ORLANDO – SAS Institute Inc. is bringing more of its analytic offerings over to its analytics and machine learning platform SAS Viya. It is also launching a new Analytics-as-a-Service platform called Results-as-a-Service.

To start, SAS is updating two analytics offerings, Visual Statistics and Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, and adding three new ones in Visual Forecasting, Optimization, and Econometrics.

And this is just the beginning, with the company placing Viya as an important piece in its future. SAS CTO Oliver Schabenberger emphasized at the company’s Global Forum conference the ‘openness’ message, which he says will make “analytics to be accessible to everyone.” Viya plays an important role in that openness.

With Visual Statistics and Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, SAS is bringing both SAS 9 platforms to Viya. Current customers will then automatically take advantage of these products residing in Viya for no additional cost. SAS will provide updates in the future with the exact details of this porting and migration process.

“[With these announcements] we are extending that open message by providing more choices,” said Saurabh Gupta, director of analytics products at SAS to the press. “We can take advantage of more opportunities with SAS Viya.”

The new offerings, Visual Forecasting, Optimization, and Econometrics, are ‘discipline-specific’ analytics that can each be run with programming interfaces from Jupyter notebooks, an open source web application that allows sharing of live code. In the case of Visual Forecasting, for now it does not feature the visual interface that SAS Viya has become known for, but it will be updated with that feature in the future.

The focus on Viya integration for SAS products was also echoed by SAS superstar CEO Jim Goodnight. “Viya is simply an extension of SAS 9. By September, all of the [SAS] 9 platforms will be able to communicate directly with the analytic server,” he said.

The idea behind the new Results-as-a-Service is to provide a service for customers who seek analytic insights without wanting, or being able to, to invest in the hardware, software, or people necessary to run their own through SAS Viya. For organizations with a gap in analytics talent, they can outsource any analytic problems through Results-as-a-Service.

“Our customers are saying we just need the answer, so we’re able to do that for them,” said Paula Brown, managing director at SAS health analytics practice. “It’s a great introduction to SAS and the value you could possibly get.”

Results-as-a-Service features a single price that includes the consultants time, hardware, and whatever software that is being used to help answer that problem. It can be just a one-time fee based on the problem or a longer, more extensive deal.



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