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Mark Wilkinson

SAS identifies 2014 as key inflection point for the information economy

SAS UK & Ireland’s strategy for 2014 is to help the public and private sectors realise tangible benefits from big data with increased analytics capabilities and data science skills development. 2014 will see SAS establish four pillars that will offer the big data analytics vital for the UK information economy.

Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

SAS UK&I’s four pillars are: analytics platform adoption; customer intelligence aggregation; risk, compliance & fraud management; and an industry-specific solutions approach. These pillars will represent the support required to develop the opportunity for revenue growth across businesses and the urgent need for deeper insight in the public sector.

Mark Wilkinson, SAS UK&I managing director, points out: “Big data is developed each day through consumers’ wide support for technology. Whether consumers are communicating on a phone, tablet or personal computer, it is developing a rich raw material. A raw material that analysts are calling ‘the new oil’. This means big data analytics is the engine for the new economy.

“SAS globally recognises the revenue potential not only for organisations but also for national economies. Last year, we reinvested 25 per cent of our revenue in research and development. The result is cross-functional, industry-specific analytics applications and fast in-memory computing innovation. This puts us in a strong position to deliver returns for British and Irish companies wanting to harness the opportunity.

“In UK and Ireland, we are also actively engaged in meeting the demand for 69,000 big data specialists required in the next three years, highlighted in a recent combined SAS and e- skills UK report. Each year we invest more than £6-million in education supporting 80 universities and schools – from developing maths and science preference in GCSE and A-level students to supporting over 50 post graduate courses.”

Wilkinson continues to say: “The latest results global and regional results are testament to UK and Ireland organisations realising the big data potential. SAS UK&I revenues grew nine per cent in 2013 in the widely recognised tough economic conditions. SAS globally has seen 38 years of growth with global revenue topping   $3-billion last year.”

The SAS UK&I’s four pillar strategy is:

1.     Analytics platform adoption

Both public and private sector organisations face increasing volumes of data. Equally, they are attempting to handle it with increasingly outdated systems. In today’s world organisations need to transform structured and unstructured data into high-value assets using big data analytics. To do this effectively requires an analytics platform such as the SAS High-Performance Analytics platform.

2.   Customer intelligence aggregation

Marketing in the digital age brings new challenges of communicating with customer audiences whether it is consumers for businesses or citizens for government. Recognised by industry analysts as a leader in customer intelligence, SAS can prove that the marketing team in business, or communications team in government, can deliver impact and tremendous value to an entire organisation.

3.     Risk, compliance and fraud management

The growing raft of regulations facing the financial and public sectors has increased the burden of proof upon them. Some of these measures are to protect organisations, while others exist to protect the taxpayer and consumer. An innovative, risk-based approach is required to monitor transactions for suspicious behaviour or comply with anti-money laundering (AML) rules and even counter-terrorist financing regulations have become the norm. SAS’ leadership lies in delivering accurate and cost-effective platforms for mitigating regulatory risk, ensuring compliance and preventing fraud.

4.     Industry-focused solutions approach

While many constant factors underline all organisations, there are also significant differences between industries. SAS solves real-world problems like expediting drugs to market in life sciences, identifying cross-sell opportunities in retail, and combatting fraud in financial services through specific industry knowledge. Its data scientists understand the challenges facing each industry such as increasing the value of customer relationships and managing risk.

Wilkinson points out: “With our global pedigree and SAS UK&I’s four pillar strategy, we are the partner of choice for organisations wanting to be part of the evolving information economy. This is achieved through offering the best analysts, the best solutions, application of specific industry knowledge and a commitment to develop skills. The result will be marketers who realise the buying impact of closer relationships with their customers; governments who deliver efficiencies in working with citizens and businesses across all sectors; and organisations that can mitigate risk and prevent fraud.”

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