We are happy to offer some insights on SAS drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. Earlier this year we published the Ventana Research Value Index: Analytics and Business Intelligence 2019, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We then developed three additional Value Indexes on Analytics and BI focusing on mobile, embedded and collaborative capabilities. Because each is a critical aspect of modern business intelligence, we developed specific criteria for each in order 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 (RFP) and vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated SAS and 14 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI 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 products offer both broad and deep analytics capabilities. They excel at some of the more advanced analytics we measure such as forecasting and predictive analytics. The products have a highly scalable architecture and can be configured to load data into a SAS database or can access data directly from several high-performance commercial database products.
The company’s highest rankings are in the Adaptability and Reliability categories, where it ranks third and fifth respectively. The products offer a number of development and configuration options. They are also adaptable to many corporate processes and systems. SAS provides good information to assess performance and manage the scalability of its implementations. SAS’s third-place rating in Validation is due to its long standing in the market and its overall focus on analytics.
MOBILE ANALYTICS & BI
SAS offers native Visual Analytics mobile applications for both iOS and Android. In our evaluation, the Visual Analytics products exceeded the average of vendor scores in mobile presentation and interaction capabilities and provide offline or disconnected access. SAS also offers strong support for the IT organization supporting mobile deployments. As a result, SAS ranks sixth overall in this Value Index.
The company has recently been investing in improving mobile capabilities for the Visual Analytics portion of its product line, but more native capabilities such as better location awareness, notification and collaboration would help improve its Capability score.
EMBEDDED ANALYTICS & BI
SAS products have a highly scalable architecture and can be configured to load data into a SAS database or can access data directly from several high-performance commercial database products. SAS ranks ninth overall in this Value Index.
The products offer a number of development and configuration options. SAS provides good information to assess performance and manage the scalability of its implementations.
The company has recently been investing in providing APIs for developers using open source languages such as JAVA, Python and R. While SAS applications are highly configurable and customizable, better integration options and communication options for analyses results would help improve its Capability score.
COLLABORATIVE ANALYTICS & BI
The SAS products were not particularly strong in any of the collaborative capability subcategories we evaluated. SAS ranks 13th in the Capability category and 11th overall in this Value Index. The vendor provides capabilities to share and annotate documents and its product also has some good delivery capabilities, supporting for example scheduled delivery of documents. SAS also provides robust alerting capabilities to notify individuals and begin the collaborative process.
The SAS products lack any kind of discussion groups to facilitate collaboration among participants in the analytics process. In other areas, SAS provides limited collaborative capabilities. The ability to assign tasks and track those tasks to completion would help improve its score, as would more options for distributing documents in additional formats. SAS announced improvements in April of this year that further advance its AI support, from machine learning to natural language processing.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of analytics and business intelligence 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.