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The Premier Business Leadership Series in Orlando was the backdrop for a number of news announcements from SAS. Here's a rundown:

1. Big Data research

A new survey has found that organizations with formal data management strategies derive more value from data assets and outperform competitors. The survey, Big Data: Harnessing a game-changing asset, was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by SAS. Research highlights include:

  • Most companies understand the value of big data, yet some struggle to exploit it. The biggest barriers are too much data and too few resources, said 45 percent of responses.
  • Increased use of data has made the information technology function more strategic to the business, according to 53 percent of respondents.
  • Use of data over the past five years "has completely changed the way we do business," said 23 percent of organizations with formal data management strategies. Even in the entire pool of respondents, including non-strategic data users, 39 percent said they use data to drive strategy

Read more about the research Big Data: Harnessing a game-changing asset. Read the release.

2. High-performance analytics and risk management (read the release):

  • SAS® High-Performance Analytics, available in mid-December from the leader in analytics, handles terabytes of data in near-real time on a designated Teradata or EMC Greenplum database appliance.
  • SAS High-Performance Risk, also due out in December, helps rapidly answer complex questions in areas including market risk, counterparty exposure, liquidity risk management, credit risk, stress testing and scenario analysis.

3. Trends in how government, financial, insurance and health care organizations are turning to analytics to detect fraud

Chris Swecker, former FBI Assistant Director, Attorney and CEO of Chris Swecker Enterprises, says, "Traditional organized crime has been supplanted by nimble, tech-savvy, global networks perpetrating financial crimes and Internet scams of every description. Sophisticated fraud analytics are essential to hunt down these malignant social networks of cybercriminals."

One fraud project in Los Angeles County achieved 85 percent accuracy in detecting collusive fraud rings, and projects returns of up to $30 million annually. Read the release.

4. InterContinental Hotels Group is applying analytics to assess the effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns, global call centers, websites and Priority Club Rewards in order to optimize marketing spending. Read the release.

5. Social media analysis continues to be hot. Part of SAS Social Media Analytics, the SAS Conversation Center helps companies engage with customers on Twitter by capturing significant tweets in real time, analyzing them and routing them to the right department within an organization to respond. New features include a new communication portal, an improved conversation timeline, automatic case closure, shared common message content and the ability to manually adjust sentiment. Read the release.

6. New research from Accenture and SAS indicates that 72 percent of the 258 companies surveyed will increase spending on business analytics in 2012 as compared to 2011, in three top areas:

  • Improving analytical skills of current employees (70 percent)
  • Improving decision making processes (63 percent)
  • Hiring analytical talent (52 percent)

Read the release.

7. Through strategic alliances with Teradata, EMC, Greenplum (a division of EMC), Accenture, Deloitte and others, SAS brings today's most in-demand analytics technologies to customers so they can realize the full value of big analytics. Read the release.

8. Manufacturers and retailers are gaining compettive advantage forecasting optimal inventory and minimizing costs with inventory optimization software. BEML Ltd. (formerly Bharat Earth Movers Limited) has realized a 15 percent reduction in inventory to date using this technology. Read the release.

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Kelly Levoyer

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