SAS Visual Analytics

[The BI & Analytics Survey 22 results, not included in The BI & Analytics Survey 23] SAS Visual Analytics (VA) is a business-user-oriented analytics platform offering data preparation, visual analysis, analytical apps and dashboards that can be enhanced with advanced analytics models. VA also supports the building of conversational interfaces and chatbots. Customers can use the Visual Analytics SDK to embed live, interactive VA visualizations into their custom web apps, while a Microsoft 365 integration allows the embedding of VA insights in Excel documents. SAS Visual Analytics is part of SAS Viya, SAS’ open and cloud-ready end-to-end analytics platform.

Founded in 1976, SAS is a privately held company and a well-known brand in the analytics and business intelligence market. The vendor’s aim is to make analytics available everywhere and for everyone.

SAS Viya is an open and cloud-ready end-to-end platform for analytics, which aims to serve all types of customers’ analytical needs. It was designed as a massively parallel, distributed environment which connects to various data sources and can be run on-premises or in the cloud.

SAS has made a point of creating an open architecture that not only supports SAS code but also languages such as R, Python, Java and Lua directly or through APIs to enhance its scalability and serve the appetite of data scientists for these tools. Viya consists of a set of micro services and an in-memory engine called SAS Cloud Analytics Services (CAS) for execution in a single-machine or distributed mode. Viya houses several different products and solutions including SAS Visual Analytics (VA), which business users typically access for self-service analytics.

User & Use Cases

SAS Visual Analytics is a business-user-oriented product that supports analysis, dashboards and reporting use cases. Its emphasis on business users is underlined by the list of most frequent competitors, which is topped by Tableau and Power BI. Business users regularly use the solution for viewing reports and dashboards as well as analyzing/exploring data and creating reports and dashboards. 60 percent of the users responding to this survey also stated that business users in their company prepare data using SAS VA, while 33 percent even create advanced analytics models. The latter two usage patterns underline SAS’ strong background and origins in the field of advanced analytics.

SAS VA respondents are fairly evenly distributed between mid-sized and large companies with a median of 150 and a mean of 361 users. These user numbers together with the median of 1,650 GB of data being processed indicate that SAS VA is frequently used in sophisticated analytics scenarios.

Current vs. planned use


5 products most often evaluated in competition with SAS Visual Analytics


Percentage of employees using SAS Visual Analytics


Number of users using SAS Visual Analytics


Tasks carried out with SAS Visual Analytics by business users


Company size (number of employees)


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SAS Visual Analytics

Peer Groups
VendorSAS Institute Inc.
Number of responses30
ProductSAS Visual Analytics
Customers83,000 approx.