June 3, 2020

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SAS analytics platform benefiting from AI investment

Starting off on March 31, longtime BI seller SAS was organizing to reveal additions and...

Starting off on March 31, longtime BI seller SAS was organizing to reveal additions and upgrades to the SAS analytics system.

Now, nevertheless, the new and current characteristics for Viya won’t be unveiled till a afterwards, to be established, day.

SAS, started in 1966 when it was portion of North Carolina Condition University and now based mostly in Cary, N.C., was scheduled to host SAS World Forum, its once-a-year user meeting, in Washington, D.C., from March 31 to April 1. On March five, nevertheless, SAS joined the significant team of suppliers altering and canceling conferences in reaction to the new coronavirus pandemic and declared that the meeting would be held just about instead than in-human being.

Later, nevertheless, SAS resolved to hold off SAS World Forum indefinitely.

“If at any time there was a time for details and analytics, it can be now,” mentioned David Tareen, director of marketing, AI and analytics at SAS, noting that he was not portion of the final decision-generating course of action about the meeting. “How to forecast [economically] now is this sort of an uncertainty, so this is a exclusive time not to provide products and solutions but to perform internally with our customers. We’re consumed with requests by customers.”

Irrespective of not keeping its once-a-year meeting future week, it can be been an energetic 12 months for SAS, a person in which the seller designed significant strides in its augmented intelligence and equipment studying abilities and rolled out 5 updates for Viya.

SAS discovered in April 2019 that it prepared to invest $1 billion in AI more than a a few-12 months time period, and while not all of that is earmarked for Viya, new additions to the SAS analytics system since then include things like automated details administration and automated equipment studying instruments close to the conclusion of 2019, and prior to that pure language processing and computer eyesight abilities.

The new instruments weren’t SAS’ initially foray into AI and equipment studying, but they depict an acceleration of the SAS analytics platform’s abilities.

“SAS has presented equipment studying algorithms and abilities aimed at details experts for decades, and of late it can be been accomplishing a good deal of foremost-edge perform on applying deep studying in the health care sector, for instance, as was showcased at very last year’s SAS World Forum,” mentioned Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

He additional that a person of the vendor’s biggest strengths is its awareness of specific industries and the instruments it delivers for individuals industries.

“In each context it applies a variety of analytical abilities, including equipment studying, much more conventional statistical methods and the fundamentals of BI reporting and dashboarding,” Henschen mentioned. “It’s really unrivaled in its depth and breadth of sector abilities and analytical abilities.”

According to Tareen, SAS’ $1 billion financial commitment in AI came from a will need to handle a new type of buyer.

With an abilities in details science, SAS has a lengthy historical past serving the business intelligence desires of large corporations with details science groups. A lot of new analytics converts, nevertheless, you should not have that exact same abilities and will need their BI platforms to perform some of the perform ordinarily finished by details experts.

“We saw that our conventional customers wanted AI, but we also saw interest from nontraditional customers,” Tareen mentioned. “They introduced us a unique established of needs. They didn’t know in which the troubles have been that we desired to solve, and didn’t know what issues to request. We felt a will need to handle that unique portion of the current market.”

The reaction, in the meantime, to SAS’ aggressive financial commitment in AI and equipment studying more than the previous 12 months, has been good, in accordance to Mike Leone, senior analyst at Organization Method Group.

They keep on to include and boost equipment studying, computer eyesight, pure language processing and pure language question, and explainable AI characteristics and performance.
Mike LeoneSenior analyst, Organization Method Group

“Given that that announcement, SAS Viya revenue have jumped,” he mentioned. “I imagine the Viya business has developed by shut to fifty%. And they keep on to include and boost equipment studying, computer eyesight, pure language processing and pure language question, and explainable AI characteristics and performance.”

Shifting forward, while SAS hasn’t nonetheless discovered just what new abilities it options to include to the SAS analytics system in the coming months, Leone mentioned that starting to be much more centered on the cloud is a significant portion of the vendor’s roadmap.

Specially, he mentioned he believes SAS will change to a cloud-centric business product.

“That usually means shifting to membership-based mostly licensing and changing its program stack to be cloud-native with Kubernetes,” Leone mentioned. “Moreover, they’re deeply centered on sector options, anticipating a large part of profits — upward of fifty% — to occur from sector options, specifically financial services, retail, producing and federal government.”

Tareen, in the meantime, verified that the cloud is a significant portion of SAS’ potential options.

“What we have in the hopper will attack the difficulty of having analytics used by every person in a unique dimension,” he mentioned. “It’s about generating it much easier to consume analytics and make improvements to the knowledge.”

That will require generating it much easier to consume products and solutions and do advanced analytics at scale in the cloud, making use of containers for storage to make improvements to workflows, and growing buyer agility via the architecture of its system.

“They keep on to evolve together with their customers,” Leone mentioned. “To some extent, their buyer base held them back again from embracing cloud, but now, it can be full steam forward.”