SAS High-Performance Analytics: Big data answers in minutes, not hours

Tech June 15, 2012 00:00

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The world's most powerful analytic software from SAS will free enterprises from limitations of traditional computing and draw instant benefits from big data.


SAS High-Performance Analytics, available from the leader in analytics, handles terabytes of data in near-real time on a designated Teradata or EMC Greenplum database appliance. One terabyte contains 2,000 hours of CD-quality music; ten could store the entire US Library of Congress print collection. 
Melding market-leading SAS Analytics with innovative in-memory processing, SAS High-Performance Analytics completes in minutes analytic tasks that took hours or days using traditional computing techniques. 
SAS High-Performance Analytics joins the family of SAS High-Performance Computing offerings, all providing near-real-time answers. The SAS High-Performance Computing portfolio spans in-database analytics, grid computing and in-memory analytics. 
Using SAS High-Performance Markdown Optimization, a major US retailer is delivering store-specific pricing involving more than 270 million store-specific prices every week. What once took more than 30 hours to compute takes two with SAS.
Fast decisions
"Today's rapid pace of business requires operational analytics that deliver answers before a question becomes obsolete; the sooner you act on a decision, the greater its potential value," said Dan Vesset, Program Vice President of IDC's Business Analytics research. "SAS High-Performance Analytics can turn any data, including big data, assets into quicker, better business decisions and ultimately competitive advantage." 
That speed also increases analytic precision by enabling analysis of all data, not just samples. While sampling remains useful for some analytical operations, SAS High-Performance Analytics offers a choice of the appropriate method.
Say a large insurer wants to increase fraud detection to cut costs through frequent analysis of its entire claims database. A mere sample of claims data is unlikely to show anomalies indicating potential fraud. Traditional computing could take days to analyze all the data; meanwhile, fraudulent claims are processed and paid. Using new analytic appliances powered by SAS, analysis could run in minutes, supporting constant vigilance.
Or an organization sifting through large data sets might be using a suboptimal analytical method. With the increased power of SAS High-Performance Analytics, analysts can choose the optimal method, regardless of complexity. Choosing the best analytic method provides the most precise results.
SAS Analytics: The gold standard
"SAS High-Performance Analytics boosts customer insight, speeds fraud detection, optimizes risk management and improves analytic applications," said Keith Collins, SAS Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. "Enterprises choose SAS Analytics more than any other – now, with this blistering speed, it's a real game-changer. The amount of data no longer dictates the possible." 
The IDC Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2010 Vendor Shares1 report shows SAS leading the advanced analytic market with a 35 percent share, more than double the closest competitor.
Platforms for high performance
SAS High-Performance Analytics harnesses the speed of supported EMC Greenplum and Teradata systems.
"Leading companies understand that the ability to operationalize analytics is a requirement for improving business decisions and delivering world-class performance," said Scott Gnau, President of Teradata Labs. “Leveraging our parallel processing and extreme data management capabilities, SAS and Teradata have deployed a portfolio of solutions to the market, delivering quicker insight and unmatched business value.  Now we're adding SAS High-Performance Analytics on Teradata to further increase analysts' productivity and capabilities."
Scott Yara, Senior Vice President of Products at Greenplum, a division of EMC, said, "EMC has moved quickly to deliver the analytics platform of the future so that our customers can come out ahead in the big data era. SAS High-Performance Analytics is the culmination of a significant amount of joint R&D between SAS and EMC that is already resulting in impressive business benefits for customers, thanks in part to our unmatched performance and deep expertise in massively parallel processing. 
"SAS High-Performance Analytics extends EMC's big data offerings for customers in a way that will allow analysts to get results orders of magnitude faster than ever before using any other technology and that we believe will produce substantial impact in the market," Yara said. 
SAS High-Performance Risk
SAS High-Performance Risk, also generally available in mid-December, uses SAS High-Performance Computing techniques on industry-standard server grids to deliver faster risk calculations. 
Global market volatility and economic uncertainty require financial services firms be quick and agile. SAS High-Performance Risk helps rapidly answer complex questions in areas including market risk, counterparty exposure, liquidity risk management, credit risk, stress testing and scenario analysis.
In SAS tests with an Asia Pacific-based bank, a complex capital markets portfolio of 100,000 instruments was valued across multiple time horizons with more than 100,000 scenarios in less than 30 minutes, calculating on-demand, intra-day portfolio risk.  
Full balance sheet risk analysis for assessing liquidity is another area in which speed of calculation is essential to support timely decision making. At another Asian bank, SAS computed a range of liquidity risk measures for a portfolio of 30 million complex cash flow instruments, across 50,000 different scenarios, in less than eight hours. This enables full revaluation of liquidity risk nightly, ensuring informed funding decisions in times of market volatility.