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Sunday, 15 May 2022 20:52

SAS announces continued growth, data science for children, and ad-serving smarts


SAS has concluded its major annual global forum event for another year, bringing with it a range of announcements including the return on investment acceleration for customers using SAS’ cloud-first portfolio, the SAS 360 Match first-party ad-serving platform for video-on-demand providers, and the batting lab showing kids the value of data and analytics.

While SAS continues to offer customers choices in where and how they consume SAS products, the public cloud continues to dominate. SAS notes McKinsey and Company’s research indicates that 70% of companies using cloud technology plan to increase cloud spending. The public cloud market is projected to grow to over a trillion dollars by 2024.

As well as the obvious rapid ability to go live on a cloud-based SAS implementation, SAS says its cloud offering - SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure - sees companies get a return on investment within 14 months, and in one case, a company received a value tripled that of its investment within three years according to Forrester Consulting’s Total Economic Impact study. SAS itself has seen its revenue increase by 19% in the last year.

It didn't come to this point overnight, or even over the last year. SAS saw the cloud as the future some years prior and developed SAS Viya as a cloud-first and cloud-agnostic analytics platform from inception while partnering with companies like Microsoft Azure and Cosmo Tech.

Meanwhile, SAS also announced its SAS 360 Match first-party ad-serving platform, effectively announcing to video-on-demand companies that real-time customer engagement is possible and capable, including intelligent, relevant advertising through marketing and conversion. It is SAS building a TV platform of the future, using SAS analytics to provide alternatives to subscriber video-on-demand.

SAS 360 is aimed at streaming video providers who recognise the consumer fatigue in managing subscriptions as streaming video providers increasingly emerge and fragment content. Thus, advertising offers new possibilities where streaming video providers can either offer content free - with advertising - or at a lower subscription rate, supplemented by the advertising. This not only means the typical big guns can offer new options, but it also means new entrants can arise with a sustainable model from the start.

SAS 360 Match is fully auto-scaling, adjusting in real-time to audience fluctuations, and has no advertising-dependent business models. It provides a neutral position in the market and can help maximise the revenue potential for broadcasters.

Currently, SAS 360 Match is in use by five out of the top 10 Czech Republic publishers allowing publishers to be truly in control of their inventory.

In addition, SAS announced its Batting Lab - a program to boost data literacy and prepare kids for a data-driven future. Plus, it also improves their baseball and softball hitting.

The Batting Lab uses AI, computer vision, and IoT analytics to help children improve baseball and softball swings as well as their confidence in using data and analytics - the foundation of data literacy.

The Batting Lab helps children make sense of over 50,000 data points collected per swing via a tech-laden cage packed with sensors and cameras. A session of 50 swings means over 2.5million data points are analysed.

The batters see how to optimise their weight distribution, hand position, core movements, and other factors. It brings together data from thousands of swings from elite players to build a model of the optimal swing and can show young hitters how they can improve from how they currently perform - while also revealing the vast capability of data science and implicitly teaching youth how to make better-informed decisions.

iTWire asked SAS if they might consider a cricket version for Australia, to which the company said it is already looking into options like this.

Of course, not everybody can experience the Batting Lab's batting cage, but everyone can benefit from the project. The lab offers an at-home Data Playbook, an online version of the program, where children and parents can use worksheets to track progress and receive guidance. This will also aid children in improving their batting skills and gaining confidence in data and analytics applications. This playbook will be available on June 6.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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