SAS Visual Analytics Business Intelligence Review

Visual Analytics
Cary, NC
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Cloud, On-Premise
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Visual Analytics At A Glance

Good: Integration of advanced visual analytics directly in the BI tool, can aggregate Twitter streams and integrate them into the dashboard, runs on an in-memory server so analysis is more efficient.
Bad: Non-tech users currently do not have access to reporting and analytics tools, no predictive analytics functions, no free trial offered.
Bottom Line: The SAS Visual Analytics is an in-memory data visualization tool that works well with both big and small data, providing robust query and reporting features, alerts, and predictive analytics.

Product Overview

SAS Visual Analytics relieves pressure on the IT department through self-service access to in-depth reviews. No coding is required for sophisticated results, including network diagrams, decision trees, and real-time BI predictive analytics.

Interactive reports can be quickly designed and shared on the Web, through mobile devices, and across other Microsoft applications. Reports can be closely analyzed, and data can be drilled-through to see in-depth details.

Visual Analytics also has the ability to aggregate Twitter streams and bring them directly into the dashboard feed. Tools such as thought-clouds can help users discover trending topics related to your business. The software is able to determine which words are used most frequently, and, when drilled-down to the details, in what context, to help you gain a comprehensive view of what others are saying and thinking about your product or company.


Visual Analytics includes features that are unique in the BI sphere, including its integration of powerful, advanced analytics directly into a BI tool. SAS has a 36% share of the advanced analytics market, more than the share of the next 10 vendors combined.

Additionally, because Visual Analytics runs on an in-memory server, it is extremely fast and efficient, and able to investigate large amounts of data. Below are listed specific features of the tool:

  • Ad Hoc Analysis?
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)?
  • Predictive Analytics?
  • Profit Analysis?
  • Trend Indicators?
  • Ad Hoc Reporting?
  • Automatic Scheduled Reporting?
  • Customizable Dashboard?

Target Market

SAS provides BI solutions to companies of all sizes and industries. Below is a partial list:

  • Bank of America
  • Horizon Healthcare Services
  • Nippon Paper
  • Quarter Media
  • SunTrust
  • Swinton Group
  • The Wine House
  • U.S. Census Bureau

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SAS provides licenses of its solutions to five groups: individuals, SMBs, enterprises, academics and government. Individuals and SMBs have the option to purchase the solution via the SAS Store on its site. SAS also provides customized implementation offerings.

SAS offers training on its products both online and in a classroom / onsite setting. If the prospective customer prefers to have training done in a regular classroom setting, SAS provides multiple training locations all across the U.S. – the training courses typically run for two days at 8 hours a day. For the company that wants to reduce travel expenses for training, SAS’ instructors also provide training at the company’s site.

SAS also offers eLearning courses as well as a Live Web classroom – the user can receive training at their own convenience straight from their computers. Users get unlimited access to the eCourses for a year.

The costs of training are not included in the software price – however, SAS offers discounts, such as the 10% group discount.

Customer Service & Support

SAS also provide a wide variety of customer support options. There is the knowledge base that the user can access to get information and updates on the BI platform. Users can also find manual or technical details of the software.

Users can also submit software issues via the portal – this portal also includes the ability to check the status of the issue or provide an update on it. Users can also manage their accounts online and access downloads and upgrades. They can also communicate with other SAS users via the User Groups.

Please note that unlike most other BI vendors, SAS does not offer a free trial – they strongly recommend contacting them directly for a price quote and to discuss options.


SAS does not publicly release their pricing information. Please contact them directly for a price quote.


SAS is currently working on improving its user interfaces so that more non-tech users can have access to reporting and analytics.

There are few deployment options, and no option for on-premise licenses.


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SAS has built its reputation as a leader in the business analytics and business intelligence market. For over 35 years, SAS has provided software and services to all major industries ranging from healthcare to government to finance and education. It serves over 70,000 customers in 139 countries. Headquartered in Cary, NC, SAS employes 13,769 people worldwide.

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