SAS standards for Statistical Analysis System developed by the SAS institute. It is an extremely powerful analytics software tool with applications in a variety of areas. It has been in development for over 3 decades with frequent version updates. SAS has set a standard in the industry for what a tool for data analytics projects should be like. As a result many other tools have come in the public spotlight, which are similar in implementation. However, SAS has carved its own niche for good reasons. Listed below are some of the stand out features of SAS software.
1. Interface – SAS is not aimed at lightweight professionals. It is expected that the end-user understands concepts pertaining to data querying in databases. The interface is based heavily on writing scripts to accomplish tasks for data manipulation and overall analytics. The SAS institute website provides ample resources for users to follow and learn scripting in SAS.
2. Scale – SAS has been designed to be used across a range of scopes of projects. It can be implemented for projects that last a week or tasks which have to be performed for months with data being constantly added to the analysis over time. The incredible performance it offers across types of projects and the scripting features make it the go to choice for many firms. Scripting in SAS is much more intuitive and takes advantage of SQL syntax as well to make it easier for users to learn quickly unlike Audit Command Language scripts.
3. Packages – SAS software is divided up in packages or modules. The SAS website provides great detail on these modules. These packages offer the features related to specific tasks for analytics projects. For instance SAS/GRAPH allows creating of visualisations and SAS/STAT allows users to run advanced analytics like regression, cluster analysis etc. These features are built on the basis software, but are available with separate licenses. Firms can purchase these as per their requirements. Other competing technologies like Audit Command Language software.
The above listed features are just some of the reasons why firms choose to pave their long-term strategies for implementation of data analytics with SAS software at the heart of it all. An end-to-end implementation of SAS can be extremely expensive but it allows for great flexibility to add new capabilities and accommodate projects of different scales in one environment. It is definitely much more expensive than tools like the Audit Command Language, but the return on investment can easily outweigh the extra investment that may be required at the start of the implementation.