LAS VEGAS: SAS has unveiled a High-Performance Analytics (HPA) tool designed to allow companies to interrogate large volumes of data in near real time.
The software has been developed to run on appliances from Teradata and EMC Greenplum, so that customers using these systems can base decisions on the analysis of the complete data sets they hold, rather than on segments or samples.
SAS chief technology officer Keith Collins told V3.co.uk at the firm's Global Forum event that the HPA tool will help businesses manage and take advantage of the growing amount of digital data, and that SAS will add more platforms on which the product can run.
"The digitisation of data that's exploding demands organisations organise their data in a way that enables them to use it. You need to federate your data in order to achieve good governance," he said.
"At the moment the tool is designed to run on certain systems from Greenplum and Teradata, such as Greenplum's Data Computing Appliance, but over time it will mature in to a more prepacked offering."
Collins said that the tool allows businesses to reduce the time it takes to analyse billions of rows of data from hours to seconds, and therefore reduces the effort to prepare data for analysis.
This enables companies to run predictions on entire data sets, rather than just models and subsets, to give them the most accurate predictions possible, he added.
Collins explained that the tool offers distinctive advantages over those based on Hadoop's MapReduce platform, but that SAS will move it to Hadoop possibly in the next couple of months.
"There's a lot of hype over Hadoop but its MapReduce tool, while powerful for producing summaries and aggregations, is not quite sufficient for the types of analytics we're talking about on HPA unless you do a lot of hand coding," he said.
SAS chief executive Jim Goodnight said during a keynote speech that the HPA tool is a game changer in the analytics space for several key industries such as financial risk management and retail.
"With HPA you can do things thousands of times faster than you could before, so business analysts can ask questions of their data they had never even thought of before due to the time it would take," he said.
The product will be generally available from the fourth quarter of 2011, but on limited availability from the third quarter.
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