corporate identity directories such as LDAP.
  • Rules-mapping application capabilities for users and groups support governance.
  • Whitelist or blacklist mobile devices to determine authorization for SAS Visual Analytics apps.
  • Near-real-time dashboard for monitoring system health and key activities.
  • Distributed processing node addition and deletion.
  • Scriptable APIs perform administrative tasks in batch, including management of security, libraries, users groups and configurations.
  • Customizable monitoring and performance reports.
  • Environmentwide log exploration, job scheduling and monitoring.

SAS® Viya® in-memory engine

  • CAS (SAS Cloud Analytic Services) performs processing in memory and distributes processing across nodes in a cluster.
  • User requests (expressed in a procedural language) are translated into actions with the parameters needed to process in a distributed environment. The result set and messages are passed back to the procedure for further action by the user.
  • Data is managed in blocks and can be loaded in memory and on demand.
  • If tables exceed memory capacity, the server caches the blocks on disk. Data and intermediate results are held in memory as long as required, across jobs and users.
  • Includes highly efficient node-to-node communication. An algorithm determines the optimal number of nodes for a given job.
  • Communication layer supports fault tolerance and lets you remove or add nodes from a server while it is running. All components can be replicated for high availability.
  • Support for legacy SAS code and direct interoperability with SAS 9.4M5 clients.
  • Supports multitenancy deployment, allowing for a shared software stack to support isolated tenants in a secure manner.

Deployment flexibility

  • On-site deployments:
    • Single-machine server to support the needs of small to midsized organizations.
    • Distributed server to meet growing data, increasing workloads and scalability requirements.
  • Cloud deployments:
    • Enterprise hosting.
    • Private or public cloud (e.g., BYOL in Amazon) infrastructure.
    • Cloud Foundry platform as a service (PaaS) to support multiple cloud providers.

Approachable analytics

  • Provides access to advanced analytic capabilities without coding, including:                                        
    • Correlations.
    • Forecasting.
    • Scenario analysis.
    • Decision trees.
    • Text analysis.
    • Automated goal seeking (an advanced SAS Forecasting feature).

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