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Gain real-time data access with data virtualization

by SAS Employee JohnnyS on ‎02-05-2015 10:39 AM - edited on ‎10-05-2015 03:56 PM by Community Manager (922 Views)

Data Analyst Dan:  Hi Isaac, I just a got a request from the VP of Marketing. She wants to include survey results from our new marketing campaign in our analysis to determine the next best offer for our customers.


IT Manager Isaac:  No problem Dan, your analysis tools pull data from the customer database and your marketing data mart, so you need to fill out the “Add Source Data” request, per our procedures. We’ll need to review the data structure to see how to add it to our existing schema.


Data Analyst Dan:  OK, so how long will it take before it’s available for use?


IT Manager Isaac:  Well, Dan … you know I’m a little understaffed right now, but if I move it up in the priority queue, maybe a month or so.


Data Analyst Dan:  But I need to deliver this analysis and report by the end of next week to be able to integrate with this new marketing campaign. In a month or so won’t help us right now.


Does this story sound familiar? Unfortunately, the processes and procedures of adding new data to traditional data warehouses does not accommodate the rapid analysis and reporting required by marketing campaigns today. In an era of mobile computing and the “Internet of Things,” businesses need to react quickly with “next best offers” that reflect customer buying trends.


WHAT IF, you could provide immediate access to data without having to add additional storage to your data warehouse or update the database schema?  WHAT IF, you could provide a robust data disclosure security policy to protect sensitive data? WHAT IF, you could provide data as a self-service application, freeing IT resources.


Data virtualization, a concept gaining adoption across IT departments in many industries, provides data integration capabilities that provide quicker access to data, increase development productivity, and align with business goals and objectives.


The SAS® Federation Server allows you to answer the “what if” questions of data by creating a virtual environment with a single, heterogeneous, business-centric view of your data. Some of the key benefits of the SAS® Federation Server include:


  • Virtualized data layer that unifies underlying data sources to provide simplified access, with more control over business information.
  • Single point of administration via a browser-based administration console – making it easy to maintain, configure and monitor information from anywhere.
  • Improved performance using an optimized SQL query engine for faster and more efficient data access.
  • Data caching to any relational database or SAS data to reduce querying of operational data stores during peak times, or mitigate charge backs for access to your legacy mainframe data.
  • Data masking for more security and auditability. Extensive security settings enable role-based data access, allowing for centralized enforcement of an enterprise-wide disclosure control policy to protect personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Self-service data access or data-as-a-service (DaaS) utilizing ODBC, JDBC, REST api, and SAS Libname access interfaces to support existing analytical and reporting solutions.


Over the next several weeks, as part of a five-part series, I’ll examine SAS® Federation Server capabilities on:


  • Rapid report generation
  • Data warehouse augmentation and modernization
  • Real-time data access or Data-as-a-Service
  • Data disclosure and security


Meantime, do you have any questions about the product, or data virtualization in general? Have you had similar conversations as Data Analyst Dan and IT Manager Isaac? What’s been the outcome?

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