SAS Global Forum 2017, Day 1: New Releases Make Data and Analytics More Accessible

At its SAS Global Forum today, SAS launched three products aimed at making its technology more accessible: Data Step Debugger, SAS Graphics Accelerator, and Edge to Enterprise Analytics. "Data without analytics is value not yet realized," said Oliver Schabenberger, executive vice president and chief technology officer at SAS. "We want analytics to be accessible to everyone regardless of their skill level."

The Data Step Debugger allows users to interactively walk through the execution of each of their data steps. According to Schabenberger, the Data Step Debugger “reduces the barrier of entry to learning data steps.”

"We also need to be accessible to everyone regardless of physical abilities," Schabenberger told the audience. "Disability should not limit access to the possibilities provided by analytics." In particular, the company is focusing on improving access for people with visual disabilities, and the SAS Graphics Accelerator targets these users; it displays data using sound and can operate at a range of speeds to support different work paces.

With the Internet of Things becoming ever more prominent, "data everywhere calls for analytics everywhere," Schabenberger said. With this in mind, SAS and its partner Cisco teamed up for Edge to Enterprise Analytics, which has three tiers: edge, transfer, and enterprise. The edge tier means considering local context and reporting only on important information. The transfer tier routs relevant data from the edge to the enterprise via the message broker Apache Kafka. Finally, analytics in the enterprise tier aims to globally contextualize data from multiple edge locations. "The Internet of Things requires more than the ability to move data…moving analytics to the data really has been part of what we've been doing at SAS for many years," Schabenberger said.

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