Follow Datanami:
April 22, 2024

GenAI Dominates SAS Innovate 2024

Discussion on Responsible AI with panelists Miriam Vogel, Chair of The National AI Advisory Committee, top tech reporter Kara Swisher and Reggie Townsend, SAS VP of Data Ethics. Credit: SAS.

The SAS Innovate 2024 offered an opportunity for business leaders, technical users, and SAS partners to uncover deeper insights related to the latest technology trends and innovations in the industry.

SAS is a global leader in AI and analytics software and has over 83,000 customers worldwide, including Fortune 100 companies. 

The flagship annual event took place last week in Las Vegas. With organizations racing to harness the power of AI to gain a competitive advantage, it’s not surprising that this year’s event was dominated by GenAI.  

Business leaders and professionals from various sectors converged at the event to discuss best practices and innovative strategies that can help their organizations derive the maximum value from GenAI. It also offered an opportunity for leaders to understand the evolving impacts of GenAI on their specific industries. 

(Casimiro PT/Shutterstock)

One of the key highlights from the event was the deep dive into value offered by SAS Viya, a cloud-native analytical tool for leaders and senior executives looking to amplify decision-making and foster innovation in their organizations. 

They even showcased how SAS Viya offers collaborative features and scalability to create a unified predictive analytics experience that covers the entire data lifecycle.  Benchmark testing shows that SAS Viya is 30x faster than the competition and can provide an 86% cost reduction in cloud operating costs. 

The SAS Chief Technology Officer Bryan Harris spoke about several important topics including innovation inspired by human needs and the technology vision of SAS.

 “When you learn faster, you embrace the future,” said Harris. “Simply put, companies that learn faster win.” According to Harris, the three enduring qualities that will empower SAS customers’ business with AI and data are performance, productivity, and trust. 

Several other key executives from SAS took the stage during the event including SAS Senior Vice President of Platform Engineering Jared Peterson and Global Product Marketing Strategy for AI and GenAI, Marinela Profi, and SAS Global Industry Marketing Director Alyssa Farrell. 

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight ran an impressive demo of the SAS Viya Workbench showcasing the ability of the platform to use natural language prompts to generate SAS code that is ready to go with a click of a button. 

Sam Coyne, the Senior Director of AI at Georgia-Pacific,  the world’s leading maker of tissue, pulp, packaging, and building products, spoke about the company’s success with SAS and how it helped them with business decision-making. 

The event also included a keynote from Cassie Kozyrkov, the CEO of Data Scientific and a former Chief Decision Scientist at Google. Kozyrkov spoke about the importance of data quality and how greater collaboration between decision-makers and data professionals can help organizations achieve their business goals. She also talked about advanced analytics and AI while offering actionable insights. Keynote speaker Sean Evans discussed the evolution of SAS and the dynamic world of advanced analytics and AI.

Dipti Borkar, Vice President and General Manager, Fabric Strategic ISVs, Azure Databricks, and App Development at Microsoft, talked about the long-lasting partnership between SAS and Microsoft, and the powerful impact of using Intel’s hardware and SAS software on performance and productivity. Borkar discussed some of the latest advances Intel and SAS are making to the industry, including integrating SAS Decision Builder into Microsoft Fabric


The SAS event also featured industry-specific interactive sessions to foster a greater understanding of various topics related to business intelligence (BI), analytics, and AI. 

According to Jennifer Chase, Chief Marketing Officer at SAS, the SAS Innovate Event is “a workshop for applying AI in your organization. It’s a showcase for the latest data and AI technologies from SAS and its partners. And it’s a hub for networking with people in all types of roles and industries from around the world.” 

The SAS Innovative 2025 will be held in Orlando, FL. It offers another opportunity for professionals to unveil insights about the latest technology trends and learn more about what SAS is doing. 

Related Items 

SAS Announces $1B Commitment to AI-powered Industry Solutions

Duke Health and SAS Form Partnership to Develop Cloud-based and AI-powered Healthcare Solutions

SAS Intelligent Planning Suite Now Available on AWS