Big data technology and services soar in 2013; SAS expects more in 2014

SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services, once again achieved an impressive growth in the fiscal year of 2013, marking its 38th straight year of record revenue with US$ 3.02 billion. SAS Malaysia has also demonstrated a healthy development in the country where the company recorded a 38.1% increase in new software revenue to RM 13.9 million and a 13.4% growth in total software revenue to RM 41.1 million. This strong growth marks a total revenue of RM 49.1 million in SAS Malaysia’s year-on-year turnover for the year 2013.”

Sales revenue across the various products and solutions from SAS developed positively, with the SAS Business Analytics platform posting the highest increase in sales to RM8.4 million. Revenue growth to RM3.5 million was also noted in risk management, a solution which is based on SAS software’s core functionality which covers the entire spectrum of risk types including market, credit, and liquidity risk.

SAS Malaysia Managing Director Andrew Tan said, “The strong growth recorded on the sales of analytics solutions continues to demonstrate that data is an asset of growing importance to organizations. Over the last two years, SAS has delivered ground-breaking analytics technology which unlocks the value of data and we are poised to grow to new heights on the back of robust demand for SAS Malaysia’s powerful analytics tools – particularly in the business analytics platform –both from the public and private sectors”.

SAS Malaysia’s annual software revenue growth was mainly fuelled by the oil and gas industry where streamlined, automated processes were introduced to help the industry predict and prevent machinery failure, as well as make strategic decisions faster and more accurately than their competitors. SAS’ oil and gas software provides an integrated energy portfolio and risk management framework ranging from energy trading and risk management, credit risk management, trade surveillance, and regulatory compliance reporting.

Another key driver to SAS Malaysia’s revenue growth was also steered by the demand for analytics via SAS® Visual Analytics, a new data visualisation software that brings business threats and opportunities into sharp focus. This was driven by sales particularly in the banking and telecommunication sectors. The still-growing customer base includes its partnership with U Mobile Sdn Bhd in April 2013, where the strategic business move allowed the most dynamic and innovative 3G mobile operator’s executives to immediately access real-time consumer behavior data for significantly more informed business decisions.

“SAS Malaysia currently stands with more than 160 corporate clients across sectors in Malaysia that uses SAS analytics solutions. The market is changing rapidly and more companies are looking to analytics to provide them with visibility and clarity on the vast information that runs through their business in making more cost-effective decisions,” said Tan. SAS intends to stay out front by providing market-leading high-performance analytics and other solutions that help organisations of all sizes conduct analysis with ease – from global enterprises to SMBs (small- to medium-sized businesses).

2014 OUTLOOK

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Predictions 2014 report, the Big Data avalanche in 2014 will continue to see significant growth by 40% and will exceed 60% by 2020 driven in large part by mobile devices. The quest to drive valuable insights and real-time decision-making from this data avalanche will drive massive investments and create new data-centered analytics and content services.

Moving into 2014, SAS will focus on Customer Intelligence solutions that help banks, telecommunications, airlines, and e-commerce companies understand its customers in real-time and design the best action that drives bottom line impact.

Fraud will also be a new area of focus for SAS Malaysia this year, in which new solutions will be introduced to close loopholes to combat financial crimes. As industries seek to mitigate risks in money laundering, organised fraud rings, payment frauds, insurance frauds and so forth, SAS will help customers by introducing solid protection tailored for specific industries such as banking, insurance, health care or public sector to safeguard data and network, as well as funds and reputation.

SAS is also anticipating continued growth this year in:

·         Data Management, as companies with huge amounts of data struggle to prepare it for analysis. More and more companies are adopting the open-source Hadoop framework for data storage and processing. SAS works closely with partners and customers to help data scientists, business analysts and executives transform big data into knowledge and bottom-line results.

·         Data Visualisation, which allows everyday users to explore data by simply pointing and clicking. SAS® Visual Analytics, installed at more than 1,400 sites worldwide, will gain new functionality in the months ahead.

·         Industry-Specific Solutions, which address the unique needs of banks, insurers, retailers, government agencies, energy companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, telcos, hotels and more. In 2014, SAS will roll out new and improved solutions to address crucial business needs, from forecasting power demand, optimising retail channels and managing risk, to detecting and preventing fraud, and retaining customers and marketing effectively to them.

·         SAS Solutions on Demand, as more companies look to cloud-based solutions to unlock the benefits of complex analyses. SAS offers 25 products in a cloud-based delivery model. These include solutions for drug development, education, anti-money laundering, fraud detection, marketing optimisation, customer intelligence, social media analytics and more.

IDC Predictions 2014 also reported that businesses will direct significantly larger amounts of resources towards Big Data analytic tools and solutions, with worldwide spending in 2014 likely to increase by 30%, surpassing the USD 14 billion mark. Tan noted that, “Using analytics to deliver intelligent actions is not a new approach and we believe that progressive organizations have recognised this. Therefore, we at SAS Malaysia will continue to act as a key enabler to power the operations of different industries as well as help them anticipate and understand their stakeholders better with analytic applications and predictive technologies.”

The rising demand for analytics software and services is also creating a need for big data experts with data mining skills. A McKinsey Global Institute study forecasted a 50 to 60% gap between the supply and demand of people with deep analytical talent. In addressing such an issue, SAS is focused on education to equip the 21st century workforce by supporting education through innovative products and services which improve teaching, learning and administration. One of SAS’ education initiatives in 2014 included a partnership with Sunway University to meet the rising demand for data scientists in Malaysia. SAS Malaysia also introduced its Graduate Development Program, an 18-month curriculum that gives real world experience across industries and analytic solutions to fresh graduates.

In view of the growing market demand for Big Data and analytics in Malaysia, Tan said, “On top providing world-class analytic solutions to improve performance and deliver value to customers, SAS Malaysia is also committed towards building the next generation of data-savvy professionals,” he said.