Unlocking the Trifecta of AI Value: Productivity, Performance, And Trust with SAS Viya

Unlocking the Trifecta of AI Value: Productivity, Performance, And Trust with SAS Viya

Helen Yu 25/04/2024
Unlocking the Trifecta of AI Value: Productivity, Performance, And Trust with SAS Viya

Last week's immersion into the world of AI and Analytics at SAS Innovate was enlightening.

As someone who began my journey as a financial analyst and transitioned into solution architect and consultancy, I've long held a keen interest in the evolution of SAS. This year's event underscored the commitment to human-centered innovation and emphasized the pillars of productivity, performance, and trust.

Day One: Productivity

The inauguration of SAS Viya Workbench marked a significant milestone in our journey towards unparalleled efficiency in deploying AI and Analytics technology. Bryan Harris, Chief Technology Officer of SAS, unveiled Viya Workbench and emphasized its transformative impact on productivity and performance across industries. Viya Workbench is a self-service, on-demand compute environment for developers and modelers. It is tailored for data preparation, exploratory data analysis, and development of analytical and machine learning models. It accelerates AI model development with powerful SAS analytical procedures (PROCs) and native Python APIs. Viya Workbench enables quantum computing research in drug discovery, financial modeling, chemical simulation, and optimization.

Georgia-Pacific LLC’s Sam Coyne shared how they’ve revolutionized their operations with SAS Viya workload management. The example of hypothesis-driven auto scaler can be applied to data science jobs without affecting other types of jobs. Workload allows them to optimize data science jobs in real time.

During the News Briefing, the SAS executive team hosted analysts and media partners. Here are some highlights:

  • SAS Viya offers a robust platform for leveraging data and AI technologies to drive real-world value.  It streamlines and expedites the AI development process, empowers organizations to deploy AI more efficiently.

  • Gen AI within SAS Viya enables the creation of purpose-built models using generative AI, addressing real-world problems across various domains.

  • SAS Data Maker provides a solution for generating synthetic data, facilitating accelerated AI development and experimentation.

  • SAS Viya Copilot serves as a collaborative tool, assisting users in navigating data quality and privacy concerns while accelerating AI development.

These highlights illustrate how SAS Viya and generative AI are driving innovation and value creation in data and AI and empowering organizations to achieve their objectives more effectively.

Day Two: Performance & Trust

Udo Sglavo, Vice President of Applied AI and Modeling, underscored the significance of models as a product in meeting the distinct needs of various industries, reaffirming SAS's commitment to fostering innovation across its ecosystem. Udo introduced lightweight, industry-specific AI models catering to a spectrum of use cases, from fraud detection to healthcare payment integrity.

Jared Peterson, SVP of Engineering and Platform highlighted a few customer success stories share their join success.  Sr. Systems Engineer Sahbi Chaieb shares SAS' collaboration with French Rugby Federation to make sense of 540 million data points from sport data providers, video analysis and connected equipment, collected over 5+ years. AI and machine learning technologies provide unprecedented insights into player performance, enabling real-time strategy optimization from lineouts to footwork. SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure delivers comprehensive reports and adaptable dashboards, empowering coaches with timely, data-driven decisions.  Data analytics on strategic game aspects equip the French national team with a significant competitive advantage, enhancing performance and achieving victories.

Discussions on Trust led by Reggie Townsend, VP of Data Ethics Practice at SAS emphasized the imperative for trustworthy AI:

  • Transparent and explainable AI models are crucial for decision-making.

  • Preserving privacy throughout the AI lifecycle is paramount.

  • Detecting and mitigating biases in AI models is essential.

  • Audible ways to monitor and assess AI health over time are necessary.

My deep dive into trustworthy AI and discussions with Josefin Rosén reaffirm the importance of these advancements. Watch the full interview here

As a board director, navigating AI governance and risk management is a top priority. It's encouraging to witness tangible progress, thanks to initiatives like SAS's model cards and AI Governance Advisory services.  I made a note to learn more about SAS Risk Data and Analytics solution Kamakura.

Day two concluded with Adam Grant’s captivating keynote address titled “Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things.” One insight resonated deeply with me - the notion of cultivating a “Challenging Network” over a “Supporting Network.” Grant delineated four archetypes of individuals: Giver, Taker, Agreeable, and Disagreeable. Surprisingly, he highlighted Disagreeable Givers as particularly invaluable, individuals whose challenging nature is coupled with a genuine spirit of giving. Grant's perspective prompted me to reflect deeply and reevaluate the composition of my professional network.

Day 3: Collaborative Value Creation

The significance of partnerships in delivering business value was underscored by John Carey and Gavin Day on day three. Highlighting SAS's partnership with Intel, emphasis was placed on measurable business outcomes. SAS Viya's speed surpasses open-source and commercial offerings at comparable costs.  Here are some highlights:

  • SAS Viya's speed is 30x faster than open source and commercial offerings at the same cost.

  • 49x faster than Commercial Data and AI Platform.

  • 326x faster in developing complex models than commercial data and AI platform.

The event culminated in an energetic kickback party, symbolizing SAS's transition from traditional to innovative. Mingling with data scientists from SAS, their customers and partners was enlightening; they exuded intelligence, enthusiasm, and forward-thinking. It was inspiring to witness many senior leaders among them, driving substantial advancements in AI and Analytics.

Harnessing the trifecta of productivity, performance, and trust, SAS Viya offers the quickest route from a billion points of data to a point of view.

I encourage you to explore how SAS Viya can empower your organization to navigate the complexities of the digital age with confidence and agility.

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Helen Yu

Innovation Expert

Helen Yu is a Global Top 20 thought leader in 10 categories, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, internet of things and marketing. She is a Board Director, Fortune 500 Advisor, WSJ Best Selling & Award Winning Author, Keynote Speaker, Top 50 Women in Tech and IBM Top 10 Global Thought Leader in Digital Transformation. She is also the Founder & CEO of Tigon Advisory, a CXO-as-a-Service growth accelerator, which multiplies growth opportunities from startups to large enterprises. Helen collaborated with prestigious organizations including Intel, VMware, Salesforce, Cisco, Qualcomm, AT&T, IBM, Microsoft and Vodafone. She is also the author of Ascend Your Start-Up.

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