Category Archives for "Viya"

Home Directories in SAS Viya 4

home directories

Users of SAS Studio and other SAS Viya programming clients are used to having their operating system home-directories available while they work.

Gerry Nelson in his article SAS Viya: making user home directories available to compute

My Personal Home Directory

System Administrators have been dealing with this scenario for decades now, and established methods of making a personalised, secure home directory available to users now usually rely on NFS or CIFS/SMB.

Viya provides the ability to make home directories served by NFS available to applications that use the Programming Run-Time Servers (such as SAS Studio). You do this by specifying the NFS server details during deployment. If your NFS server and Identity Provider are already used to serve home directories to other applications then the documented defaults will work great – but what if that isn’t the case?

Behind the Scenes

Under the covers, Viya is running in a Linux environment (within containers, within Kubernetes). Each user in Linux is assigned a unique User ID (uid). This uid is what allows a user to access their own personal home directory, among other things. Viya on its own has no idea what uid is assigned to what user, unless that information is provided by the Identity Provider. If you are leveraging an existing NFS Server backed by an Identity Provider that is already in use with that NFS Server, then there is a good chance (but not guaranteed) that your Identity Provider already has the required posix attributes to provide the uid to Viya.

Active Directory

If you are using Active Directory as your Identity Provider then there is a good chance that you don’t have these attributes. In this case Viya will generate a uid (and Group ID, or gid) for each user and store it internally. This allows Viya to kick off compute sessions using the uid it has generated, but for obvious reasons nothing outside Viya knows about this uid – which means when it comes to accessing a user’s home directory on NFS, the uid will most likely not match the uid on the home directory.

Home Directories Solved?

But there is a problem even before we get to the matching uid problem – how does the system know it even needs to create a home directory on NFS for the user? In a traditional Linux environment this is taken care of by PAM, leveraging methods such as pam_mkhomedir. This in turn relies on the Identity Provider of the operating system. In fact this is what the earliest solution to this problem used. In Viya 3.4 a more integrated solution was provided directly in the deployment process, followed by further updates in Viya 3.5. Unfortunately starting with Viya 2020.x these methods no longer work.

Sample Code

Thankfully, in November 2011 Sample 68620: Create user home directories from the identities service in SAS® Viya® 2020.x using a script was released, which provides a bash script that will extract the uid generated internally by Viya and then create home directories with the uid that Viya expects.

This script works great, but the “how to” of getting it running and integrated into your Viya Kubernetes environment is left to the user.

Home Directory Solution from Selerity

To make implementing this a bit easier, Selerity have created a Helm Chart that will deploy a Cron Job into Kubernetes to maintain home directories in NFS using the uid internally generated by Viya.

To install this solution you should be familiar with Kubernetes and Helm, as well as have the details of the NFS Server used during your Viya Deployment. Here is all that is needed to get this deployed:

helm repo add selerity
helm repo update
helm upgrade -i -n[VIYA_NAMESPACE] \
  [RELEASE_NAME] selerity/viya4-home-dir-builder \
  --set viya.base_url=[VIYA_BASE_URL] \
  --set nfs.server=[NFS_SERVER_NAME]

This will create a Kubernetes Cron Job that must be triggered manually, and when you do trigger it will only report on what it will do (it won’t create or update anything). This will let you view the logs to see what it would do if it was enabled. The parameters above are:

  • VIYA_NAMESPACE – the namespace you have deployed Viya to
  • RELEASE_NAME – any string you want to use as the name of this deployment
  • VIYA_BASE_URL – the URL to your Viya deployment
  • NFS_SERVER_NAME – the hostname/IP of the NFS Server you specified in your Viya deployment


helm upgrade -i -nviya \
  thor selerity/viya4-home-dir-builder \
  --set viya.base_url= \

After a successful install you will be presented with instructions on how to view/trigger/etc. the Cron Job. If you are happy that the process will work correctly in your environment (after reviewing the logs of a sample run) you can enable it to create/update home directories by adding the --set dry_run=0 option on the Helm command, and if you want to enable it to run on a schedule also add the --set suspend=false option. Further details are available in the Helm Chart.

Helm Chart on ArtifactHUB

viya4-home-dir-builder: Create home directories for SAS Viya 4 Users

— Open in Artifact Hub

If you find any issues with our Charts or have ideas for improvements, please raise an Issue here.


