The federal government’s initiative to consolidate its IT data puts SAS in a position to show off its business analytics technology, said CEO Jim Goodnight, who did a demo of his company’s new platform at the museum before his meeting.
SAS’s Ottawa office consists of 37 employees in sales, education and consulting. It is one of the fastest growing in Canada, and the second largest next to Toronto.
The Ottawa branch will continue to grow to support federal government customers, and is currently hiring, said chief marketing officer Jim Davis.
Forty per cent of the company’s business is with the public sector; its second largest industry next to the financial market. That’s why Ottawa was one of the stops on the company’s world tour to showcase its recently revamped analytics technology.
Government departments can use SAS’s high-performance analytics software to detect welfare and tax fraud, Mr. Goodnight said.
The SAS platform could allow the Canada Revenue Agency to build predictive models that evaluate tax returns and spot fraudulent ones before a cheque is sent out; a much faster process than trying to recover money after it’s sent.
“It’s not only interesting technology, it can change the way you do business,” said Mr. Davis.
SAS owns 35 per cent of the business analytics market share, he added, and has just upgraded its technology to be able to process huge amounts of data up to 1000 times faster than the previous iteration.
“Data is used much differently today than even three or four years ago,” he said.
SAS, which stands for statistical analysis system and is pronounced “sass,” was founded in North Carolina in 1976.
Headquartered in Toronto, SAS Canada employs more than 300 people across the country at its Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto offices.
Ottawa is also home to SAS’s client with the largest Canadian user base, Statistics Canada.