SAS Enterprise BI Server

SAS Institute is a privately held American software company and is one of the oldest companies in the business intelligence industry. Its roots go back to early work at the North Carolina State University on computational statistics in the mid-60s. One of the main results of this work was the first version of the SAS programming language Base, which is used as the basis for its entire traditional product suite.

James Goodnight and several others founded the company in 1976. Goodnight now owns a controlling interest in the company and actively leads it as CEO.

The company’s original focus was on statistical data analysis, and SAS originally stood for Statistical Analysis System. But over the years it has become increasingly focused on data management as well. In 2000, SAS bought DataFlux, a company with products for data integration as well as master data management, data augmentation and data monitoring. When the entire SAS platform is used across the back end and front end, metadata is transferred all the way through to the reports. In addition, SAS also offers a large number of analytical applications.

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 dashboarding and reporting to OLAP and advanced analysis.

User & Use Cases

SAS Enterprise BI Server is mainly used by large companies. However the percentage of employees using it is lower than average. This clearly reflects SAS’s positioning as a specialized analytics vendor with customers using it for data mining and analysis applications rather than typical enterprise-wide BI implementations.

The main usage areas for SAS tools are ad hoc query, standard enterprise reporting and data analysis.

The majority of SAS users are power users who explore and analyze data. This is not surprising as SAS tools have long been a standard choice for high level data analysis carried out by data analysts and scientists. However, the vendor has been focusing on widening its adoption to business users, as evidenced by the 2012 launch of the Visual Analytics portfolio, which is designed to appeal to more casual business users.

Current vs. planned use

N = 37

5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAS

N = 148

Percentage of employees using SAS

N = 36

Licensing models

N = 29

Number of users using SAS

N = 25

Tasks carried out with SAS by business users

N = 28

Company size (number of employees)

N = 36

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SAS Enterprise BI Server

Peer Groups Large enterprise BI platforms, Large international BI vendors
VendorSAS Institute Inc.
Number of responses37
Revenues (2015)3.16 billion USD