We are happy to share some insights about SAS drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.
We recently published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Data 2021, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on analytics and data focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern BI, we developed specific criteria to provide an in-depth look at features geared specifically to mobile, embedded and collaborative use.
In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal and vendor selection process for analytics and data. We evaluated SAS and 17 other vendors in seven categories: five relevant to the product and experience – Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability – and two related to the customer experience – Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation. To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our Benchmark Research on Analytics and Business Intelligence. SAS had an overall performance rating of 69.9% in the Value Index, with a 77.7% rating for customer experience and 68% rating for product experience.
SAS, one of the world’s largest software vendors focused entirely on analytics, has been providing BI software for decades. It was categorized as a Vendor with Assurance, ranking 10th overall in this Value Index evaluation. SAS performed its best in TCO/ROI and Validation.
SAS Visual Analytics is based on the SAS Viya Platform. Over the past few years, the Viya platform was developed to enable delivery of Visual Analytics and other SAS products on modern cloud and on-premises architectures, though it is still delivered primarily on-premises. Data can reside in a variety of databases or can be loaded into the SAS platform. Through integration with other SAS products, Visual Analytics offers the most robust predictive analytics. The product is also very capable at data visualization, dashboarding and reporting.
SAS would perform better in Capability with more collaborative capabilities and better support for implementing decisions resulting from the analytical process. Support for a wider variety of roles beyond the analyst would improve its rating for Usability. SAS would perform better in Adaptability with improved business process integration.
Analytics and BI vendors have recognized the value of collaboration to support the sharing of output from analytical processes. Our research shows that nearly four in 10 organizations are using collaboration to support analytics processes. SAS supports sharing analyses or emailing links to analyses, posting links to third-party collaboration tools, alerts and notifications, annotations and personalization. SAS would perform better in Capability with the ability to assign tasks and track them to completion, wall posting, social recognition for contributions, and better messaging and commenting.
Delivering analytics and business intelligence on a variety of mobile devices supports a mobile workforce seeking to conduct business in any location at any time. More than two-fifths (45%) of organizations report that it is important or very important to be able to address data preparation tasks on mobile devices. The SAS Visual Analytics mobile application is available for iOS and Android devices. The product is well-integrated with SAS Visual Analytics content. It provides a wide variety of visualizations and good interactivity. It also includes annotation, alert and notification capabilities. The product can be used whether connected or not. SAS would perform better in Capability with more collaborative capabilities and better support for built-in devices such as camera integration and location awareness.
This assessment was based on SAS’s analytics products available in December of 2020. SAS recently held its Virtual SAS Global Forum 2021 event where it announced the availability of the Viya platform on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, along with existing support for Microsoft Azure. The latest release of SAS Viya includes new data management offerings – SAS Studio Analyst and SAS Information Governance. SAS Studio Analyst allows users to visually represent prebuilt or custom data quality and data preparation steps as part of the flow, which can be reused and managed. SAS Information Governance provides a data catalog and metadata search facility for analysts, business personnel and IT users to ingest, discover and manage data resources. In January 2021, SAS acquired Boemska, a provider of low-code/no-code application deployment and analytic workload management tools for the SAS Viya platform, to accelerate artificial intelligence integration in third-party applications that will be offered via the SAS online marketplace. SAS also introduced new features in SAS Visual Analytics, including data view enhancements, improvements in gauge objects, and the new report review feature that will allow authors to evaluate their report as they are creating it.
Organizations should evaluate data and analytics requirements including collaborative, embedded and mobile capabilities to ensure existing solutions are meeting the organization’s needs. If existing solutions are not satisfying those requirements, organizations should consider whether SAS can help meet those needs.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and BI software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here, and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.