Before a group of reporters representing countries from as far away as Mexico, Brazil and Japan, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight touted the company’s continued growth, innovation and unmatched culture during its annual Media Day event at SAS world headquarters in Cary, Tuesday.
“In 2011, SAS has continued to grow as organizations wrestle with the “Big Data” challenge,” said Goodnight.
Companies are increasingly turning to business analytics – and to SAS – to harness this data explosion and turn it into better, faster decisions and competitive advantage.
Goodnight shared that SAS is growing at a healthy pace, and should finish the year with double-digit global revenue growth. He also pointed out that the number of SAS employees worldwide has grown by 7.6 percent so far this year, driven by the increased demand for business analytics.
“Being a great place to work is one of my proudest accomplishments. It means a lot to be on this list. It means that everyone is treated like they make a difference,” he said.
In addition to having a strong workplace culture, Goodnight pointed out that SAS technology is unlike any other, especially when it comes to analyzing vast amounts of unstructured data. “There are tremendous amounts of data being generated today. We are in the business of analyzing that data.”
Jim Davis: ‘We own the analytics market space.”
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis followed Goodnight and shared the company’s global priorities and how they support SAS’ focus on providing customers with targeted solutions.
“We started out 35 years ago creating products. We amassed 250 products in the first 20 years. Then, in the mid-90s, we made a shift away from products to solutions,” Davis explained. “We now focus on problems that are specific to an industry. That is why we’re achieving the high growth rates that we are today.”
Davis walked reporters through the factors that are key considerations for organizations looking for competitive advantage today, including harnessing the data, applying the most robust analytics available and using the right platforms. He pointed out that SAS “owns the analytics market space with 35 percent market share of advanced analytics worldwide.” (IBM comes in second place with 16 percent market share, according to the analyst firm IDC.)
“Analytics is of little value if you can’t put the data management piece together and the industry wrapper around it. That is all we do at SAS. We don’t sell hardware. We don’t sell databases. We don’t sell all these other things that these larger organizations are selling. We are focused,” he said.
Davis went on to explain the growth of analytics over the past several years as the global economy has faltered. “If there is a silver lining in this down economy, it’s that more organizations understand the benefit that analytics can bring to bear. I don’t know that we would have had that awareness – especially at the senior executive level – had we not had this tough economy.”
Times may be tough, but after 35 years, SAS is continuing to grow and even exceed expectations – underscoring the increasing demand for business analytics to help companies succeed in a difficult economy.
Mike Nemecek contributed to this post.