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SAS Visual Analytics: Enjoy the Easy and Fun New GUI

Advanced Analytics

Data Communication

Jaime D’Agord



SAS Visual Analytics 8.1 uses the SAS Viya platform. While releasing the platform, SAS also updated SAS Visual Analytics with a new interface and features that have made creating visual reports and dashboards even easier! In this post, we will walk through some of the report building changes.

What is SAS Viya?

Before getting into the new update for SAS Visual Analytics, it’s important to understand what Viya is. The new platform from SAS allows you to access a wide array of new and old SAS products very efficiently while providing new innovative ways for importing and processing data. The platform uses a new analytics engine called CAS (Cloud Analytic Services) which replaces the LASR server from previous versions of SAS Visual Analytics. The CAS server gives users more flexibility in moving data on and off of the environment and also contains plenty of micro-services to suit all of your data needs.

Ivan Gomez has a great post where you can learn even more about SAS Viya here!

New Features in SAS Visual Analytics

SAS Visual Analytics has been completely revamped. The Report Designer and Data Explorer features were combined into one powerful application that provides all the tools in one convenient area. There have also been many changes to the report objects and their features, some of which we will go over here.

The pie chart has gotten a modern look where you can now change the style to a donut chart if you prefer that look instead. With the donut chart, you get a better visual and the ability to add in an aggregation of what you are measuring.

sas va what is sas viya donut chart

You can see in the preceding figure, there is a number in the center of the donut. Since we are looking at frequency, this is the number of rows (responses) in the dataset. When you change the measure, this number will then be the total of the new measure. Also, notice the options in the right side column. This is where you can change back to a pie chart if you need to, the width of the donut ring, and if you want the aggregate number in the middle at all.

what is sas viya donut chart visual analytics

Another great feature that was brought in from the Explorer in previous versions of SAS Visual Analytics is the ability to change objects without having to start over. You can see in our donut chart above, by going to the object options we can then get to the change object option. This option gives you the capacity to take the roles and options that you have selected and move quickly to another object if you want to give your data a different look. The top option in this menu is the familiar auto chart option from the old Explorer as well where the application will choose a chart for you based on the roles of the object.

what is sas viya donut chart visual analytics


The last new feature we will cover in the 8.1 version is the ability to control fonts within your report. Each object has controls for how to change the font and other attributes for both the title and the rest of the object. To change the title, you just have to double click on it in the object. This will give you the full-text menu that you see at the top of the image above. The general options also have the field where you can choose a font, this controls how the rest of the object appears. There are a total of 7 fonts now that you can choose from.

These are just a few of the new features available in the 8.1 version of SAS Visual Analytics. They have packed in plenty of additional ways for you to improve the appearance of your reports that couldn’t all be contained in one post. For more, check out our book below that covers this version of Visual Analytics on SAS Viya!

Learn More about SAS Viya

For more information about SAS Visual Analytics, An Introduction to SAS Visual Analytics might be for you.

Whether you are considering, implementing, or already developing in VA, there is content in this book that can assist you along the way. The final three chapters of the book are entirely dedicated to SAS Viya and 8.1 Visual Analytics. We go through everything including the new CAS server, how to import/prep data, and all of the new features and techniques for building reports.

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