SAS offers new analytical tools

SAS Institute Inc. rolled out enhancements to a handful of products at its SAS European Users Group International conference in Vienna, Austria, this week, and announced an acquisition designed to help it provide better risk management software for the financial services industry.

Up to 90 per cent of many companies’ customers don’t generate any profits, because the cost of serving them exceeds the revenue they deliver, SAS said.

SAS Activity-Based Management 6.0, released this week, aims to let companies see the costs and profits associated with each customer, product and service, and to make business decisions accordingly, SAS said in a statement. It integrates with existing financial and operational systems, and a Web-based interface makes it easier to share information across an organization, the company said.

SAS Activity-Based Management 6.0 is based on the Oros products SAS acquired last year when it bought ABC Technologies Inc., it said. It is available immediately.

SAS also announced enhancements to Enterprise ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) Server, a software platform for data integration and management, that aim to reduce the cost of designing and managing data warehouses, it said. “Dirty” data is the biggest obstacle to getting a return on investment in data warehousing and business intelligence software, and the improvements are designed to improve the quality of the data used, SAS said.

Enterprise ETL Server includes three new products: ETL Studio, which is actually an updated version of the company’s SAS/Warehouse Administrator, SAS Metadata Server and SAS Data Quality Solution.

ETL Studio collects and integrates data from different sources, while Metadata Server manages information about all the available data sources. Data Quality Solution removes duplicate documents, identifies data errors and interprets the structure of legacy databases and files, SAS said.

The enhancements to Enterprise ETL Server will be available from Oct. 30, SAS said.

Also introduced this week, SAS Interaction Manager 1.1 lets companies track individual customer behavior, spotting when their buying patterns change, SAS said. It aims to alert the marketing department about customers whose behaviour suggests they are about to switch to a competitor, in time to do something about it, SAS said. It will also suggest when to contact customers with new offers and up-sell opportunities based on their behavior, it said.

SAS Interaction Manager is available immediately.

Prices for the products are not available because they vary according to each customer and what platform they are working on, spokesperson Sheila Parry said Friday.

In a further statement, SAS said it had bought OpRisk Analytics LLC of Stamford, Conn., a developer of risk measurement and management software for the financial services industry. This fits with both SAS’s focus on risk management and its financial services customer base, it said.

Ali Samad-Khan, chief executive officer of OpRisk, will join the SAS risk management team, SAS said. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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