SAS Enterprise BI Server
SAS’s traditional business intelligence offering is called Enterprise BI Server. For end users, the Enterprise BI Server includes web clients such as Web Report Studio (WRS), BI Dashboard and a series of Windows clients including Enterprise Guide (EG) and OLAP Cube Studio. These components cover BI use cases ranging from dashboards and reporting to OLAP and advanced analysis.
SAS, founded in 1976, is privately held, one of the earliest software companies and a well known brand in the business intelligence and analytics market. The vendor has specialized in data management, business intelligence, data visualization, advanced analytics and industry-specific analytic applications for decades.
SAS’s traditional BI offering, SAS Enterprise BI Server, covers dashboarding, OLAP and reporting through clients such as SAS Web Report Studio and SAS Enterprise Guide. SAS also offers a variety of analytic applications to address different industries and application domains. Currently, the bulk of these applications are based on the SAS 9 architecture.
To target business users, SAS released SAS Visual Analytics back in 2012, which was complemented by SAS Visual Statistics in 2014. In 2016 SAS introduced SAS Viya, a new open and cloud-ready platform for analytics. SAS Viya extends SAS 9 to serve all types of SAS customers’ analytical needs. SAS Viya and SAS 9 are now collectively known as SAS Platform.
The traditional SAS solution consists of either a web or a Windows front end and a web-based middle tier server, which communicates with the SAS servers. The core of SAS is Base SAS, an analysis and data management platform with its own programming language. At the most basic level, SAS users are programmers who create procedures for accessing, analyzing and transforming data.
SAS provides both web clients (Web Report Studio, BI Dashboard) and a series of Windows clients (Enterprise Guide, OLAP Cube Studio, Enterprise Miner etc.) as front ends to the SAS language, allowing users to generate SAS functionality without writing code.
User & Use Cases
SAS is used in large and mid-sized enterprises by a relatively small proportion of employees. The solution’s main usage scenarios are quite interesting.
Like last year, SAS Enterprise BI products are mostly used to query data and create reports. However, customers also seem to use tools such as Enterprise Guide to prepare and model data.
Only 39 percent of respondents use the solution for its original purpose: advanced analytics. The list of SAS’s top five competitors indicate that this year’s survey respondents seem to have been searching for ad hoc query and visualization solutions.
In this area, the vendor aims to improve the reporting functionality in its new SAS Visual Analytics (Viya) offering by the end of 2017.
Current vs. planned use
N = 36
5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAS Enterprise BI
N = 32
Percentage of employees using SAS Enterprise BI
N = 36
Number of users using SAS Enterprise BI
N = 36
Tasks carried out with SAS Enterprise BI by business users
N = 34
Company size (number of employees)
N = 36