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SAS Visual Analytics 8.1 Does the Work for You

Jaime D’Agord


Using a tool like SAS Visual Analytics makes big data visualization possible.

It allows you to explore data and identify expected or unexpected patterns. With the frequent advancements to the tool, it’s understandable why SAS Visual Analytics was recognized as a dominant big data visualization tool on Datamation.

SAS Visual Analytics 8.1 was written in the latest version of the HTML standard, HTML5. It’s powered by SAS Viya, which is a cloud-ready environment that uses SAS Cloud Analytic Services (CAS) A perfect environment for you to perform SAS analytics.

After using SAS Visual Analytics 8.1 for some time now, I’d review some of the features I like most about the tool.

Import Clipboard Data

Along with a new and improved interface for importing data, we can import data from a clipboard, a feature not available in previous releases. It may not seem like a significant feature, but it has undoubtedly added value to the tool and its ease of use. So easy that it takes three steps:

1. Copy your data to the Clipboard (My data came from: http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxshape.html)

2. Import your data from the clipboard

3. Paste (CTRL+V) from the clipboard

And that’s it!

Drag, Drop and Auto Chart

Once you start using SAS Visual Analytics 8.1, all prior versions will feel like dinosaurs. Not really, but you get the idea. The drag and drop feature is a pretty nifty tool, 8.1 Auto charting is unique because SAS will select the chart that works best based on the data selected. You can also seamlessly change the auto chart to a new chart using the controls within the report object.

To create an auto chart:

1. Select the items you want to be graphed

2. Drag and drop onto the reporting workspace

3. That’s it!

Take a look at how quick and easy it is:

Explorer and Designer are Now One

The SAS Visual Analytics Explorer and the SAS Visual Analytics Designer that we knew in prior versions of the tool are a thing of the past. The two applications have been combined to create a new and improved tool that allows us to explore data in the same place we generate reports.

Using the controls within the report object, you can choose to ‘explore’ the report. By doing so, you can view the chart details in the list table format, as shown in the image below.

I still have a lot to learn about SAS Visual Analytics 8.1. If what I’ve seen thus far is any indication of what’s to come, I am excited!


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