SAS Social Media Analytics Demoed

All the buzz at SAS Global Forum 2010 was about the demo of SAS Social Media Analytics, a hosted service designed to track buzz, presence, and sentiment for the largest businesses in the world.

For what we’ve heard, the price for SAS SMA will be out of the reach of anything less than a billion-dollar business.

This also marks SAS’s most serious foray into hosted software, or software as a service (SaaS). The ensuing discussion of SaaS at SAS is sure to cause confusion in conference rooms somewhere in the world.

SAS SMA uses SAS’s existing text analytics technology with social media sites such as Twitter and FaceBook, along with news and blog feeds, to track public comments about a business or product line. It helps businesses identify social segments where sentiment may be changing.

Comments from the social media tracking business were impressed with the breadth of features in SAS SMA, including its support for multiple languages. Initially, however, only 13 languages are supported.

There was other news at SAS Global Forum, including an announcement of integration with the open-source R programming language. R doesn’t necessarily scale up to the size of the typical SAS data set, but it is available in the matrix-oriented SAS/IML and will be in the new version of JMP released in September.

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