Celebrating its 35th anniversary, SAS has branched into nearly every industry, yet it remains rooted in academia. The business analytics leader’s abiding commitment to higher education helps colleges and universities produce talent ready to compete in today’s workplace.
Remaining a standard for data analysis in coursework and research, SAS continues to create innovative technologies to improve administration, recruiting and enrolment.
Reflecting SAS’ inception at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the 1970s, 41 of SAS’ oldest 100 customers are colleges or universities. Among them are Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Yale, and the universities of Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Today, more than 3 000 colleges, universities and business schools in 126 countries use SAS. With education specialists on every continent, SAS serves higher education by delivering software, strategic services and academic programmes that spark innovation and expand educational opportunities.
“Our commitment to education reflects our history while supporting our future,” says SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “SAS and our customers depend on a steady stream of graduates with analytics and statistical expertise. The ability to make sense of huge amounts of data is critical to thriving in today’s economy.”
One way SAS supports instruction and research is via SAS OnDemand for Academics. The cloud-based, online service delivers powerful SAS data management and analytics software easily, at no cost to higher education.
SAS OnDemand for Academics has been used worldwide by more than 5 500 professors and students at some 240 institutions. Beginning this fall, the service will be free to qualified education-based researchers.
SAS partners with schools to create specialised curriculum, degree and certificate programmes in analytics and data mining. NCSU’s Institute for Advanced Analytics is among numerous programmes in the US, France, Spain, Portugal, Malaysia, Colombia, Australia and the Philippines.
The 39 graduates of NCSU’s Master of Science in Analytics programme in 2011 logged 532 job interviews with 86 employers before graduating. By graduation, 97% had one or more employment offers and 92% had jobs.
“Partnering with SAS, NCSU leads the nation in educating a new cadre of professionals with the analytics skills to lead organisations forward,” says Michael Rappa, PhD, director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and Distinguished University Professor at NCSU.
“Demand for our graduates has outstripped supply, despite the difficult economy. What we’re doing in analytics education today will benefit generations to come, thanks to SAS and its deep commitment to innovation in higher education.”
SAS also helps higher education institutions run more effectively. SAS Strategic Enrolment Management, for example, provides data management, reporting and analytics for every stage of the student lifecycle.
At the University of Alabama, as enrolment increases, recruitment becomes more strategic. Alabama uses SAS predictive analytics to help target recruitment efforts to enrol high-quality high school students that are likely to attend the university.
SAS supports institutional research by quickly delivering accurate, sophisticated analysis to decision makers. For example, the University of Central Florida uses SAS to analyse and report on its colleges, programmes and students, including admissions, course-taking behaviour, retention, and completion and continuation patterns.
UCF also conducts research on various areas of university management, such as faculty activity, cost studies, university benchmarking, resource utilisation and salary equity.
Using SAS, states merge vast amounts of student data from disconnected public and private sources – culminating in a data-rich, state-specific longitudinal data system that integrates relevant data about a student’s education from preschool through graduate school or entry into the workforce.
The University of Arkansas created a system with SAS that identifies best educational practices and curriculum interventions, increasing student achievement. The system collects and reports student data online to state educators.
With the hosted SAS solution for sustainability, higher education institutions manage and forecast resource needs, prioritise strategies and align funding for innovation, environmental programmes, and faculty and students. The solution enables transparency internally and with organisations such as the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Duke University helped develop the solution, which it will use for sustainability performance reporting and predictive modelling of greenhouse gas emissions.