Auto Creation of Linux Home Directories for SAS UsersPaul Homes
SAS Viya 3.4 Automatic Home DirectoriesStuart Rogers
SAS Viya 3.5 Automatic Home DirectoriesStuart Rogers
SAS Viya: making user home directories available to computeGerry Nelson
Sample 68620: Create user home directories from the identities service in SAS® Viya® 2020.x using a scriptGreg Wootton
SAS Viya Operations 2022.1 | Deployment | Installation | Common Customizations | Change the Location of the NFS ServerSAS
SAS Viya Administration 2022.1 | Security | Identity ManagementSAS

SAS Analytics Pro on Viya compared to 9.x

SAS Analytics Pro SAS Studio

SAS Studio

SAS Analytics Pro has been used by analysts, data scientists and programmers for decades, making enterprise grade analytics available on a personal desktop.  This solution was first released on the SAS 9 platform and was typically installed on a Windows PCs for use by a single user.  With the latest release of SAS Analytics Pro now on the SAS Viya platform, we have prepared a quick comparison of what is included as standard compared to the previous version on SAS 9.x.

Selerity can help you organise your license of SAS Analytics Pro, provide SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service as well as official SAS Training if needed.  Contact us for further information.


SAS Analytics Pro

on SAS 9.x

SAS Analytics Pro

on SAS Viya

Base SAS



SAS Enterprise Guide

SAS Studio

Runs on Windows

Runs on Linux

Runs on Mac

Monthly Updates


SAS/ACCESS Interface to DB2

SAS/ACCESS Interface to Greenplum

SAS/ACCESS Interface to Microsoft SQL Server

SAS/ACCESS Interface to MySQL

SAS/ACCESS Interface to Netezza

SAS/ACCESS Interface to ODBC

SAS/ACCESS Interface to Oracle

SAS/ACCESS Interface to PC Files

SAS/ACCESS Interface to R/3


SAS/ACCESS Interface to Teradata

SAS/ACCESS Interface to the PI System

SAS/ACCESS Interface to Yellowbrick

SAS/ACCESS to Amazon Redshift

SAS/ACCESS to Google BigQuery

SAS/ACCESS to Hadoop

SAS/ACCESS to Impala



SAS/ACCESS to Postgres

SAS/ACCESS to Salesforce


SAS/ACCESS to Snowflake


SAS/ACCESS to Vertica

Jupyter with SAS Analytics Pro (cloud-native)

Jupyter with SAS Analytics Pro (cloud-native)

The new containerised version of SAS Analytics Pro from the SAS Institute opens up a world of possibilities for leveraging third-party technologies to enhance what is already a pretty powerful Data and Analytics platform.

One of these technologies that has really taken off and helped Data Scientists take advantage of a unified programming experience regardless of the language used is Project Jupyter. A core feature of Project Jupyter is known as a Notebook, and this is explained on the Jupyter site as “…an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text“. This not only makes it an easy, pleasant experience to work in but also facilitates the ability to present complex processes in a nice visual manner to non-programmers – kind of like reading through a notebook 🙂

example notebook of Lorenz differential equations

Jupyter can also be used for SAS programming, and as part of our SAS Analytics Pro Launcher (available at you can enable this functionality with a simple change to the settings file!

Enabling JupyterLab in the Selerity Launcher for SAS Analytics Pro

If you have followed our previous post, Cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro – for your Desktop!, you will have a functioning SAS Analytics Pro container environment that leverages our custom Launcher (available on GitHub).

To enable Jupyter in your environment, open up the apro.settings file in your $deploy directory (the location where you unzipped the Selerity Launcher code) and set JUPYTERLAB to true.

# Enable Jupyter Lab?

Stop your SAS Analytics Pro container if it is currently running with the following command:

docker stop sas-analytics-pro

Now start your environment back up by running the launchapro script again. When you launch your environment with JUPYTERLAB=true the following things happen behind the scenes (all transparent to the user):

  1. A virtual Python 3.9 environment is created in /python (the python directory in the repository)
  2. The bits-and-pieces required to run JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebooks are installed to /python
  3. The SAS Kernel for Jupyter is installed to /python and configured to use SAS in your SAS Analytics Pro container
  4. Jupyter Lab is started up after SAS Studio is started

Depending on the speed of your internet connection it could take up to 15 minutes for all this to happen, but as long as you don’t delete the python directory all subsequent startups should be just as quick as before. This is what the startup process looks like with JupyterLab enabled:

#    SAS Analytics Pro Personal Launcher    #
# S = SAS Studio has started                #
# J = Jupyter Lab has started               #
To stop your SAS Analytics Pro instance, use "docker stop sas-analytics-pro"

Using Jupyter

Open your browser to http://localhost:8888 and enter your generated password. You will then be presented with the JupyterLab main interface:

You can click on the SAS icons in the Launcher to create a new Notebook using the SAS Kernel, and then start writing your SAS code. Click the play button to submit your code:

Hosted Option

If you would prefer to just login-and-start-using Jupyter with SAS Analytics Pro, our Selerity Analytics Desktop offering provides SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service (including Jupyter), which can also be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure if required. This allows you to leverage you existing security, login credentials and code assets without needing to maintain your own SAS infrastructure. Contact us if you would like to learn more!

Cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro – for your Desktop!

Cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro

In August 2021 SAS released a cloud-native version of SAS Analytics Pro. This release is based on the SAS Viya Platform and provides the full features of Base SAS, SAS/STAT and SAS/GRAPH via SAS Studio – a browser-based interface that users of recent SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya server environments will be familiar with.

The cloud-native version also adds the full SAS Viya set of SAS/ACCESS products, giving you access to many data sources!


This new release of SAS Analytics Pro leverages container technology, which means that the concept of installing your software is no longer just a matter of running “setup.exe”. The benefits of containerisation are many and include:

  1. Ability to run on Windows, Mac and Linux
  2. A consistent environment – e.g. your install is not going to be different from your colleague’s
  3. Ease of updates – SAS regularly update and patch their software. Previously this meant finding, downloading and installing those updates. Now you just have to “point” to the release of SAS (including updates) you want to use
  4. Portability – if you get a new PC (or move from PC to Mac) you just need to copy your config across

Deploying cloud-native SAS Analytics Pro

SAS provide a comprehensive set of instructions to get up and running which involve:

  1. Installing Docker (the software used to run containers)
  2. Logging into to get your license and certificate files
  3. Creating a script to startup your SAS Analytics Pro environment

On the surface, this seems pretty straightforward, but in case users feel a bit hesitant or unsure (especially when it comes to creating a launch script) we have created a “launcher” process to help you out. Our process mirrors the official SAS process but we provide the script, along with a simple way to tweak the features you want to add.

SAS Analytics Pro Launcher from Selerity

The first step is to download and install Docker from

Next, navigate to our GitHub repository and download the source code of our launcher that matches the SAS Analytics Pro version you want to use:

Extract the ZIP file to a location on your machine, e.g. C:\SAS. The final directory (referred to as the $deploy directory) will be a subdirectory of this location created as a result of the unzipping, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4.

Now log into and go to the “My Orders” section. In here, expand your SAS Analytics Pro Order and then click both the Download Certificates and Download License Only links. Save the file that each link provides to the directory created when you extracted the ZIP file, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4

Finally, open a PowerShell (or Terminal on Linux/Mac) prompt, “cd” into the $deploy directory (created when you extracted the ZIP file) and then run launchapro.ps1 (or on Linux/Mac)

After a minute or so you see a message letting you know that SAS Analytics Pro is up and running!

You can now open your browser and log into SAS Studio at http://localhost:81 using the same username you logged into Windows with along with the generated password that is displayed.


There are many ways that this SAS Analytics Pro environment can be tailored/customised and we have provided some of the key options available within the apro.settings file that comes with our launcher. This file contains comments explaining each option, which we also document in the file.

Hosted Option

If you would prefer to just login-and-start-using SAS Analytics Pro, our Selerity Analytics Desktop offering provides SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service, which can also be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure if required. This allows you to leverage you existing security, login credentials and code assets without needing to maintain your own SAS infrastructure. Contact us if you would like to learn more!

How SAS visual analytics on Viya can improve marketing

SAS visual analytics on Viya

Movies and TV shows are great at establishing narratives, hooking the audience into that narrative, and leaving them wanting more. This is the reason why we flock to theatres and spend hours binging entire TV series.

Would you believe me if I told you that one function in your business follows the same process as films and has the same power to engage its audience? Well, it exists, and it’s called marketing.

Ask any passionate marketer and they will tell you that marketing is an art. An art that requires creative marketers to weave narratives that address the pain points of consumers. 

They would also tell you that the process is all about exploring the relationships between an action and its effect, just like in movies or TV shows.

While traditional marketing involves a lot of guesswork and trial and error, this process does not work in the contemporary market. In the modern business landscape—in which one wrong move can lead to significant ramifications—guesswork and trial and error is not enough. Marketers will need more than a good hunch to succeed in the market.

To be more precise, marketers need the power of data analytics to be successful. With SAS visual analytics, you will have the tools you need to share a meaningful story with your audience.

In this post, we will explore how SAS visual analytics on Viya can help marketers improve their strategies.

SAS visual analytics on Viya can improve your understanding of relationships

One of the important skills any marketer can possess is understanding the relationship between the actions of a consumer and their reasons for performing those actions. This allows for the creation of impactful marketing strategies.

