SAS – with worldwide revenue of $2.15 billion in 2007 – is one of the largest software companies in the world, and a leader in the provision of analytical software solutions to business.
An SAS analyst, unlike an SAS programmer, is a business, or financial risk, analyst who relies on SAS software products as his, or her, primary analysis tools. As such, whilst the role of SAS analyst may involve SAS coding, to a greater, or lesser degree, the collection, and analysis, of data to reveal patterns, and anomalies – which can, in turn, be used to predict future trends, and forecast cost to an organisation – are also important parts of the job description.
An SAS analyst – whether he, or she, be employed in the industrial, commercial, or public sector – is often seen as an expert in his, or her, designated market sector. An SAS analyst is, therefore, often required to be the driving force behind the integration of data, analysis, technology and business expertise to maximise the profitability of an organisation. On an everyday basis, this may involve the development, management and delivery of statistical analysis techniques for a business – database analysis, for example – including the documentation of such analysis, and the presentation of the results to managers, directors and other senior personnel. Depending upon the exact nature of the position, the role of SAS analyst may also include an element of client liaison – pre-sales analysis, and support, for example – along with customer performance measurement, and reporting.
Skills & Qualifications
Alongside the skills that make a good business analyst – problem solving skills, an understanding of business dynamics, communication skills, etc. – an SAS analyst should, ideally, have an excellent knowledge of, and programming skills, in SAS and SQL ("Structured Query Language"), but, moreover, an understanding of the analytical techniques and procedures available. A prospective SAS analyst may, for example, be required to demonstrate an understanding of modelling, and other statistical approaches, in relation to a particular business sector. It may well be that knowledge of Microsoft Excel – including Visual Basic – and other Microsoft Office products, is a distinct advantage.
First, and foremost, though, an SAS analyst must be highly numerate, and a degree in mathematics, or a related discipline, and/or a successful background in numerical work, will be required. The ability to take raw, numerical data and convert it into meaningful insight is the crux of the role, but this information does need to be conveyed to the decision makers within an organisation, so a high level of literacy, and experience in report writing, at a high level, are other desirable skills