SAS officials said 2013 marked the 38th consecutive year the company has increased revenue, marching to a record of $3.02 billion for the year. SAS is consistently at the top of analyst rankings–such as IDC and Forrester–of analytics software providers, competing with the likes of IBM and others.
Last year, SAS’ business intelligence revenue spiked on the popularity of SAS Visual Analytics, the company’s new data visualization software that brings business threats and opportunities into sharp focus. Revenue growth was double-digit for cloud solutions that fight fraud and financial crimes, manage risk, improve customer relationships and help develop safe, effective new drugs. SAS solutions crunch big data to reveal insights to businesses.
“The ability to inform intelligent actions via analytics is not a new idea,” said Henry Morris, IDC’s senior vice president of worldwide software and services research, in a statement. “Forward-thinking organizations have recognized this, and SAS, with its analytic applications and predictive technologies, has been a key enabler. With 25 percent of 2013 revenue reinvested in research and development and leaders with a track record of anticipating what’s next, SAS is equipped to help organizations across geographies scour big data for fresh perspectives.”
Organizations looking to stop fraud fueled a 44 percent jump in sales of fraud prevention and security intelligence solutions, SAS officials said. Revenue from cloud-based offerings, SAS solutions on demand, jumped 20 percent as pharmaceutical companies prepared for new regulations, businesses sought to understand customer preferences and state and local governments worked to stamp out fraud. Revenue from all industries grew, including an 18 percent increase in the energy and utilities sector, 17 percent in health care and 16 percent in capital markets, the company said.
“Data is an asset of growing importance to organizations,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, in a statement. “The amount of data pouring in is so vast, it’s impossible to analyze quickly enough to make a difference in day-to-day decisions without a high-performance analytics infrastructure. Over the last two years we’ve delivered ground-breaking analytics technology that unlocks the value in all this data.”
For this year, SAS anticipates continued growth from its data management, data visualization, industry-specific solutions and SAS Solutions On Demand offerings. The SAS data management offerings are useful for organizations that are struggling to prepare huge amounts of data for analysis. SAS works closely with partners and customers to help data scientists, business analysts and executives transform big data into knowledge and bottom-line results using technology such as Hadoop.
SAS 2013 Revenue Tops $3B on Analytics, BI Growth
Meanwhile, SAS data visualization solutions enable users to explore data by simply pointing and clicking. SAS Visual Analytics is licensed by more than 1,400 sites worldwide and it will gain new functionality in the months ahead, the company said.
SAS’ industry-specific solutions target banks, insurers, retailers, government agencies, manufacturers, energy companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications companies, hotels, and more. In 2014, SAS will roll out new solutions to address business needs, from forecasting power demand, optimizing retail channels and managing risk to detecting and preventing fraud, retaining customers, and addressing customer omnichannels and digital marketing needs.
In its on-demand offerings, SAS offers 25 products in a cloud-based delivery model. These include solutions for drug development, education, anti-money laundering, fraud detection, marketing optimization, customer intelligence, social media analytics and more.
Jim Davis, a SAS senior vice president, said that while not every business has big data, opportunities to grow business can hinge on how well it explores huge, publicly available data.
“Data is everywhere,” Davis said. “It’s coming from sources like financial systems, sensors, Web traffic, wearable devices, social media platforms and open government databases. Low-cost storage and in-memory computing have converged to help organizations make proactive choices on many things, from marketing to product design. Organizations that are first to incorporate some of these open data sources into an existing analytical framework will have an edge over their competitors.”
The need to solve complex business problems through analytics is intensifying demand for software and services, SAS officials said. It has also created a vacuum of talent. A McKinsey Global Institute study projects there will be up to 190,000 unfilled analytics positions in the US by 2018 and a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts skilled in big data. Moreover, Research by Accenture projected that six major industries in seven countries would add 117,600 analytics jobs by 2015. Only China is expected to have a talent surplus. The biggest shortfalls are anticipated in the U.S., Brazil and the UK.
SAS is focused on education to equip the data-driven workforce. In the U.S. alone, SAS supports 15 masters’ degrees and more than 50 certificate programs in analytics and related fields. New SAS education initiatives in 2014 will augment those programs to multiply talent.
“We’re committed to building the next generation of data-savvy professionals,” Goodnight said. “Anyone who wants a good-paying, recession-proof skill set should consider a career in analytics.”