To do this, companies collect large amounts of data and analyse them to establish connections between each variable. All data analytics tools are great at doing this. Only some of them, however, present the data in a way that is easy to comprehend.

SAS visual analytics on Viya excels at presenting the insights in a digestible way by using visual data tools such as bar graphs, charts, heat maps and many more. By doing this, visual analytics tools allow marketers to understand the relationship between variables easily and make better marketing decisions.

Detailed customer profiles help create meaningful marketing messages

The success of a marketing campaign relies on its messaging. Marketers should focus on the main pain points of their audience through their messaging to make a meaningful impact. This is easier said than done.

To deliver an impactful message, marketers need to understand the preferences, behaviour, needs and wants of their target audience. Although it is possible to build comprehensive customer profiles using text-based data analytics tools, visual analytics makes the process simpler and faster.

With SAS visual analytics on Viya, marketers can centralise every piece of information they have about their customers in one visual profile. The advanced tools built into the platform makes presenting overall statistics of the target audience, or the individual profiles, easier.

Using these customer profiles, marketers can optimise their messaging to deliver a much larger impact. 

Automated prediction helps simulate marketing campaigns

In traditional marketing, marketers know the success of their campaigns only after they are taken live. This means that if bad marketing decisions are actioned, the marketing campaign will fail to connect with the audience, and there will be no way to prevent these events from taking place.

Advances in machine learning and data visualisation, however, allow marketers to simulate their marketing campaigns and predict the outcome. This helps marketers take a trial and error approach to their strategies without hurting their sales figures.

Embracing visual analytics can help improve the marketing function

Marketing is about manipulating consumer pain points to deliver a narrative that prompts them to follow up on a campaign’s call to action. 

In this day and age, to be successful, a marketing campaign must utilise the wealth of information available to them. SAS visual analytics on Viya can help marketers do just that.

With the power of data visualisation, marketers can deliver meaningful messages to connect with, and engage, audiences in the long term.

What is SAS Viya and should you invest in it?

We believe SAS Viya is must have for businesses dealing with large amounts of data, check out.

Here at Selerity, the administration, installation and maintenance of SAS Viya are among our core offerings. But what is SAS Viya? What are its features? But most importantly, can you yield the benefits we have discussed in one of our previous blogs? In this blog post, I aim to shed some light on one of our core offerings and why you need it – if you wish to make full use of an analytics environment.

What is SAS Viya?

SAS Viya is a data analytics framework to help organisations speed up their data analysing capabilities. The aim of SAS Viya is to make big data analysis more accessible to organisations and to speed up the process at every step from data collection to data deployment. I have worked with several companies across different industries and all of them have benefitted from SAS Viya due to an accelerated timetable and scalable operations.

What are the core components of SAS Viya?

SAS Viya has many key features that make it such a valuable asset for organisations. However, in my experience, the difference makers come down to two features.

In-memory processing

I have talked about in-memory processing in one of my previous blogs and how it speeds up data processing. Essentially, analytics software shifts the processing function from ROM to the RAM, improving the rate of processing at a significant rate. SAS Viya takes this core technology and places it in an open environment.

With SAS Viya, computer operations are distributed across multiple cores in a single server. All data and tables are stored in a memory for as long as it is required. The SAS Viya engine offers a secure, scalable multi-user environment, which allows for collaboration between multiple people for concurrent users.

Flexible structure

Having met several company representatives over the years, there is one tech feature that is becoming more and more important: Scalability. The desire to scale up or scale down the scope of operations without needing a significant investment is what organisations are looking for from their data analytics infrastructure.

Fortunately, SAS Viya supplants this need thanks to its secure, cloud-based infrastructure. Data processing automatically adjusts to both constrained and unconstrained environments allowing organisations to scale computing as needed and even experiment with different approaches, and even different scenarios. The flexible structure and open environment allow professionals from different professionals to collaborate on data collecting and processing.

What are the benefits of SAS Viya?

SAS Viya is invaluable because it comes with several benefits not found elsewhere beyond rapid data processing.

Foundation for other products

SAS has produced many analytics software products for different functions in different industries. SAS Detection and Investigation for Banking, SAS Visualisation and SAS Data Preparation are just some of the products available for users. However, to make significant use of any of these products, you need to be using SAS Viya, for it serves as the foundation for other SAS products. Foundational support is found in the form of a visual and coding user interface that makes analytics software more accessible.

Furthermore, the cloud-based infrastructure paves the way for additional gains by streamlining costs. It has been my experience that those who invest in SAS Viya first before moving onto other SAS products make bigger gains than without Viya.

