SAS analytics platform benefiting from AI investment

Victoria D. Doty

Starting up on March 31, longtime BI seller SAS was arranging to expose additions and updates to the SAS analytics platform.

Now, nevertheless, the new and up-to-date functions for Viya will never be unveiled until a afterwards, to be determined, date.

SAS, established in 1966 when it was element of North Carolina Condition College and now based in Cary, N.C., was scheduled to host SAS International Forum, its annual person meeting, in Washington, D.C., from March 31 to April one. On March five, nevertheless, SAS joined the big team of distributors altering and canceling conferences in reaction to the new coronavirus pandemic and announced that the meeting would be held just about alternatively than in-particular person.

Later, nevertheless, SAS made a decision to delay SAS International Forum indefinitely.

“If ever there was a time for info and analytics, it truly is now,” stated David Tareen, director of marketing and advertising, AI and analytics at SAS, noting that he was not element of the choice-creating course of action about the meeting. “How to forecast [economically] now is these kinds of an uncertainty, so this is a one of a kind time not to market solutions but to function internally with our shoppers. We are eaten with requests by shoppers.”

Despite not keeping its annual meeting upcoming week, it truly is been an active 12 months for SAS, one in which the seller created significant strides in its augmented intelligence and machine understanding capabilities and rolled out five updates for Viya.

SAS disclosed in April 2019 that it planned to spend $one billion in AI in excess of a 3-12 months period of time, and although not all of that is earmarked for Viya, new additions to the SAS analytics platform because then involve automated info administration and automated machine understanding equipment in close proximity to the stop of 2019, and in advance of that natural language processing and laptop or computer vision capabilities.

The new equipment were not SAS’ 1st foray into AI and machine understanding, but they signify an acceleration of the SAS analytics platform’s capabilities.

“SAS has presented machine understanding algorithms and capabilities aimed at info experts for years, and of late it truly is been doing a large amount of foremost-edge function on applying deep understanding in the healthcare industry, for example, as was featured at very last year’s SAS International Forum,” stated Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Analysis.

He included that one of the vendor’s finest strengths is its knowledge of distinct industries and the equipment it provides for those industries.

“In each individual context it applies a assortment of analytical capabilities, such as machine understanding, much more typical statistical techniques and the basic principles of BI reporting and dashboarding,” Henschen stated. “It is truly unequalled in its depth and breadth of industry experience and analytical capabilities.”

According to Tareen, SAS’ $one billion expenditure in AI came from a want to handle a new variety of buyer.

With an experience in info science, SAS has a lengthy historical past serving the business intelligence demands of big corporations with info science groups. Quite a few new analytics converts, nevertheless, never have that similar experience and want their BI platforms to perform some of the function ordinarily completed by info experts.

“We noticed that our conventional shoppers desired AI, but we also noticed curiosity from nontraditional shoppers,” Tareen stated. “They introduced us a unique set of needs. They did not know wherever the problems have been that we desired to solve, and did not know what concerns to request. We felt a want to handle that unique element of the marketplace.”

The reaction, meanwhile, to SAS’ aggressive expenditure in AI and machine understanding in excess of the earlier 12 months, has been favourable, in accordance to Mike Leone, senior analyst at Organization Technique Group.

They continue to include and enrich machine understanding, laptop or computer vision, natural language processing and natural language question, and explainable AI functions and functionality.
Mike LeoneSenior analyst, Organization Technique Group

“Considering the fact that that announcement, SAS Viya income have jumped,” he stated. “I believe that the Viya business has grown by shut to 50{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f}. And they continue to include and enrich machine understanding, laptop or computer vision, natural language processing and natural language question, and explainable AI functions and functionality.”

Moving forward, although SAS hasn’t still disclosed exactly what new capabilities it programs to include to the SAS analytics platform in the coming months, Leone stated that becoming much more targeted on the cloud is a major element of the vendor’s roadmap.

Specially, he stated he believes SAS will transform to a cloud-centric business model.

“That implies shifting to subscription-based licensing and changing its program stack to be cloud-native with Kubernetes,” Leone stated. “In addition, they are deeply targeted on industry solutions, anticipating a big portion of earnings — upward of 50{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} — to arrive from industry solutions, exclusively financial providers, retail, producing and federal government.”

Tareen, meanwhile, confirmed that the cloud is a major element of SAS’ future programs.

“What we have in the hopper will assault the problem of getting analytics made use of by absolutely everyone in a unique dimension,” he stated. “It is about creating it less complicated to consume analytics and boost the knowledge.”

That will entail creating it less complicated to consume solutions and do sophisticated analytics at scale in the cloud, utilizing containers for storage to boost workflows, and expanding buyer agility as a result of the architecture of its platform.

“They continue to evolve alongside with their shoppers,” Leone stated. “To some extent, their buyer base held them back from embracing cloud, but now, it truly is entire steam in advance.”

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