Tuesday 27 March 2012

NOTE: A Big Analytics Announcement (Visual Analytics)

Following March 6th's announcement of SAS support for Hadoop (for massively parallel access to massive volumes of data) came March 22nd's announcement of SAS Visual Analytics, a new, in-memory tool with a highly visual interface.

The Visual Analytics solution contains an in-memory analytics engine that will eventually extend across a large amount of SAS's software product portfolio, including publish-to-mobile capability and graphic visualization.

Bringing recent announcements together and creating synergy, a core component of SAS Visual Analytics, the SAS LASR Analytic Server, uses Hadoop (embedded Hadoop Distributed File System) as local storage at the server for fault tolerance.

SAS Visual Analytics includes:
  • SAS LASR Analytic Server - clients communicate with SAS LASR Analytic Server for calculations on the data resident in-memory
  • The Hub - a central location to launch the various elements of SAS Visual Analytics
  • Mobile - a tool for viewing reports, connecting to servers and downloading information on the go
  • Explorer - an ad hoc data discovery and visualization tool to explore and analyze data
  • Designer - used to create standard and custom reports and dashboards
  • Environment Administration - used by administrators to manage users, security and data
  • Server components run on Red Hat or SUSE Linux, and the mobile client is available for the iPad.
    Android support is expected to follow.
SAS's demo video for Visual Analytics hints at some of its capabilities without revealing too much of the detail. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more detail at next month's SAS Global Forum. Will Visual Analytics knock spots off of existing in-memory solutions such as Qlikview, Spotfire, and Oracle Exalytics? Only time will tell, but it sure looks promising.

Combined with the fact that SAS was recently named as a leader for its data extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) technology in "The Forrester Wave: Enterprise ETL" by Forrester Research, and in the Leaders quadrant for its business intelligence (BI) technology in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, SAS has never looked stronger as an end-to-end solution.