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Analysts: SAS expanding market share in business intelligence

SAS leads advanced analytics market for tenth consecutive year

In the midst of a changing landscape for business intelligence (BI) software , SAS today cited an influential analyst firm’s report that shows SAS is the only vendor in the top three to boost its share of the worldwide BI market. The report also ranks SAS as the leading provider of advanced analytics , an honour held by the company for the tenth year in a row.

According to IDC’s “Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2006 Vendor Shares” report, SAS’ revenue from BI tools rose to US$678.9 million, an increase of 16.6 percent over the previous year’s sales figures. SAS’ growth outpaced the overall market for BI tools, which increased 11.5 percent to $6.25 billion.

Despite consolidation and increased competition for BI software, SAS was the only vendor of the top three in the IDC report to increase its market share in BI tools, growing from 10.4 percent in 2005 to 10.9 percent in 2006.

“SAS’ strength has always been in its advanced analytics, which is evidenced by the company’s consistent leadership of this BI tools market segment,” said Dan Vesset, Vice President IDC. “However, SAS’ effort to revamp and more aggressively market its query and reporting tools has paid off, creating synergies among its product lines that are enabling SAS to provide a broad portfolio of business analytic solutions.”

For the tenth straight year, IDC ranked SAS as the leading provider of advanced analytics tools, with SAS’ 2006 revenues in this category increasing 12.0 percent to $381.7 million. The report shows SAS holding a 30.7 percent share of the advanced analytics market, more than twice that of the nearest competitor. In fact, SAS’ market share in this segment is greater than the combined market share of the 13 other advanced analytics vendors named in this report.

“The business intelligence market is both expanding and contracting at the same time,” said Jim Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SAS. “Vendors in other technology markets have recently entered the BI space, while existing BI vendors have been scooped up in a flurry of acquisitions that shows no signs of stopping. SAS’ unabated growth demonstrates that enterprises are demanding a proven, stable partner that focuses on customer needs instead of the demands of Wall Street.”

Pitney Bowes, a leading provider of mailstream technology, turned to SAS when it needed to remove the bottleneck in gathering financial data and deciding whether to accept a new customer for a particular product. To save both time and money, executives wanted to eliminate the need to run credit checks on customers and find time to analyse portfolios for cross-sell opportunities. Using SAS, Pitney Bowes can now pull data from disparate systems and create summaries to produce consistent, accurate figures everyone agrees on. And the staff can now build automated models to accurately estimate creditworthiness.

“Before we implemented SAS, three staff members spent three weeks each month on the financial reporting package. With SAS, it takes those same staff members only four days,” said Mahinda Yapa, Director of Credit and Portfolio Management, Global Financial Services at Pitney Bowes. “SAS’ biggest strength is that even non-statisticians can use one software package to quickly produce simple reports that can use very sophisticated analysis and forecasting models behind the scenes. Using SAS, we have built a creditworthiness model that has eliminated the need to buy $200,000 worth of credit reports.”

SAS is a stable, well-established BI provider, leading the market in innovation with new solutions like SAS® Visual BI software . Introduced earlier this year, SAS Visual BI far exceeds other BI visualisation solutions through a wide range of capabilities organically developed and fully integrated into the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform . Instead of static charts and spreadsheets, organisations using this powerful new SAS software can create interactive “data movies” by manipulating an easy-to-use, motion-enabled, graphical environment. Moving from the static to the interactive helps companies explore ideas, investigate patterns and discover previously hidden facts through visual queries.

SAS is rapidly expanding its ability to deliver its BI solutions to a broad spectrum of customers. In 2006, the company introduced a channel partner business unit for value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators and independent software vendors. Expanded this year to serve customers around the world, this initiative now delivers SAS BI software efficiently and cost-effectively to small- to medium-sized and midmarket businesses.