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Whats New in Viya 4 Visual Analytics – A concise history of product feature releases


Long term Support Releases

2020.1 (November 2020)

Contents of 2020.1

The 2020.1 long-term support release is based on the 2020.0.6 stable release. It includes all features in the stable releases 2020.0.1 through 2020.0.6.

Critical Change

You can no longer import content from Facebook, Google Analytics, Google Drive, Twitter, or YouTube on the Import tab in the Choose Data window. This change is due to changes in the access that these companies permit to third parties like SAS.

Report Review Pane

There is a new Report Review pane where you can analyze a report and identify issues with performance and accessibility. For more information, see Using the Report Review Pane.

New Configuration Property

There is a new IFrame Sandbox Attribute Value configuration property, which specifies the value of the sandbox attribute for inline frames (iframes) in SAS Visual Analytics reports. For more information, see Configuration Properties: SAS Visual Analytics.

General Enhancements

  • You can edit the calculated expression for geography data items that are based on a calculated item.
  • Administrators can now synchronize the time zone settings for reports in SAS Visual Analytics and the time zone settings in SAS Cloud Analytic Services (CAS). For more information, see Synchronize Time Zone Settings between CAS and the Report Data Service.
  • A new URI is available for exporting objects to Microsoft Excel. For more information, see Managing Access to Functionality.
  • In the Automated explanation object, groups are no longer calculated and displayed by default. You can select the Show high and low groups option to calculate groups.
  • Your settings in the Copy Link window now persist for the next time you copy a link to an object or to a report.
  • You can now copy a link to an object on a hidden page or copy a link to a hidden page.
  • Cell graphs in crosstabs and list tables are now known as cell visualizations.
  • The appearance of path analysis objects has been enhanced.
  • The stress centrality metric for network analysis objects is no longer available. For reports that you promote from previous releases, the stress centrality metric is changed to betweenness centrality.
  • For button bars, drop-down lists, and text input controls, the Initially select first item option is available when a parameter is assigned to the control.
  • Application performance has been improved.
  • Accessibility has been improved.

2021.1 (May 2021)

Export Table Data to Microsoft Excel Workbooks

You can now export crosstab and list table data with its structure preserved to a Microsoft Excel workbook. For more information, see Exporting Data, Microsoft Excel Workbooks, and Images from Objects.

Note: All of the Export menu items are now consistent for reports, pages, and objects. Here are two examples: the Print page menu item has been replaced with Export



PDF and Save image has been replaced by Export




Import Report Pages

You can now import a page from another report into your current report. For more information, see Import a Page from Another Report.

New Page Type

You can now create a new type of report page called a hidden page. This new Hidden page type enables you to hide a page in a report that is in a draft state or that is otherwise incomplete from users who are viewing the report. For more information about the available page types, see Overview of Pages.

Custom Page Templates

You can now create custom page templates to ensure consistency across your reports. When you create a custom page template, you can include data-related items, a report theme, or both. If you are an administrator, you can publish custom page templates for other users to access. For more information, see Using Page Templates.

Object Templates for Analytical Objects

You can now create object templates from analytical objects (all of the objects that are listed under the AnalyticsSAS Visual Statistics, and SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning headings in the Objects pane).

Geographic Maps in the Automated Explanation Object

The automated explanation object now displays geographic maps when the response variable is a measure and the selected underlying factor is a geography.

URL Parameters for Viewing Reports

When you specify the values of report parameters in the URL for a report, you can now specify the labels of the parameter data items rather than the internal name of the parameter. For example, you might specify “Region” instead of “pr75”.

Terminology Change in Documentation

The term “quick calculation” replaces “derived item” for data items that you can create by using the New calculation pop-up menu selection on the Data pane.

