SAS releases a trio of advanced analytics tools

At the company's Global Forum this week, SAS Institute introduced several new and upgraded analytics tools.

SAS Institute unveiled a raft of new advanced analytics tools at the company's Global Forum event in Dallas last week. Below is a rundown on some of the new products and features.

Better integration between Visual Analytics, Visual Statistics

One of the headline announcements is new integration between SAS's data exploration tool, Visual Analytics, and its deeper analytics tool, Visual Statistics. The move aims to support collaboration between data scientists and business analysts on tasks ranging from exploratory data analysis to model building to developing visualizations.

Both products can sit on a range of data stores, from a Hadoop cluster to relational databases, and take advantage of in-memory processing. Company officials said during a news briefing this feature enables a variety of users to share data with each other quickly and support rapid scaling of projects.

The move also intends to support the ability of business analysts to do deeper analytics on their own. Wayne Thompson, chief data scientist at SAS, said business users want this ability, and vendors need to find ways to make it possible.

New software packages helps banks manage risk models

Federal regulations have brought banks' risk models into their crosshairs. These models give banks insights into how they are performing against capital reserve requirements, stress tests and other regulatory requirements. Regulators have formalized the process banks must go through to validate and prove their models.

This is where the new SAS Model Risk Management tool comes in. The software provides a dashboard-type overview of a bank's risk models, allowing them to monitor, test and update models as regulatory compliance requires.

David Asermely, senior product manager at SAS, said since the financial crisis, regulators have been more serious than ever about ensuring banks comply with regulations. Banks have responded by investing heavily in data collection and advanced analytics tools to develop models. The new product aims to give banks a single view of what's happening in all these models.

SAS jumps into cybersecurity

Cybersecurity analytics is one of the hottest areas in the realm of advanced analytics today, and SAS wants to capitalize with a new offering.

SAS Cybersecurity works by collecting and analyzing all the machine-to-machine interactions on a customer's network. It uses this information to build a picture of what typical activity looks like. Once the software establishes this baseline, it can identify anomalous activity that may indicate a hacking attempt.

Bryan Harris, director of research and development at SAS, said the idea is to capitalize on the fact that hackers don't necessarily know what they're looking for when they initially break into a network. Intruders may have to move through the network in a sometimes haphazard way, which can give away their presence if network activity is being analyzed.

SAS isn't alone in this space. Earlier this month, Platfora announced a new cybersecurity analytics offering that similarly works by correlating anomalous network activity with possible network intrusions.

Ed Burns is site editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @EdBurnsTT.

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