SAS Visual Analytics: See Demos Galore & More

We've been talking a lot of late about the power of data visualization, especially when fueled by an analytics engine, as we see in SAS Visual Analytics. But the presumption has been that this is the high-end stuff of big enterprises. Not so anymore.

SAS, this site's sponsor, today introduced a version of this visual data exploration software for workgroups and midsized businesses. Until now, Visual Analytics had been the purview of enterprise users running meaty database appliances from EMC Greenplum and Teradata or scalable blade computing systems. This new version, however, brings the visualization capability to departmental-size size servers, the company said in a press release.

Visual Analytics, which uses in-memory processing, lets users churn through as much data as they have at their disposal and deliver the results visually in a flash. There's a self-service component, too, letting executives get instant access to the reports or mobile dashboards via PCs or tablets.

But seeing is believing, as the saying goes. And writing about the power of data visualization is much harder than actually showing it. I've seen Visual Analytics in action and, honestly, I can't do it justice.

Good thing SAS is now offering a Visual Analytics microsite complete with an array of demos for just about any industry imaginable, from banking to utilities, or by any role from customer service to R&D. Here are a few of my favorites:

Consider, too, the power Visual Analytics already has bestowed on companies like Creditreform, a German credit agency that provides 24/7 access to more than 24 million credit reports from 26 countries in Europe plus China, and XL Group, a global insurance and reinsurance company. "SAS Visual Analytics makes it faster and easier for our analysts to detect correlations in our business data," said Bernd BŁtow, managing director at Creditreform, in a prepared statement. "That, in turn, improves the quality and forecasting accuracy of our credit ratings."

Kimberly Holmes, head of strategic analytics at XL, shared her interest in Visual Analytics in a trio of posts last month. Read:

If you haven't checked out Visual Analytics, what are you waiting for? Check out the SAS demos, take our "Get Visual" quick poll, at right, and share your thoughts below.

Beth Schultz, Editor in Chief

Beth Schultz has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor.  Most recently, she brought her expertise to bear writing thought-provoking editorial and marketing materials on a variety of technology topics for leading IT publications and industry players.  Previously, she oversaw multimedia content development, writing and editing for special feature packages at Network World. In particular, she focused on advanced IT technology and its impact on business users and in so doing became a thought leader on the revolutionary changes remaking the corporate datacenter and enterprise IT architecture. Beth has a keen ability to identify business and technology trends, developing expertise through in-depth analysis and early adopter case studies. Over the years, she has earned more than a dozen national and regional editorial excellence awards for special issues from American Business Media, American Society of Business Press Editors,, and others.

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Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/6/2013 11:59:40 PM

Kichecko, I think we can attribute the strength of the visuals to a high-end analytics front-end and good questions!

Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/6/2013 8:46:51 PM

Beth, - Indeed what is left now is the asking of the right questions because the visuals themselves are great. its so easy to immediately interpret the graphs here...not sure if that is attributable more to a good graphing tool or good question asking or both but certainly a great thing.

Re: Great options
  • 2/5/2013 11:46:38 PM

I tried some of the demos and the visual rendering is just amazing. It takes a while for my browser to download everything, but all the visuals are really great. 

Great visual overview
  • 2/5/2013 11:20:16 PM

I really like the tab design that gives the in depth data by specific category and the overview data that is depicted with visuals, it gives readers a clear and direct view of the information and areas where they should look further.

Re: Great options
  • 2/5/2013 10:46:11 PM



Beth writes

have you had a chance to play around with any demos?



Nice visuals.  Definitely beats plain old text in a presentation.

I wonder if SAS has applied this to public transportation...


Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/5/2013 6:46:42 PM

Right -- let's keep our priorities straight!

Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/5/2013 6:45:57 PM

And coming up with the right questions to ask is really what it's all about!

Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/5/2013 4:21:08 PM

I can't gamble either.  One time I gambled $5, won $12 and  quit when I was ahead. :)  

I really like how the graphics are easy to read.  The easier it is to understand, the easier it is to come up with the right questions and the later communicate the right answers.  And the faster one can come up with those answers, the better business can be executed. 

Re: Seeing is believing
  • 2/5/2013 2:08:47 PM

But I don;t want the stress of gambling while I am eating Callmebob!

Seeing is believing
  • 2/5/2013 1:20:34 PM

Like many people, I'm a visual kind of person and Visual Analytics helps give numbers a value perspective. I like the Casino Floor Performance demo that breaks down revenue performance by casino section and also by machine manufacturer and model. That info gives the casino the ability to tweak their slot machines in the event they are paying out too many winners. And based on the analytics, the restaurant section looks like the winner for slot plays.

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