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Santa’s Dasherboard using SAS Visual Analytics 8.2

Started ‎12-18-2017 by
Modified ‎12-18-2017 by
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In the spirit of gift giving, SAS recently released a new version of SAS Visual Analytics: 8.2. I thought I would also provide a gift: a blog post, from me to you. I aim to continue the spirit of what was started by my colleagues Falko Schulz (blog) and Robert Allison (blog1 & blog2) in their previous posts. I thought I would use their data and load that into SAS Visual Analytics (VA) 8.2 to create Santa’s dashboard for 2017: The DasherBoard.


As you may be aware already, SAS VA provides almost unlimited ways to explore and visualize data. It’s used by many organizations for big data exploration as well as self-service analytics and dashboards.


Before I get into the Santa’s DasherBoard, I want to share some features of SAS VA 8.2:

  • Geospatial – Brings your data to life with Geo data enrichment, automatic clusters, custom polygons and more. (documentation)
  • Custom Graphs – Extends your content by using third party graphs as if they were native graphs. Graphs like D3 or C3 are now able to be used in SAS VA. (user documentation or developer documentation)
  • Ambient Analytics – adds so much self-service analysis that it delivers ambient analytics – allowing business teams to grow their skills and create dashboards which are powered by advanced analytics. (documentation)
  • More visuals to tell your story – out of the box, there are many more visualizations to use to represent the data just the way you want. (documentation)
  • Open & Extensible – new APIs to allow you to call the elements of the VA dashboard – and share it on the This now means you can create endless entry points into SAS Visual Analytics 8.2.


So back to Santa, and his requirements for the DasherBoard. Santa, like all CEOs, needs access to analytics to understand what has happened, what could happen and how to take action.


Based on the previous blog posts by my colleagues over many years, Santa is obviously using analytics and dashboards to run his enterprise, otherwise how can he possibly deliver the presents in such a short time window. Santa must already use AI and other buzz words to achieve what looks to be almost impossible. All systems, even Santa’s, need a refresh after years of operation. Good news is that we’ve improved his previous SAS dashboards, and not stopping there, we had the opportunity to enhance his processes at the same time to take advantage of the features in SAS VA 8.2. 


So how does Santa get insight? I present: The DasherBoard.









Figure 1: The DasherBoard – Santa’s Performance Management – interactive dashboard to get insight from data.


The initial view of Santa’s DasherBoard, as seen in Figure 1, provides at-a-glance highlights for immediate insights on toy production, delivery routes and overall performance. Some Key Performance Indicators are provided to help understand team performance like reindeer luminosity, naughty & nice, toy production vs targets and much more. It also shows geographic routes for all deliveries, optimized using SAS to ensure deliveries happen on-time.


If Santa has any further questions he can easily navigate to detail with context of his initial question. Drill through is provided and integrates other core systems with his every day DasherBoard.


Finally, Santa and helpers need to be on the same page so they can use the same data, whether out of the office on deliveries or at the production facility in the North Pole. Santa and helpers can use the DasherBoard anywhere, on any device, so the team can collaborate and keep aligned towards the common goal.


Happy holidays to you all, from the SAS Visual Analytics team.


For more information on using SAS VA 8.2 check the documentation site.



Dashing! 🙂


the 2019 DasherBoard ... using VA 8.5 with a Cotton Candy theme applied.




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‎12-18-2017 10:37 AM
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