Easier managing the platforms

Organisations have an easier time managing the platform because the infrastructure is designed in such a way that those individuals with the right knowledge can design and develop shortcuts. SAS Viya includes public REST APIs. These API’s allow developers to add the analytics framework to applications.

Data scientists can monitor assets within a common environment, solve synchronisation issues coming from different code bases and monitor production models, thus data consultants spend less time solving issues and more time making new discoveries. These features make SAS Viya more accessible and easier to use.

Investing in SAS Viya

Organisations who invested in SAS Viya saw significant improvements in data management, processing and turnaround time. These improvements came about because the analytics framework comes with several useful features, including in-memory processing, cloud-based infrastructure.

The features found in SAS Viya makes for an easier time managing other SAS platforms. In my experience, SAS Viya has brought several improvements to an organisation’s bottom line, provided it was installed, administered and maintained by a professional team who know the product (and environment) inside and out.

Access SAS Viya with the Selerity analytics desktop to speed up and optimise your big data analytics capabilities for improved insights. Get in touch with our support team today for more details.

SAS Hosting Services – The Core Benefits

SAS Hosting Services

Businesses are increasingly looking at cloud-based solutions to support the multitude of operations they perform on any given day. A recent study by Forrester identified that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to facilitate their digital transformation and customer experience/interaction enhancements. While the topic of moving into the cloud warrants its own dedicated post, it’s important to highlight that the main reasons why businesses are stepping into the cloud are speed, convenience, and accessibility. The same is true for businesses that leverage SAS software solutions, which is why SAS Hosting Services, provided directly by SAS or by one of its reputed partners, are becoming increasingly popular.

To understand why SAS Hosting Services are being sought out, we need to look at how leveraging such services empower businesses and organisations with greater synchronisation. As founding members of the SAS Cloud Innovation Council, Selerity comprises a team of thought leaders and initiators of best practices – capable of catering to businesses and organisations from a wide variety of industries and segments.

By leveraging SAS technology and the vast experience of our team, we have successfully provided our clients with powerful and insightful solutions that optimise their SAS in the cloud. In addition to boasting many years of experience in SAS, our team also has tremendous expertise in AWS environments, which facilitates a more streamlined cloud hosting services.

Following SAS’ announcement at the analytics giant’s annual global forum last year (2017) that introduced its latest cloud environment, SAS Viya, organisations across the world have already started leveraging the platform and its many benefits. Here at Selerity, our SAS hosting services cater to, both, customers in need of the latest SAS Viya environment and those who are in need of SAS 9.4 Hosting. This diversity in our service portfolio allows us to cater to a wide array of clients with varying requirements.

What are the core benefits of Selerity’s SAS hosting services?  

The most obvious benefit of our services is diversity in service offerings. We work closely with Amazon Web Services and, together, have successfully deployed SAS Hosting environments in a plethora of reputed organisations like the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Business School. In this particular instance, our team worked closely with the university to architect, provision, and manage their analytics platform – delivering an extremely cost-effective and leading analytics platform capable of being scaled accordingly to meet the requirements of the program. This flexibility and scalability can be replicated and applied to any organisation belonging to any industry.

In addition to the diversity of services, another key benefit of our SAS hosting services is that we leverage the latest cloud-hosting technologies – leveraged by both SAS and our collaboration with AWS – which guarantees our clients the most optimal levels of speed, agility, and savings.

It’s also important to keep in mind that by leveraging SAS’ cloud-hosting environment, organisations would not need to give up any of their existing systems or use them in a silo. Our SAS hosting services allow our clients the option of combining their SAS cloud-hosted environment with any one of their internal systems – allowing them to draw key analytics-based insights from these systems as well. These integrative systems could include either on-premise systems or cloud-based Active Directory and other databases.

What’s the difference between SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya?

If you are new to the world of SAS hosting services, chances are this is a question you have – and it’s an important one to understand.  

SAS 9 and SAS Viya are two very unique platforms that were built for different uses. That being said, both platforms do share some overlapping functionality – for example, both leverage the SAS programming language, with SAS Viya using the next generation of SAS programming along with the new and closely aligned CAS programming language.

In terms of differences, SAS Viya contains new procedures that leverage an open and distributed environment, which results in certain SAS 9 procedures not being accessible within a new SAS Viya environment.

Other notable differences between SAS 9.4 and Viya include the fact that there is no concept of roles or capabilities in SAS Viya, given that access to various functions is managed by rules that target either a service, a service endpoint, a media type, or a pseudo URL. Additionally, instead of relying on metadata-based authorization, SAS Viya manages authorization within the CAS engine and by using host identities.