General Enhancements

  • Geography items have a predefined role for three-letter ISO codes
  • For geo coordinate objects and geo region-coordinate objects, the Enable data label thinning option hides data labels as needed to avoid overlapping text.
  • The automated explanation and automated prediction objects support the following additional languages: Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Thai, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish.
  • Updates to automated explanation objects:
    • Automated explanation objects identify extreme values (possible outliers) in the characteristics summary. The full list of values is displayed in the Anomalies tab of the details table.
    • SAS Visual Analytics now displays a notification when automated explanation objects in the background are finished loading results.
  • For objects that contain multiple visual elements (for example, automated explanation, automated prediction, and advanced analytical objects), the Displayed visuals option enables you to select the elements that are displayed.
  • Updates to crosstab and list table options:
    • When you select the Totals option, the Subtotals option, or both options for a crosstab in a report that you are designing, you can select or deselect the individual category and measure data items that you want to be displayed. These options can help reduce the amount of space that is needed for the crosstab in your report.

When you are viewing a report, a pop-up menu enables you to select or deselect totals and subtotals for individual category and measure data items in a crosstab.

    • When you select the Totals option for a list table in a report that you are designing, you can select or deselect the individual measure data items that you want to be displayed. These options can help reduce the amount of space that is needed for the list table in your report.

When you are viewing a report, a pop-up menu enables you to select or deselect totals for individual measure data items in a list table.

  • Your settings in the Copy Link window now persist across sessions for the next time you copy a link to an object or to a report.
  • The scatter plot object has a new Automatic setting for the Marker size option, which can make dense scatter plots easier to read.
  • When you apply a data view to your report, you can choose how to resolve the differences between your current data settings and the data view.
  • If you are a report designer and you use the autosave feature for reports, the message that indicates that you are working on an older version of the report has been improved. You receive this message if your report has been more recently saved by another user. If you choose to open the updated report, then your autosaved report is discarded. However, if you choose to use the autosaved report, SAS Visual Analytics considers that report to be new and gives it the same name as the initial report.
  • The calculation of network metrics for the network analysis object now uses a different SAS Cloud Analytic Services (CAS) action set (the network action set). Some results might be different from previous releases.
  • Decision trees have a new High cardinality predictors option that enables a greater cardinality limit for the categorical predictor values at each node.
  • A filter field is now available when you select data items to create new filters, ranks, and display rules.
  • New search fields:
    • A new search field in the Options pane enables you to find specific options by using label names.
    • You can now display a search field in the list control. The search field enables report users who are designing or editing reports to find specific values that they want to select or clear in the list.
  • The Add Data Items pop-up window has a new Select all check box.
  • The Replace data-source-name option was previously named the Change data-source-name option.

2021.2 (November 2021)

Critical Changes

Change in Support on Windows Mobile Devices

The SAS Visual Analytics App for Windows no longer supports SAS Viya 4 deployments. Instead, users of Windows mobile devices can install SAS Visual Analytics as a Progressive Web Application (PWA).

For more information, see Install SAS Visual Analytics as a Progressive Web App.

New Options for Network Analysis Objects

Options for the network analysis object have changed. The new Network structure option and Link type option specify the structure and link directionality for the network.

New Progressive Web App Functionality

SAS Visual Analytics can now be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA), enabling you to use the product as a desktop app instead of in a web browser. Only Chromium-based browsers support PWA. For more information, see Install SAS Visual Analytics as a Progressive Web App.

Export SAS Report Packages

You can now export a report and a snapshot of your data and query results for a report from SAS Visual Analytics to a SAS report package.

You do not have to export an entire report. Instead, you can select individual objects, containers, and pages that you want to export. The report package includes a snapshot of the report, images, style sheets, and data that is needed to render the selected objects. It also includes any additional data that is needed to support any actions that are defined between the objects. You can then use the SAS Visual Analytics SDK to embed the report information into your custom web pages and portals. For more information, see Exporting SAS Report Packages and SAS Report Package Reference.

Outlier Insights

The new Insights window identifies possible outlier values in the data for the objects in your report.

If outlier values are detected, then the  icon appears in the report toolbar.

Outlier Detection in the Data Pane

Measures in the Data pane are automatically checked for potential outlier values.

The  icon appears beside measures that might have outlier values.

Outlier detection can be disabled by the Disable automatic outlier detection for the Data pane user setting and the disableAutomaticOutlierDetection configuration property.

