We're breaking format and focusing on a single company in this week's Big Data Roundup. SAS used its annual Global Forum, held April 18-21 in Las Vegas, as a backdrop for three major announcements that embrace several important changes in the way analytics works in the age of cloud computing and big, unstructured data.
The company's offerings include a new architecture called SAS Viya, a digital marketing hub called SAS Customer Intelligence 360, and SAS Analytics for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Announcing Viya at SAS Global Forum, CEO and founder Jim Goodnight framed the architecture this way: "What we are unveiling is a quantum leap forward in making analytics easier to use and accessible to everyone. It's a major breakthrough."
SAS VP of analytic server R&D Oliver Schabenberger said during the event that the platform is designed to work with small data, big data, structured data, unstructured data -- in the cloud, or on-premises. "We decided to build a unified open architecture to do all those."
SAS Viya will provide a multi-vendor, multi-cloud architecture for analytics, and will offer several new analytics products, including SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Visual Statistics, SAS Visual Investigator, and SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning.
This open approach reflects the changing dynamics in the enterprise as data-intensive applications are shifted to the cloud.
"The vast majority of the new generation of mission-critical apps, most of which are data-intensive, are being developed and run in the cloud," said Amy Konary, program VP for SaaS and cloud services at IDC, in a prepared statement. "Within the next three to five years, most large enterprises will have much more data in the cloud than in their own data centers. IDC believes that this 'data gravity' will hasten the migration of legacy systems and data to the cloud."
SAS said that the Viya unified architecture is designed to make it easy to work with data regardless of whether it lives in the cloud or on-premises, and it alleviates the need to stitch together code from different providers.
The platform and initial offerings will be available in May for select early adopters and generally available in third quarter 2016, SAS said.
SAS Customer Intelligence 360
A key vertical area in analytics today is digital marketing, and SAS has created a hub for its existing lineup of services to address this market with Customer Intelligence 360.
"We built SAS Customer Intelligence 360 as an intuitive digital marketing hub that brings together all available data," said Wilson Raj, global director of SAS customer intelligence, in a prepared statement. "For example, with integrated data at their disposal, a marketer can immediately send a personalized offer to a customer's smartphone when they are near a brick-and-mortar location."
Initially, SAS Customer Intelligence 360 includes two core modules: SAS 360 Discover, which provides reporting and insights based on Web and mobile behavioral data, and SAS 360 Engage, which enables users to create, orchestrate, and optimize digital customer journeys.
The Hub is delivered through the cloud as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, and additional modules and capabilities will roll out over the course of 2016.
SAS Analytics for IoT
SAS Analytics for IoT puts together some of SAS's existing software products to apply analytics to the huge volume of data produced by IoT-connected devices and sensors. SAS announced several customers already using its analytics products for IoT applications, including CPS Energy, Geneia, Navistar, and Western Digital.
SAS was named a top company in the advanced analytics space, according to the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report,
We hope you found this spotlight edition of our Big Data Roundup useful. Next week, we'll return to our regular wrap-up of big data news. Meanwhile, tell us what you think of the SAS offerings, and the broader trends they reflect, in the comments section below.