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Home » Data Visualization, Visual Analytics

My 7 Favorite Features in SAS Visual Analytics 8.2 on Viya

Submitted by on 2018-01-14 – 12:06 PM

In December 2017, SAS Visual Analytics 8.2 was recently released along with some fantastic functionality. Here’s the seven features that I find useful.

1 – Autosave and Auto Recovery

I’ve made the mistake of walking away from a browser session with a report I was building. True I didn’t save it but to my defense I didn’t think I’d be gone so long. Inevitably the report would close, and I would lose all of my work. SAS Visual Analytics does an autosave of your report and offers to restore the report the next time you open the report. This is first on my list probably because I’m so forgetful and easily distracted.

2 – Replace the Active Data Table

If you made a change to your data table and wanted to replace the data table, it wasn’t always obvious what was going on. Plus, you had to unload the data and then re-load the data. This new import interface makes it easy to understand that you are replacing the data.

You can take advantage of cloud-based data.  If you have data on your Google drive, you can import it directly to SAS Viya. It can even be a Google spreadsheet.  Watch this …

3 – Easy to Create Aggregated Data Items

How about easier calculations – for instance I can easily create the Cumulative or Rolling Average values based on a measure. Just create a new calculation and then select the aggregation that you want.

Here’s an example of the Moving Average plotted with the actual values. Easy!

4 – Undo/Redo Function

This Undo/Redo functionality is helpful. When you are designing a report sometimes you realize the way you had the object was preferable. As far as I can tell it applies to the last few actions in the report. It did allow me to remove several objects and a page that I had inserted.

5 – Duplicate Object as Another Data Object

You can duplicate the current data object. Or you can duplicate the object as another object! If you have a bar chart, you can duplicate it as a table or dual axis bar chart. Whatever makes more sense to your current report goal. All with one click of the button.

6 – Assigning Geographic Items is Easier

When creating geographic data items, you get lots of extra information. When I assigned the customer country I see that two country names were invalid. It’s true! The SAS lookup tables have a country called “Russian Federation” but not a “Russia”. This is help – now I can update my data tables.

7 – Control the Background Map Brightness

You can use Open Street Maps for your data or you can use one of the ESRI maps. Sometimes I think the ESRI maps are a little bright and don’t allow enough contrast. You can control the brightness by changing the background transparency.

There are some other features I’m anxious to try. You can add JavaScript D3 and other interactive charts which I think will be fun. You can also add your own shape maps. This is going to take a little more time to learn so keep watch for some future posts.

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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.
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