Yet another big difference is that In SAS Viya, images can be submitted and are a recognizable data type.

Our core SAS hosting services for SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya environments

Having run through a few of the core differences between SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya, the following illustrations comprehensively illustrate the breadth of our SAS hosting services – for both SAS 9.4 hosting and SAS Viya hosting. Adhering to our commitment of catering to organisations of all types and sizes, our SAS hosting services are categorised in terms of Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large environments – depending on a particular organisation’s requirements.

The major difference in our service offering is that the SAS Viya option includes a higher SAS Data Volume amount – starting off at 500 GB and a maximum of 1 TB, as opposed to SAS 9.4, which comprises a minimum data volume of 200 GB and maximum of 600 GB.

The following illustrations showcase a clear breakdown of our SAS hosting services:

SAS 9.4 Hosting
sas hosting services

SAS Viya Hosting:

sas hosting services viya

Get in touch with us if you have questions about our SAS hosting services!

Having operated in the analytics space as a SAS Silver partner for a decade and by leveraging the countless years of shared SAS experience among our team members, we have strengthened our position as a leading SAS hosting services provider both here in Australia and around the world. Through our services, we have helped many of our clients experience significant savings – in certain instances ranging in the millions of dollars.

If you would like to know more about our SAS hosting services – both 9.4 and Viya hosting – our company and our work with SAS, in addition to how you can leverage our other SAS installation and administration services, feel free to reach out to us, or stay tuned to this feed.

The benefits of SAS Viya’s machine learning and AI capabilities


Since its announcement last April at the 2017 SAS Global Forum, SAS Viya has been heralded as the analytics platform’s stepping-stone into the future. As a cloud-enabled platform, with a powerful in-memory analytics engine that enables quick, accurate, and consistent results at all times, Viya is scalable and has the processing power required to address some of today’s most complex analytical challenges. By combining all its existing functionality with machine-learning and artificial intelligence technology, SAS software is not only becoming more efficient, but smart in the process. This scalability and dexterity are precisely what makes users of SAS software optimistic about the platform’s value in the future.

So, how exactly does SAS utilise machine-learning and AI capabilities? What noticeable benefits has this technology fostered? We explore all that and more in the following sections.

Which SAS Viya product has the strongest machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities?

While SAS Viya comprises of at least 12 varying products – from SAS Data Preparation to SAS Visual Text Analytics – SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning is by far one of the platform’s most intelligent and insightful. Given that the solution runs on SAS Viya, it is bolstered by the platform’s ability to manage any analytics challenge. Its relative user-friendliness means that anyone from data scientists to business analysts to developers, and executives can collaborate with another to realize insights and results faster.

SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning comes equipped with an incredibly broad set of modern machine learning, deep learning, and text analytics algorithms that are all accessible within a single environment. This makes the solution ideal for all kinds of business users, given the solution’s diverse analytics capabilities that include clustering, different modes of regression, random forests, gradient boosting models, support vector machines, natural language processing, and topic detection – to name a few. SAS users not only gain access to a platform that is highly functional, but one that is equipped with powerful predictive and decision-making capabilities that were previously limited.

Now, let’s look at how this benefits end-users – we begin with how the platform helps solve complex analytical problems much faster.

  • Complex analytical problems solved much faster

Since the software runs on the latest edition of the SAS Platform – SAS Viya – it has the ability to deliver predictive modeling and machine-learning capabilities at unprecedented speeds via powerful in-memory processing. Given the processing prowess and persistence associated with this in-memory data, the need to load data multiple times during various iterations of analysis is no longer required. This means that multi-user collaboration has been simplified where users across all segments of the business and/or organisation can explore the exact same raw data and build their respective models simultaneously. Through the SAS Viya platform, analytical modeling can be done in a matter of minutes, which enables organisations to find answers to their questions and challenges much quicker and efficiently.

  • Greater simplicity and improved usability

A few years ago, the idea of building complex analytics models to drive data-based decision-making within an organisation was heralded as an extremely difficult task that required significant technical expertise. However, through the evolution of the SAS Platform and the development of SAS Viya, users now have access to a platform that comprises of interactive visual and programming interfaces that significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to set up data, build complex and insightful machine learning models, and, finally, make decisions based on these insights.

Even users who lack coding expertise and knowledge can leverage the platform by generating advanced machine learning algorithms via the platform’s built-in visual drag-and-drop interface without ever having to know or drop a line of code into the system. This is something we like to call complete organisational empowerment.

