I recently attended a SAS Conference and they demo'd Visual Analytics which included the ability to produce reports and KPI dashboards all in the one tool...
Does this mean WRS and BI Dashboard are about to die a death and we should invest in Visual Analystics?
I have seen a couple of demos of Visual Analytics. We already have Enterprise BI V4.3 installed and running.
Visual Analytics seems to depend on having high-powered hardware to provide an in-memory data warehouse for fast query response, hence VA cannot use your existing EBI hardware.
One point that's obvious is that VA has a better web browser look-and-feel compared to EBI, which is stuck with an early 2000s web interface. The world has moved on and people have higher expectations.
Ideally given a blank cheque, I see VA being good for informal "discovery" tasks in which business staff and business analysts can explore their data warehouses and datamarts with minimal intervention from the IT department. While EBI is used for more specific ad hoc reporting, dashboards, and smart OLAP discovery.
On a personal note, I hate web apps, and wish SAS also provided a Windows thick clients for WRS etc.
Thanks so much for posting. Visual Analytics is an exciting development for SAS and we're investing a lot of time and energy in this solution as well as with the customers who are using it.
We also remain fully committed to our EBI portfolio. I want to allay any concern that WRS and BI Dashboard are about to “die a death.” In fact, at the upcoming SAS Global Forum conference, SAS teams will be busy giving papers, panels, and demos of all our activity across the BI suite of solutions (EBI, EG, AMO, VA, etc.). You can click on the SAS Global Forum Agenda Builder to see abstracts of the papers that will be available: http://support.sas.com/events/sasglobalforum/2013/pagenda.html
You might also want to check out SAS Product Manager Rick Styll's archived SAS Talks webinar about the new features in the latest release of EBI (August 2012), version 4.3.1.
If you’re not going to be attending Global Forum, all the papers will be available online after the event, and we’ve got ongoing plans to share more information, particularly as new releases of all of our BI products and solutions roll out.
Thanks for the follow-up question. I’ve been in touch with your SAS Account Team and they will be in contact shortly to discuss providing an EBI update (they explained the update will also be part of the output from the Analytics Workshop you and some other team members recently participated in).
Regarding more general new feature/functionality information, as is the case with SAS releases, you (and any other community members reading this post) will be seeing the specifics on these for
both EBI and VA rolling out over the next several months as we prepare for the launch of SAS 9.4. With the launch of SAS 9.4, there will be new releases of SAS Enterprise BI Server, SAS Visual Analytics and throughout the year ahead, new releases of other critical products and solutions that are part of our BI suite.
Again, thanks for the follow up and I'll leave you in the capable hands of your local Account Team to provide further details.
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