SAS Institute and SAS Enterprise Miner Product Overview

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History of SAS

SAS Institute is a US based developer of analytics software. They own the largest market share for advanced analytics and SAS institute is the world’s largest private software company.  SAS started in North Carolina as a research project to analyze agricultural data. In 1972, the grant from the university that was supporting SAS project stopped and because the funding stopped the founding professors left their respective universities to found SAAS. From 1972 till now it has been an incredible journey for SAS. As of 2011 SAS had more than 50000 customer site and 200 products.

Various SAS Products

SAS has products for specific things like Social network analysis, Text miner, BI server. SAS also has domain specific tools like SAS financial management, SAS anti money laundering and many more other tools. Their solutions cover statics, BI tools and also predictive modeling. SAS also refers to SAS language a 4th generation programming language.

SAS global Certification:

The SAS global certification program established in 1999 is one of the most popular certificate programs in data analytics. There is certification on base and advanced SAS, predictive modeling, administration, data management and business intelligence.  At the beginning of 2005, the program had issued 5000 certifications and as of 2011 more than 35000 certifications have been awarded in 77 countries.

SAS Publishing:

SAS is also into publishing. SAS publishing has an online publishing and an in-house writing staff that develops product documentation of all SAS products and features. By 2010, more than 160 books were published by more than 250 authors so this is one of the things that distinguishes SAS from other products as it has a comprehensive help support in the form of books that explains in-detail not only about SAS as a tool but also various SAS products.

SAS global Forum:

SAS global forum is a worldwide user conference held in a different city each Year to promote education, training, networking and professional development. The event is held by SAS global user group. An email list called SAS-L was started in 1980’s and is still active today. In 2007, SAS global user group, announced the formation of an online SAS community (www.sascommunity.org ) an online SAS community with Wikipedia style collaboration and information sharing. SAS employees are also invited to contribute and there events, articles and even a SAS0pedia.

SAS Enterprise Miner:  Most Versatile and one of the most Expensive Tool

Of the 200 odds products that SAS has, SAS Enterprise miner is the one that is most popular. SAS Enterprise miner is GUI based analytics software and is one of the most versatile and user friendly tool that is currently available in the market and it is also one of the most expensive tools in the market.  A lot of new comers in data analytics field wonder why most of the analytics tool involve coding and why can’t they be made more user friendly?  The problem lies in the tradeoff between user friendliness of a tool and its scalability. This is why many GUI based products work wonderfully well with limited data but are unviable for large data sets.

The SAS enterprise miner is one of the very few products that have successfully tacked this issue. The product is not only very easy to learn but it works well with large data sets. The enterprise miner is an end to end solution for most business needs. Users can access various formats of data and they can perform many kinds of data exploration, summarization and preparation processes such as data sampling, partitioning and outline detection and a variety of statistical tests and some more advanced analytical functions. The SAS Enterprise miner comes with 100’s of algorithms for predictive modeling techniques like regression, decision trees, clustering, market basket analysis, survival analysis, neural networks and many more predictive modeling techniques.

With SAS Enterprise miner the whole process analytics becomes very simple to perform. However, this does not take away the fact that the results derived for SAS Enterprise miner still need to be interpreted and meaningful and useful insights need to derived from a data analyst who understands the business.

SAS Enterprise miner is a very powerful and versatile tool that could have been a lot more popular than it is today. The reason why SAS Enterprise miner popularity does not match its popularity is because of the high price it has. Very few companies have the ability to afford this product.

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