New Geographic Mapping Objects

There are four new geographic mapping objects: geo bubble, geo cluster, geo line, and geo line-coordinate.

The new geo bubble and geo cluster objects provide dedicated objects for functionality that was previously part of the geo coordinate object. The geo bubble object displays data as a bubble plot on a map background. The geo cluster object displays a clustered scatter plot on a map background, in which coordinate markers that are in close proximity are clustered together into a single marker.

The geo line and geo line-coordinate objects enable you to display line segments on a map. You can use geo line maps and geo line-coordinate maps to display linear geographical features such as roads, railroads, pipelines, bus routes, and so on.

Change Type of Geographic Map Layers

For geographic mapping objects, a new Change type option enables you to change a specific data layer in the map to a different type of map layer. For example, if you click Change type on the Region option group for a geo region-coordinate map, you can change the region layer of the map to a different type.

Updated Values for Geographical Maps

The geographical lookup values for SAS Visual Analytics have been updated with the following changes:

  • The country name for Macedonia is changed to North Macedonia.
  • Localization support for country subregions is improved. For example, the subregions of India now support names in Devanagari script in addition to Latin characters.

High-Contrast Background for Geographic Maps

The OpenStreetMap High Contrast map background is available for geographic maps. The High Contrast map is optimized to provide the best usability for users with low vision.

If you set the map background to Automatic, then the High Contrast map is automatically selected when the high-contrast theme is displayed.

Automatic Value Grouping for Custom Categories

When you create a custom category that is based on a measure, you can generate the value intervals automatically by clicking Generate groups in the New Custom Category window. You can also generate a custom category for a measure by right-clicking a measure in the Data pane and selecting New custom category.

Enhanced Localization for Analytical Objects

Generated text is now localized in the following objects: forecasting, network analysis, path analysis, and text topics. If SAS Visual Statistics is not licensed at your site, then the basic decision tree also has localized generated text.

New Service and Configuration Properties

The new Visual Analytics service (sas.visualanalytics.api.settings) has these new configuration properties:

  • defaultJobTimeoutSeconds
  • defaultSynchronousWaitSeconds
  • maximumJobTimeoutSeconds
  • maximumSynchronousWaitSeconds
  • minimumJobTimeoutSeconds
  • minimumSynchronousWaitSeconds

For more information, see Configuration Properties: Visual Analytics Service.

General Enhancements

  • You can assign a text label to measure-based display rules. The label is displayed in data tips and on the Display Rules pane when viewing the report. The label is also announced by screen reader software.
  • A new Logarithmic scale option is available for scatter plots, time series plots, line charts, forecasting objects, and numeric series plots.
  • The properties list in the Data pane now includes a read-only preview of the expression for calculated data items. Only five lines of the expression are displayed. You can click Edit beside the expression in the list of properties to open the Edit Calculated Item window.
  • Updates to calculated items:
    • You can now assign a Date format or a Datetime format to a calculated data item.
    • Date and Datetime values can now be used as a number in calculated expressions.
    • The expression editor window for calculated items and advanced filters has been enhanced with a new layout.
  • New Min and Max quick calculations are available for Date and Datetime values.
  • The text topics object supports documents in Kazakh.
  • The layout of the SAS Visual Analytics settings has changed.
  • Reference lines in graphs are now accessible to screen readers. Therefore, the Report Review pane no longer identifies reference line issues.
  • When all of the values in a given row or column in a crosstab are turned off, that row or column is not visible.
  • The automated explanation object includes a forecast of future values when you assign the new Time data role.
  • A new Abbreviate numeric values option enables you to specify the scale and digits of precision for the following objects:
    • bar chart
    • butterfly chart
    • comparative time series plot
    • dual axis bar chart
    • dual axis bar-line chart
    • dual axis line chart
    • dual axis time series plot
    • key value
    • line chart
    • pie chart
    • time series plot

2022.1 (May 2022)

Geo Pie Object

The new geo pie object enables you to display your data as pie charts on a geographic map. You can use the geo pie object to display the distribution of category values for each location or region on the map. Read more

Enhancements to the Outliers Insight

The Outliers insight now provides a detailed outlier analysis for each object in your report that is affected by outlier values. The analysis includes an impact assessment that quantifies the effect of outlier values.

