SAS Data Management Review

Very powerful, offers a variety of outputs and has good technical support

What is our primary use case?

We have customers that are typically in the finance sector and include banking and insurance companies. They require us to align or integrate their existing data warehouse into all the processes that feed into the data warehouse. We clean the data and create reports for the clients. Typically, they are visual in nature and may include Excel or PowerPoint. The solution allows for a great variety of output in the reports we provide to our clients. 

What is most valuable?

The language is the most valuable feature within the solution. It's very flexible and very powerful. 

If you compare it to SQL, the memory and development times are very quick.

Trying to develop the code is very easy.

What needs improvement?

SAS Institute build its solutions starting from the basic modules of the platform. So each solution consists of these basic modules plus some dedicated parts that are usually quite small. To adapt to the market which is rapidly evolving, SAS often changes these packages or solutions. These changes can involve both the functionality and the interfaces and the names of the applications. This sometimes creates confusion among users, both end users and consultants.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this SAS solution for more than 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Excellent stability for the language and many basic component (libraries). For the newer components they need time (as usual for all software vendor).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SAS is strong scalable, I have used on very little server that during the time have grown to huge. I can say that with SAS this is not a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

SAS offers different levels of support. All are quite good quality. If you have a problem, they're right there to assist. We find them very useful and have been satisfied with the level of service we've received.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've worked with Oracle in the past as well as Python and other solutions. I find SAS the most productive and reliable.

How was the initial setup?

Whether the setup is straightforward or complex often depends on the model used. Some models are very easy to implement. Others are much more complex. We have team members who specialize in installation for our clients and we choose the model that will best fit with their needs.

In terms of deployment, once again, the length of time and complexity depends on the project. Some customers need an installation done on 100 servers. However, typically, within two to five days we'll have the platform up and fully functioning. It only really takes one person to handle the deployment.

What about the implementation team?

We handle the implementation for our clients.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is quite expensive. It's not cheap but it's very powerful. Therefore, most businesses can't afford to use this particular product. But, good news, SAS in putting on the market solutions at a more affordable price.

What other advice do I have?

We're a gold partner with SAS and we typically use the latest versions of the solutions we have with them.

Most of our clients are enterprise-level organizations. Smaller companies may find using SAS difficult because the pricing is quite high.

The best advice I can give to other organizations contemplating installation is to find someone who knows the solution very well. SAS as a platform is very, very powerful but it is very complex as well. It's complicated to use properly. It's also difficult to learn the systems. If a company finds someone who understands the solution well, however, they can get a lot out of its offerings. 

No project is simple. All projects have some level of complexity in their data, so having data integration or management isn't enough. It's necessary to use code. Visual instruments are not enough. That's why SAS is great.

I'd rate the solution ten out of ten. I've worked with many other solutions in the past, but I find that, for the warehouse and BI environment, SAS is very quick, very intuitive, very, very powerful, and very valuable. I've used a huge amount of data on servers that were not good enough. Also, when you're looking at other technologies, like Python, they can be much more difficult and take more time to develop. This product, however, can work miracles. 

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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