MUFI Rating & Risk – SAS BI

MUFI Rating & Risk – SAS BI

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: SAS (Select For Vendor Profile)


SAS is one of the largest BI software vendors in the world. The hold over a third of the market for advanced analytics and SAS has its programming language for statistical analysis. However, as usual, SAS has kept a low profile, so it is easy to forget how established they are in the markets they serve. SAS did not enter the BI space until 2004, with its previous experience being forecasting and statistical applications.

Application Detail

SAS is a BI Heavy application and thus requires quite a bit of skill and investment to master. SAS is the most established software vendors in statistical analysis. Therefore, for sophisticated statistical analysis, it is difficult to compete with them. IBM attempted to do so when IBM purchased SPSS, which is a statistical program, but SPSS was always a much smaller software vendor versus SAS and SAS is still the clear leader in this BI subcategory. Of course, SPSS was not internally developed, so SAS’s roadmap with regards to its statistical tools already very strong, is predicted by us to continue to improve. SAS makes a serious solution, and unlike other major vendors develops most of its software internally, and however, SAS scores poorly in buyer satisfaction because of its inherent complexity.

SAS Demo

SAS’s BI product is one of the better from a large software vendor. Its front end is better than all the other large BI software vendors.


SAS’s has some leading analytical products such as SAS Time Series. This screen shot is a demo created by SAS that shows the change in the number of Olympic medals won over the years. This demo, which is available on YouTube, not only shows off SAS software but also highlights the fact that SAS tends to deliver excellent value-added information to its clients. This is true of their consulting as well. The demo in the video is a sophisticated explanation of how to structure time series data. One can easily observe that while some software vendors focus much of their attention on pushing various trends in BI – SAS has a more serious approach to the topic.

Our recommendation regarding SAS is very similar to MicroStrategy because they are similar BI vendors in that they both offer leading technologies and much better overall values that most of the other large BI software vendors. SAS also has strong technology, although they don’t aggressively market it the same way other large vendors do – which we consider to be positive.

As with MicroStrategy, too many buyers have ended up with SAS solutions that are too much for them to handle, where the buyer would have been better off choosing a more straightforward to implement and maintain solution. Therefore, before deciding which vendors to place in a software selection, it makes sense to evaluate not only the business requirements, but one’s own long-term BI budget, and one’s tolerance for solution complexity. SAS BI is a very good fit for buyers that are willing to put the necessary resources into their BI solution.

SAS has a long-term partnership, which a real partnership with Teradata, the top software vendor for data warehousing. Buyers that use both vendors together report that unlike some software vendor partnerships, SAS and Teradata tend to work well together, and there is a strong overlap between the strengths of the BI platforms/applications. We are a big supporter of not committing entirely to one vendor, but on using vendors by their strengths. See our blended Solution Architecture – Combining Two Competing Applications service for customized advice on creating solution architectures from what are often considered competing software vendors.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

SAS BI is a serious platform brought by a well-respected software vendor in SAS. Most the implementation resourcing and expectation issues are positive due to how SAS tends to do business. The main risk associated with a SAS BI implementation is the complexity of the platform.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

SAS BI implementations require particular attention to the staffing, as outlined in our SAS BI Project Planning Package.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the BI Heavy software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for SAS BI.

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