For users who are more technically-versed, data sources and code snippets can be shared among themselves and across departments to better improve organisational collaboration. Additionally, business users of the platform would not have to exclusively know how to code in SAS – other languages, such as Python, R, Java, and Lua can be used to code as well. The SAS code is automatically generated behind the scenes!

  • Leverage machine learning to make the right decision after exploring multiple options

With machine learning capabilities built in, business users have the benefit of leveraging the platform to evaluate and compare all available options/approaches, prior to making or recommending a decision. Scenario-based decision-making is facilitated via the system’s “automated model tuning”, which lets users identify the best-performing model.

The machine learning programs can integrate both structured and unstructured data, enabling users to derive more insights from new data types by adjusting their models accordingly.

SAS Viya has many benefits, with its machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities being among its best features. If you would like to know more about Viya and its features, in addition to how you can install, administer, and host your organisation’s own SAS environment, feel free to reach out to us, or stay tuned to this feed.

Four examples of who benefits the most from SAS Viya

The biggest benefit of SAS Viya is the value it generates as a multi-functional platform. Here's what you can gain from SAS Viya.

One of the biggest benefits of SAS Viya is its value as a platform that can be used by a plethora of business users – irrespective of how technically savvy they are. Unlike traditional analytics software, SAS has built a reputation, over time, as a platform that contributes to the day-to-day processes and decision-making of all segments across enterprise. Combining a stunning interface, easy-to-learn functionality, and tailored customer services, SAS Viya, the entity’s latest game-changer, has elevated this quality to even greater heights.

It is safe to say that the days when the utilisation of complex analytics software was dominated solely by technical experts are now behind us. Organisations and enterprises no longer have to deal with a lack of interorganisational synchronisation between their various sections (development, analytics, marketing, for example). Today, business users from app developers, to analysts, and C-level executives, all benefit from the leading systems put forward by SAS.

In the sections below, we identify 4 specific organisational business users that have benefited the most from SAS Viya. First up, data scientists.


SAS Vita for data scientists

Perhaps the most traditional users of analytics and analytics-based software, data scientists focus on interpreting data and deducing actionable insights that help inform entire businesses, or segments of those businesses, on the latest trends or problems to follow. However, to get from the point of data collection to interpretation, a significant amount of work needs to be done.

This includes, validating the data to ensure accuracy and uniformity, developing models and algorithms to meaningfully utilise the data, and visualising/communicating the data once interpretation and analysis is complete. The breadth of these tasks demands a software or system that can do all this and more, which is where SAS comes in.

With SAS Viya, data scientists can build models significantly faster, with access to data quality, advanced analytics, and popular machine-learning methods. Through SAS, businesses can incorporate multiple coding languages, based on their preference, and compare models written on either SAS or Python, for example.


Business analysts

Yet another valuable role within modern businesses is that of a business analyst. These individuals play an important part in helping an organisation adapt to the constantly shifting factors of the business world. The primary task of a business analyst is to identify the requirements of an organisation’s specific project, product, or plan, support in implementing technology and initiatives to support them, monitoring the status of an initiative throughout its lifespan, and communicating these factors to the relevant stakeholders of the initiatives. To do this successfully, business analysts depend on significant amounts of data that helps them develop key insights, which are later translated into reports that are then shared with these stakeholders.

SAS Viya contributes in this regard, given that it provides analysts with clear access to easy-to-use analytics via an interactive and visual interface. Business analysts can easily prepare their own data, organise it accordingly by combining both text and structured data, and finally generate stunning reports that can be shared within the organisation.


Domain experts

Most businesses have a wide array of departments within them that perform key operations every single day – these departments include marketing, accounting and finance, sales, for example. Given that businesses are increasingly moving into highly data-driven environments, each of their respective departments are likely experiencing transformations. This means that departments like marketing and sales have become data-dependent in their respective domain. Typically, most marketing and sales personnel would not have the technical expertise to manage the complexities of a sophisticated analytics software, in addition to their many tasks. However, technologies like SAS software are a reason why this trend has shifted in recent years.

Irrespective of what domain a business user belongs to, SAS Viya lets them infuse data-driven insights into their investigations and analyses. The result of this is that users with basic technical expertise can utilise the comprehensive SAS platform to uncover reliable results, on a daily basis, via powerful analytics – easily accessible, without the traditional complexities associated with analytics platforms.


C-level business leaders, managers, and executives

Running a business, big or small, is no small feat and comes with an infinite list of tasks and responsibilities that can make or break a business. Whether you are a CIO overseeing your organisation’s technology goals, or a marketing manager overseeing the overall marketing and advocacy targets of your business, data should be at the core of your decision-making. Leaders from the most successful businesses across the world point to data-driven decision-making as one of their fundamental keys to success. However, with all those responsibilities, its almost impossible for executives to stay on top of the latest data-trends for their business – even with the help of teams of analysts.


