A buyer's guide to choosing the right BI analytics tool
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
SAS Visual Analytics, SAS's flagship BI and analytics software suite, is designed to enable users to identify key relationships in data in an effort to help their companies make more informed business decisions. The software supports data discovery and managed BI use cases. It also provides enterprise reporting features for IT, as well as self-service capabilities augmented by Web-based basic data preparation and mash-up capabilities.
SAS Visual Analytics is available as software as a service (SaaS) from SAS or hosted on a public or private cloud, on premises, and PC and Mac (single machines or distributed). On-premises versions run on either Linux for x64 or Windows for x64.
Users can access and interact with reports and charts through iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. SAS Visual Analytics software is also integrated with SAS Office Analytics so users can access BI and analytics capabilities and share results through Microsoft Office add-ins for PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint and Word.
SAS Visual Analytics is used for all types of use cases, including marketing, finance, human resources and IT. The software can ingest data from commercial databases or data warehouses, and NoSQL and distributed file systems such as Hadoop.
The product is built on top of SAS's LASR in-memory analytics platform, which provides a multiuser environment for concurrent access to data loaded into memory. Workloads and data are distributed among multiple machines for massively parallel processing. The SAS Visual Analytics software suite can scale up from a single machine to a distributed computing deployment supporting thousands of users.
SAS Office Analytics is a separate product that lets users work with Visual Analytics' reports, charts, analytics and visuals via an Office interface. The product includes guided analysis with built-in tasks that business analysts can use to integrate and prepare data.
SAS Enterprise BI Server is SAS's centrally managed, traditional BI suite that can be used to design queries, reports, dashboards and analysis. Enterprise BI Server is administered by IT.
SAS Visual Analytics software licensing and support
SAS's products for cloud-based deployments are licensed by team size in set increments; the number of users is limited only by hardware and platform. There's no minimum number of users or separate administrator licenses. Licensing is based on the total number of processor cores assigned to the single machine server in non-distributed mode, or the total number of processor cores assigned to the rack system or database appliance in distributed mode.
SAS doesn't publish license costs for any of its products. SAS's licensing model is a subscription license with usage restrictions based on a period of time as defined by the contract. Customers pay a first-year fee and subsequent annual renewals.
Technical support is included in all SAS licenses. Customers receive 24/7 premium-level technical support via phone, email or the Internet. A technical support website and discussion forums enable customers to find answers, share ideas and exchange best practices.
SAS Visual Analytics is sold direct from SAS or via resellers, partners and third-party cloud providers. An online trial lets users test a fully functioning version of Visual Analytics.
Learn more about different types of BI analytics tools
Trying to decide on an analytics tool? Get advice from an expert
Self-service analytics tools are popular -- but find out what the real challenge can be