AI : SAS opens up its data to new entrants with Microsoft

SAS, the AI leader, is holding its annual international conference, SAS Explore that runs until September 29. It is the opportunity to announce that Viya, its data management platform, is now available on Microsoft Azure. A democratized offer that hopes to harness the potential of African startups.

By M.A. 

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The news stirred all the first debates of the SAS International Virtual Conference (September 28 and 29). A major announcement for this historical artificial intelligence player. Viya is opening up to new entrants through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. It offers a suite of services and tools designed specifically to make analytics easier to access for all businesses. “We’ve spent decades on the suite, with the most comprehensive analytics on the market, with next-generation artificial intelligence. We’ve continually designed and tested our software to be trustworthy. And now, we’re making it all available with just a few clicks,” SAS summed up in a statement at the virtual conference launch.

“An Africa filled with citizens skilled in data science, artificial intelligence, (…) can lead the rest of the world through any digital disruption”

With their innovative startups, African tech entrepreneurs, regardless of the size of their business, are a prime target. “An Africa filled with citizens skilled in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud engineering is an Africa that can lead the rest of the world through any digital disruption. We can collectively lead the fourth industrial revolution and sustainably grow industries and economies into the future,” says the international company.

The promise of new markets on the continent, thanks to its demographics, is an asset for SAS. “Future growth in Africa can be seen in terms of new industries that we could focus on, where traditionally we focus on the financial services sector.” But only if we invest “in young people through access to and support of the right education, training and tools. We need to prepare them for the data-driven digital age where they can harness their talents and skills.”

SAS Viya is accessible in multiple languages and offers tutorials

The global player operates in 148 countries and specializes in the AI-based analytics of solutions. Its subsidiary CEMEA is headquartered in Casablanca and its network counts 92 companies ranked among the top 100 in the world.

But this announcement of opening up via the Microsoft cloud, should considerably expand its customer base.

Concretely, this new offer has its own tools for optimal data management but also its visualization, with the transformation of data into graphs and other schematic views. This is very useful for reaching out to the greatest number of people. To make it easier to learn, SAS Viya is available in many languages and offers tutorials.

This kind of democratization of data opens new scopes of possibilities for data scientists, business analysts, but also simple investigators and entrepreneurs. All these users will now have access to the entire Viya Suite, i.e. SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Visual Statistics, SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, and SAS Model Manager. All of this is available on an hourly basis.

Beyond business issues relating to data security and human resource management, this opening should allow young entrepreneurs to significantly boost their business proposals with multiple data sources.

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