New SAS® Visual Analytics Helps Organizations Analyze, Visualize Big Data

Published on March 22, 2012 in Computer Hardware, Technology


Super-fast, in-memory solution offers high performance, deep insights

CARY, N.C. (March 22, 2012) – A new in-memory business intelligence (BI) solution from SAS uses a highly visual interface to bring powerful analytics to a broader class of users than ever before. SAS Visual Analytics, the newest product in the SAS High-Performance Analytics family from the leader in business analytics, provides a fast, simple and cost-effective path to business insight and better decisions.

With SAS Visual Analytics, organizations can:

  • Apply the power of SAS Analytics to massive amounts of data.
  • Visually explore data at the speed of sight.
  • Share fresh insights with everyone, everywhere, via the Web or iPad

SAS Visual Analytics combines the industry’s leading analytics, unique in-memory architecture, intuitive data exploration, Hadoop support and information-delivery options, including the iPad. It is the only in-memory engine designed specifically for business visualization of big data on inexpensive, nonproprietary hardware.

“The speed of in-memory architecture offers tremendous benefit. Organizations can explore huge data volumes and get answers to critical questions in near-real time,” said Dan Vesset, Program Vice President of IDC’s business analytics research. “SAS Visual Analytics offers a double bonus: the speed of in-memory analytics plus self-service eliminates the traditional wait for IT-generated reports. Businesses today must base decisions on insight gleaned from data, and that process needs to be close to instantaneous.”

Beyond business intelligence

“SAS Visual Analytics helps business users to visually explore data on their own,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “But it goes well beyond traditional query and reporting. Running on low-cost, industry-standard blade servers, its high-performance in-memory architecture delivers answers in seconds or minutes instead of hours or days.

“The core of SAS Visual Analytics

Enterprises that have seen early demonstrations of SAS Visual Analytics clearly see the business value of visual data exploration with incredibly fast results.

“I could immediately recognize in SAS Visual Analytics the potential benefit of incorporating the massive amount of information in our call detail records into our models, but also the value of scoring and targeting our customer base in real time with the most relevant offers,” said Antoine Georges, Vice President of Analytics at Virgin Mobile USA, a Sprint prepaid company. “SAS Visual Analytics will let us quickly dig into our big data to uncover opportunities, and in time, to fully exploit them.”

Big data without limits

A core component of SAS Visual Analytics, the SAS LASR Analytic Server, uses Hadoop (embedded Hadoop Distributed File System) as local storage at the server for fault tolerance. SAS LASR Analytic Server has been tested on billions of rows of data and is extremely scalable, bypassing the known column limitations of many relational database management systems (RDBMS).

The more data used in an analysis, the more accurate the results. This is especially attractive when accuracy is critical in problem solving across big data environments, including both structured and unstructured data. SAS Visual Analytics can solve many business problems. For example, a marketing campaign manager at a retailer with hundreds of stores and a thriving online sales channel needs faster, more sophisticated next-best-offer recommendations for customers. SAS Visual Analytics allows analysts to look at all data from online sales, stores, external demographic information and social media. Entire populations can be analyzed to determine the best offer or interaction rather than using a sample, moving quickly and directly to robust, precise recommendations. This information can then be distributed easily.

Banks and capital markets firms can also use the power of SAS Visual Analytics to help retail branch staff, commercial bankers and financial advisors cut through the clutter of big data to improve customer interactions and financial advice in a timely way.

SAS Visual Analytics includes:

  • SAS LASR Analytic Server – clients communicate with SAS LASR Analytic Server for calculations on the data resident in-memory, producing remarkably fast results.
  • The Hub – a central location to launch the various elements of SAS Visual Analytics.
  • Mobile – a tool for viewing reports, connecting to servers and downloading information on the go.
  • Explorer – an ad hoc data discovery and visualization tool to explore and analyze data.
  • Designer – used to create standard and custom reports and dashboards.
  • Environment Administration – used by administrators to manage users, security and data.

Server components run on Red Hat or SUSE Linux, and the mobile client is available for the iPad from the iTunes® App Store. Other mobile devices will be supported in the future.

While the high end is not limited, SAS LASR Analytic Server reference configurations begin with an eight-blade server with 96 processor cores, 768 gigabytes memory and 4.8 terabytes (TB) of disk storage. The upper end of the reference configurations is 96 blades with 1,152 cores, 9.2 TB memory and 57.6 TB of disk storage, enough disk space to store the entire Library of Congress six times.

For more information on SAS Visual Analytics, including screen shots, industry analyst comments, video and other resources please go to the online press kit.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 55,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.


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Source: SAS

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