Changes to Application Themes

  • The Inspire application theme has been removed. If a user previously selected the Inspire theme, the default application theme is displayed the next time they sign in to the SAS Viya platform.
  • The following application themes have been renamed:
    • The Illuminate theme is now called the Light theme.
    • The Ignite theme is now called the Dark theme.

Recommended Reports in the Home Pane

In the home pane, you can select Recommended to see a list of recommended reports. Reports are recommended based on other users’ recent activity, such as opening the report, sharing it, and adding comments.

SAS Content SDK

The new SAS Content SDK enables you to browse your SAS content inside of a custom web page or web application. Read more

Enhanced Support for Exporting SAS Report Packages

A hierarchy can now be the source of an action in an exported report.

General Enhancements

  • You can now display a detailed analysis of the outliers for a measure. To view the outlier details, right-click a measure in the Data pane and select View outlier details.
  • The decision tree object now displays a histogram in each node if the response contains continuous data.
  • When a report designer chooses a table from their personal CASUSER library, reports now automatically adjust to use the table with the same name in the report viewer’s CASUSER library.
  • The AggregateCells operator for calculated items now enables you to specify a temporal axis for aggregation. When you specify temporal, values are aggregated along the axis of a crosstab that contains a date or datetime data item.
  • A new Abbreviate numeric values option enables you to specify the scale and digits of precision for the following objects:
    • all geographic maps
    • forecasting
    • network analysis
    • numeric time series plot
    • path analysis
    • scatter plot
    • schedule chart
    • step plot
    • targeted bar chart
    • waterfall chart
  • For objects that support animation, the options that affect the appearance of animation values have changed.
  • The Outlier Influence insight provides a new outlier analysis pop-up window that shows how outlier values affect your data.
  • Report insights are now available when users are viewing reports. Report authors can control the availability of insights by using the new Allow insights report option.

2022.09 (November 2022)

Deprecation of the Rapid Growth Option for the Decision Tree Object

The "Rapid growth" option for the decision tree object has been deprecated.

You cannot select the Rapid growth option for new decision trees. Existing decision trees for which the Rapid growth option was selected are currently unchanged. When the option is disabled, it is removed from the Options pane.

You can achieve similar results to rapid growth at the data preparation stage by combining levels of high-cardinality variables. You can also use custom categories for managing high-cardinality variables.

Promote Custom Graph Templates from Previous Releases

You can promote the custom graph templates that you created in SAS Visual Analytics 7.5 and 7.51 to the 2022.1.3 release. For details about the types of content that you can promote, see Overview of Promoting and Migrating Content.

Enhanced Support for Exporting SAS Report Packages

Hierarchies with percent-of-total and context-sensitive calculations are now supported for exported report packages.

SAS Viya SDK for JavaScript

The SAS Visual Analytics SDK, which includes the va-report-components library, and the SAS Content SDK, which includes the content-components library, are now included in the SAS Viya SDK for JavaScript.

General Enhancements

  • A parallel coordinates plot can be the source of an action.
  • Keyboard navigation for geo pie objects has been enhanced with new shortcuts. For more information, see Keyboard Shortcuts.

2023.03 (May 2023)

Enhanced Support for Exporting SAS Report Packages

Hierarchies with ranks are now supported for exported report packages.

Updated Application Bar

You can use the new help icon on the application bar to access the Help Center. In previous releases, you had to click the user button to access the Help Center menu item.

Updated Objects Pane

The headings in the Objects pane have been revised. The modeling objects are now listed under the Statistics and Machine Learning headings.

Updated Settings Window

A new Modeling heading has replaced the Visual Statistics heading in the Settings window. The available settings did not change.




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Tips for filtering data sources in SAS Visual Analytics

See how to use one filter for multiple data sources by mapping your data from SAS’ Alexandria McCall.

Find more tutorials on the SAS Users YouTube channel.

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