By deploying the right SAS environment, via a provider like Selerity, executives are able to stay locked in on the pulse of their business via the insights that SAS Viya’s dashboards and command centre metrics illustrate. This gives them the visibility they need in a matter of minutes.

If you would like more information on SAS Viya and SAS services in general, please reach out to us here. In the meantime, stay tuned to this feed for more from the world of SAS.

4 capabilities of SAS Viya – SAS’ latest analytics engine

SAS Viya is a cloud-enabled, in-memory analytics engine that delivers everything you need quicly and accurately - learn more about it here.

It goes without saying that the biggest highlight from last year’s SAS Global Forum was the announcement of the game-changing SAS Viya. All across the board, the latest version of SAS was welcomed as a platform built with the promise of innovative capabilities to help businesses address their most formidable analytics challenges.

This latest addition to the already impressive SAS Platform has the capacity to help anyone, from data scientists and business analysts to application developers and domain experts. The platform is bolstered by the system’s ability to deliver reliable, scalable and secure analytics inventory management, and the comprehensive analytics governance required in the modern and technology-driven business world.

In our latest blog, we highlight 4 of the core capabilities that SAS Viya successfully delivers to its users. Let’s begin with how the platform is based on fast and distributed in-memory processing.


SAS Viya facilitates faster and more distributed in-memory processing

SAS Viya comes packed with powerful processing capacity, crafted to handle multiple users and complex analytical workloads at any given time. All computing operations are distributed efficiently across the cores of a single server or via the nodes of a massive computer cluster, which means that in the instance a node does fail, operations are protected by fault-tolerant processing that makes sure the incredible speeds of the system are retained.

This processing power of the platform means that users can hold all types of data and objects in-memory for as long as they need to. Each user benefits from the availability of independent sessions that ensure optimized processing for each individual. SAS Viya’s powerful engine provides users with a secure and scalable multiuser environment, allowing them to collaborate simultaneously while exploring the exact same data at the exact same time.


A coding environment that supports open analytics

No matter what coding language an organisation’s data scientists and statisticians are familiar with, be it SAS, Python, Java, R, or Lua, SAS Viya gives them access to the incredible power of the platform’s data manipulation. Analytical professionals would benefit from the vast breadth of analytics capabilities, interactive data interrogations, and advanced analytics.

SAS Viya also provides a public representational state transfer (REST) API to all underlying functionality, which means that an organisation’s software developers can incorporate proven SAS Analytics into a wide variety of applications.

Additionally, all code written into SAS’ distributed environment is portable, which means that once it is defined, it can be run anywhere and scaled up to solve a problem for any data size. SAS Viya also comes with absolutely no infrastructure lock-in, indicating that all code built on SAS Viya can run on stream, in-database, in-memory, and in public or private clouds.


A cohesive environment that includes all aspects of analytics

SAS Viya’s platform is one that delivers a cohesive environment that integrates all aspects of analytics, which includes administration, development, and the execution of all analytical assets. All this can be achieved via a single and centralised environment.

As a result of this cohesive and centralised environment, SAS Viya provides organisations and its users the ability to comprehensively govern their analytics operations via features such as full versioning, authorship, lineage and change management. Additionally, the platform facilitates greater visibility into other areas that includes activity tracking of servers, job content, and users – making sure that all organisational data is secure and in accordance with existing policies.


A platform that is scalable and cloud-enabled

Scalability is worth its weight in gold and this is especially true in the world of analytics and data management. Fortunately, for SAS Viya users, the platform is one that is both cloud-enabled and extremely elastic, which means that users would benefit significantly from the platform’s adaptiveness.

For organisations that run complex analytical and in-memory calculations, these calculations are optimized to perform in unconstrained environments and are, similarly, automatically adjusted in constrained environments. Adaptability is heightened through SAS Viya given that it allows analytics processes to adapt to “burst processing” by efficiently utilising the resources available. Computing capacity is, therefore, adjusted and scaled in accordance with what is required, guaranteeing overall efficiency. This elasticity lets users experiment with a wide variety of different scenarios and consequently allows them to apply more complex and sophisticated approaches to increasing the quantity and speed of data coming in.

SAS Viya comes with an impressive portfolio of products that includes SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Visual Statistics, SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, SAS Visual Forecasting, SAS Optimization, SAS Econometrics, and SAS Visual Investigator. If you would like more information on SAS Viya and SAS services in general, please reach out to us here. In the meantime, stay tuned to this feed for more from the world of SAS.