If you were to draw up a blueprint for the perfect chief executive you'd want them to oversee continous year-on-year growth, govern for the long term without incident, create a working culture that inspires all employees, and to have founded the company too.
SAS chief executive Jim Goodnight ticks all of these boxes, having created the company in 1976 based on products he developed. He has since achieved revenue and profit improvements for a straight 36 years.
Goodnight has managed to do all this while creating a working environment that's second to none in the business world. The company was placed first in Fortune magazine's top places to work in the US two years in a row.
V3.co.uk spoke with Goodnight at the firm's annual Global Forum event in Las Vegas and he said that, in all the years that he's been in charge of SAS, the use and understanding of data analytics has never been higher.
"There have been at least two dozen businesses books that have talked about analytics in the best sellers charts in the last few years, and they all talk about the idea that the businesses that are getting ahead are the ones that are using analytics," he said.
"[Businesses] have to deal with data head on or else it's going to overwhelm them and they'll just end up dumping it rather than using it, but more chief executives are getting savvy with the use of data," he said.
This goes for the public sector as well as the private, Goodnight explained, noting that over time he's spoken with numerous state governors who are starting to understand the importance of data analytics to help uncover fraud and improve law enforcement.
Underlining this was work was an award given to the North Carolina Office of State Controller for its work with SAS to create the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Services database.
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