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How to succeed in the analytics economy: SAS CEO Dr Jim Goodnight

How to succeed in the analytics economy: SAS CEO Dr Jim Goodnight

“Use analytics to make sure you are the disruptors and not the disrupted,” is his key message at the 2017 Analytics Experience.

We saw that data-driven decision-making would one day be the only kind that mattered

Dr Jim Goodnight, SAS

“Use analytics to make sure you are the disruptors and not the disrupted.”

“Just as the rise of the internet changed our world and impacting almost every aspect of society, analytics is poised to do the same,” says SAS CEO Dr Jim Goodnight.

In his keynote at the 2017 Analytics Experience in Amsterdam, Goodnight cites the impact of the rise of the “analytics economy” across industries.

“Now that analytics is ambient, we see the emergence of an analytics economy.”

We see trends converge, like connectivity automation and artificial intelligence.

“It is fed by a seemingly endless supply of data and it is nurtured by the new democracy in analytics,” he says.

The real-time value of analytics resides on the millions of micro moments that are “opportunities for making decisions and new junctures for the organisation to either move ahead or fall behind.”

“This analytics economy will bring in a new era of change some of them incremental, some of them truly disruptive,” he says.

In the case of SAS, which he co-founded more than 40 years ago, “We had always had complete belief in the power of analytics and that it will eventually permeate all areas of society.”

“We saw that data-driven decision-making would one day be the only kind that mattered and we prepared, piece by piece, we built a modern platform...We laid the foundation for a better approach to analytics, and we laid the entire path from data to decisions, and we threw everything we had at it and into perfecting that path.”

Goodnight says a key part of that path is SAS Viya which extends the SAS platform with new capabilities like deep learning and further integration of image recognition.

SAS Viya is a cloud-enabled, in-memory analytics engine that provides a standardised code base that supports  programming in SAS and other languages, like Python, R, Java and Lua.

The company says enhancements to the Viya platform will help deliver new capabilities for analytics-driven organisations.

“These newest advances will further address the needs of organisations that are putting analytics at the core of their business,” says SAS.

“Data scientists, analysts, developers, IT, domain experts and executives can all generate data-driven insights – from the same, consistent data, fostering greater collaboration and driving innovations into production faster.”

SAS says new features to be included for the remainder of the year include:

  • Embedded AI capabilities in the SAS Platform, starting with SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning and SAS Visual Text Analytics. Building on a long history of machine learning, these SAS products provide deep learning and natural language understanding to enhance the depth of insights derived from data
  • Single interactive interface that spans a wide range of analytics tasks and disciplines to help non-coders solve complex problems faster.
  • SAS Data Preparation for self-service, visual data wrangling, transforming, blending and cleansing data, with application-generated code fit for IT scheduling environments.
  • SAS Visual Text Analytics, a modern, flexible and end-to-end text analytics framework that combines text mining, contextual extraction, categorisation, sentiment analysis and search. It automates feature extraction and business-rule generation using modern machine learning approaches.
  • SAS Visual Analytics for self-service discovery and analytics adds new ways to visualise data relationships, taps into the power of location analytics, and brings a refined user experience.
  • Cloud deployment through the SAS Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and others, including SaasNow.


A panel on navigating change in the analytics economy:SAS CEO Dr Jim Goodnight; Giels Brouwer, founder/CEO, SciSports; and SAS chief technology officer Oliver Schabenberger
A panel on navigating change in the analytics economy:SAS CEO Dr Jim Goodnight; Giels Brouwer, founder/CEO, SciSports; and SAS chief technology officer Oliver Schabenberger
Pieter Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, a member of the Dutch Royal Family and vice chairman of the board of the Dutch Red Cross, talks about how smart use of (big) data will positively impact faster humanitarian aid.
Pieter Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, a member of the Dutch Royal Family and vice chairman of the board of the Dutch Red Cross, talks about how smart use of (big) data will positively impact faster humanitarian aid.
Leonard Doyle, head of media and communications for the UN Migration Agency: 'How can data save lives?'
Leonard Doyle, head of media and communications for the UN Migration Agency: 'How can data save lives?'
Ajay Agrawal, AI economist and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, says many people today are comparing AI to the internet in 1995.
Ajay Agrawal, AI economist and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, says many people today are comparing AI to the internet in 1995.
At the plenary session of the 2017 Analytics Experience in Amsterdam.
At the plenary session of the 2017 Analytics Experience in Amsterdam.


Divina Paredes attended the 2017 Analytics Experience conference in Amsterdam as a guest of SAS.

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