SAS has upped the game in business analytics again with the release of its in-memory business intelligence product that offers easy visual representations of Big Data analytics quicker and more efficiently than its competitors -- at least, that’s what it’s saying.
SAS and IBM
Obviously, its main competitor in this space is Big Blue, which, while trailing behind it in market share, has been on a buying spree over the past six years that has closed the gap between the two and aims to make that gap even tighter by 2015.
While IBM’s analytics acquisitions have produced the likes of Cognos 10 and, in the Big Data space, new releases from Netezza, this one from SAS is going to up the ante for Big Data products.
Visual Analytics Data Wizard
Called SAS Visual Analytics it is a product of the SAS High-Performance Analytics family and offers a visual interface to bring analytics to a wider audience than ever -- even those whose principal means of accessing business information is via iPad, as Visual Analytics is mobile too.
With it, users get a product that comes with in-memory architecture, intuitive data exploration, Hadoop support and information-delivery options. It is, SAS says, the only in-memory engine designed specifically for business visualization of big data on inexpensive, non-proprietary hardware.
Limitless Big Data
At the heart of the new product is SAS’ LASR Analytic Server:
The core of SAS Visual Analytics -- our innovative SAS LASR Analytic Server -- speeds data exploration and visualization. This in-memory analytic engine will extend across our software product portfolio, seamlessly applying 35 years of SAS analytics innovation to big data assets…Add its publish-to-mobile capability and graphic visualization, and there’s nothing that compares to SAS Visual Analytics,” SAS CEO Jim Goodnight said.
According to SAS, LASR has already been tested on billions of rows of data and has shown itself to be scalable by bypassing known column limitations that limit relational database management systems (RDBMS).
Visual Analytics mobile screen
It also offers the advantage of becoming more accurate -- rather than less -- as more information is added into the system for analysis, offering businesses the possibility of analyzing all data from online sales, stores, external demographic information and social media.
Entire banks of information can be analyzed to determine the best outcome in any commercial situation rather than having to rely on a single sample of that information. SAS Visual Analytics includes:
- The Hub: a central location from where elements of Visual Analytics can be launched
- Mobile: A viewer for downloading and accessing information while mobile
- Explorer: Data discovery and visualization tool
- Designer. A tool for creating designer reports
The 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.