A case of mistaken identity


I cannot blame SAS customers when they get confused about which SAS products do what. There are a lot of SAS products in play out there, and sometimes their given names don't help the cause.

Take SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Enterprise Miner, for example. These are two very different products from SAS that happen to share a first and middle name. (It reminds me of that Rick Springfield song where he complains about always being mistaken for Bruce Springstein.)

Both of these products came into existence in the late 1990s, when SAS was in an "Enterprise" naming phase. In addition to SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Enterprise Miner, we offered SAS Enterprise Reporter -- that product had more functional overlap with SAS Enterprise Guide and the names generated similar confusion. Since then, SAS Enterprise Reporter evolved into SAS Web Report Studio which, as the name implies, runs in your browser. SAS Enterprise Guide runs on your desktop, and now includes many of the rich desktop-based reporting features.

So, what's the dif between "Miner" and "Guide"? Here's my high-level, non-marketing-oriented answer.

SAS Enterprise Guide
Audience: Business analyst, SAS programmer, statistician.
Key activities: query/filter data, prep data for analysis, descriptive stats, charting, analyses such as regression methods, forecasting, and QC methods, SAS programming, create and run stored processes

SAS Enterprise Miner
Audience: Statistician, modeler
Key activities: decision trees, neural networks, market basket analysis, predictive and descriptive modeling, scoring models.

Customers do use these products together. For example, you might use SAS Enterprise Guide to prepare data and then use that data to create a SAS Enterprise Miner model. Also, you can use SAS Enterprise Miner to create a scoring model that you can later run within SAS Enterprise Guide.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Director, SAS User Engagement

+Chris Hemedinger is the Director of SAS User Engagement, which includes our SAS Communities and SAS User Groups. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies


  1. Hi Chris,

    I share the note on the confusion related to these two products.

    Whan asked, I have used a different approach trying to distiguish them from one another. To my opinion SAS Enterprise Guide is more ad-hoc type of tool as compared to SAS Enterprise Miner which is more process oriented.

    With SAS Enterprise Miner you need another tool (typically SAS Data Integration Studio) to prepare the data for you and to utilize the end-results of your analysis. This is needed in order to get the end results to be part of the related business processs, say, customer attrition program, for example.

    With SAS Enterprise Guide you can do it all by your-self, but the end results tend to be reports, not automated processes.

    Jussi Varjus

  2. Here is how I describe the difference:
    Each one is designed for a different business persona OR job role.

    SAS Enterprise Guide is a drag-n-drop interface into the power of the SAS programming language used for ad-hoc analysis and reporting.
    NOTE: Does not need to be a statistician.

    SAS Enterprise Miner is designed specifically to make a data modeler job easiser which is to help create, assess, and then implement predictive or descriptive models.
    NOTE: Needs to at least understand statistics to be successful.

    The two definitely can be used together to compliment each role. SAS Enterprise Guide can be used for preparing the data before mining as well as using the model after mining to produce/automate reports.

  3. I describe the differences simply as ...

    EG is for adhoc AI, DI or BI.

    EM is for standard and repeatable AI processes.

    DI Studio is for standard and repeatable DI processes.

    And because BI is more pervasive around an organization, different people require different interfaces, and thus why SAS offers a breadth of offerings such as AMO, EG, WRS, and the portal.

  4. Pingback: Mashups that bring predictive analytics to the business analyst - The SAS Dummy

  5. Matovu Anthony on

    Thanks you chris,

    Now! What must one do to have either of the two or both. I have just installed SAS and I only seem to see Enterprise Guide. According to your description of the characteristics of both in relation to what I am supposed to do, It seems I should have both. What can I do to have also the SAS Enterprise Miner.



    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on


      The two products are often used together, and usually when you license SAS Enterprise Miner, you have access to SAS Enterprise Guide as well. To get SAS Enterprise Miner, contact your SAS representative. If you're not sure who that is, you can contact SAS support with your site number, and they can direct you.


  6. We are using SAS 9.2 on OS Suse Linux 10 64-bit , we are planning to upgrade Suse Linux Version 10 to version 11 and SAS Version 9.2 to SAS version 9.3 in our application and we too have a plan to launch SAS Enterprise Guide and Miner in our application soon.
    What are the Pros/Cons installing SAS Enterprise Guide and Miner at the same time of upgrade the SAS 9.2 to SAS 9.3?

    • Chris Hemedinger
      Chris Hemedinger on

      It's difficult to provide advice for your specific scenario, but I don't think that there are any technical downsides to installing the latest client applications (SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Enterprise Miner) at the same time that you move to SAS 9.3. Each of those applications has a version that goes along with SAS 9.3, so you'll be "in sync". SAS Enterprise Guide allows an admin to configure capabilities using roles in metadata, and if SAS Enterprise Guide is part of your 9.3 deployment plan you'll be able to configure that when you install 9.3.

      In general, it's good to install/configure all of the software you plan to use at one time, rather than have to go back and add items to your installations later. But either path is supported, so your choices should depend on your capacity to install/test and train end users.

      • Thanks chris,
        We are having around 500 jobs, all are using SAS Base functionality, so if we install SAS Enterprise miner and Guide, will it cause any impact to our existing Base SAS jobs or will it need any significant changes to the jobs?

        • Chris Hemedinger
          Chris Hemedinger on

          If you intend to use SAS Enterprise Guide to run those jobs instead of a direct batch process -- then Yes, you might need to make some changes. If you can keep the batch process going "as is", that would limit the impact. In the meantime, your end users can begin to use SAS Enterprise Guide to edit/maintain the SAS programs that go into those jobs.

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