At SAS Global Forum 2014 customers were asked to describe SAS in one word and they came up with quite a few including awesome, powerful, data, fun, easy, and of course statistics, analytics, and PROC. Then I gave it some thought on what one word would I choose to describe SAS. This word cloud popped into my mind.
Then it hit me, I would choose strategic! Why strategic? Because operational or plain BI reports (those that don't bake in analytic insight) only look at what has happened in the past and so they help keep your business running this year, but the types of reports that predict what happens in the future (like those based on analytics) provide a strategic advantage to help beat your competition so you continue to be successful in your business three to five years from now.
If you Google "define strategic" the first definition you will see is "relating to the identification of overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them" which sounds to me like the business value of analytics summed up pretty nicely. Since I focus on the energy industry, other things that pop into my mind when I think about strategic is our country's "strategic oil supply" and how important it is in helping all industries and our global economy function well. The electric grid is also a "strategic asset" for any country since it powers our homes, companies, and governments.
I would invite you to choose your one word in the comments section along with the reason why you choose it and/or what pops into your mind when you hear the word strategic. In addition, I invite you to mark your calendars for the next "strategic" SAS Global Forum in 2015 in Dallas, TX on April 26th through the 29th!