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Inscreased Usability gives an edge to SAS

Posted in Business Intelligence, Data Mining, SAS by Pankaj Gudimella on May 14, 2008

It’s been a busy spring for SAS Institute Inc., which recently unveiled version 9.2 release of its flagship business intelligence (BI) platform, picked up additional text mining and analytic technology (by acquiring Teragram), and announced an expansion of its relationship with data warehousing (DW) powerhouse Teradata Corp. (see http://esj.com/business_intelligence/article.aspx?EditorialsID=8813).

Despite a year of unprecedented consolidation in the BI market by a trio of BI giants (IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., and SAP AG), it’s business as usual at SAS, the Cary, N.C.-based BI, DW, and statistical analysis player, according to Ken Hausman, the company’s product marketing manager for data integration.

If anything, Hausman argues, rampant BI consolidation has only helped SAS refine its message. “There’s a certain part of our sales pitch that says SAS is a stable company, we’ve been around for 31 years, and we’ve had a fairly consistent focus over those years,” he comments. “With all that’s happened [with consolidation], that’s [a pitch that is] resonating with customers.” There’s also SAS’ focus on R&D, Hausman stresses. The company reinvests about one-fifth of its annual revenues into additional research and development activities.

Read more here.

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Microsoft and Data Mining Dominance

Posted in Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Mining, Microsoft, Predictive Analytics by Pankaj Gudimella on May 7, 2008

When it comes to data mining and predictive analytics, Microsoft Corp. might not be the first company that comes to mind.

That could change, however, especially if Donald Farmer, Redmond’s principal program manager for SQL Server Data Mining, has his way.

Microsoft has come a long way in the data mining and predictive analytics segment, Farmer says, and with a game-changing Excel 2007 release under its belt — and a promising SQL Server 2008 revision in the pipeline — Redmond hopes to challenge established powers SAS Institute Inc. and SPSS Inc. for data mining and predictive analytic bragging rights.

“[We don’t] have all the functionality of something like a SAS or an SPSS, because that’s just not our market,” he conceded.

It comes down to a difference of scale, according to Farmer. SAS and SPSS typically target larger, more expensive deployments, typically with users well-versed in the usage of their tools. Microsoft is targeting a different kind of data mining consumer: the Excel analyst, for example, who might not have much (if any) experience with data mining, predictive analytics or statistical analysis, for that matter.

Read more from RedmondMag here.