The must-have SAS certificates to boost your business analytics career path!

February 11, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

By Sandra Galiano - We live in the era of the so-called "titulitis", - as we say in Spanish - and is the overwhelming compulsion to have titles or degrees. 

That's why today we want to help business analytics entrepreneurs and all those who have chosen this as both a career path and as a prime tool to help grow their business and brands to clearly identify the SAS certificates that will, indeed, be of use, and will place them ahead the competition. Let us begin!

Too many options

This situation is expected nowadays, with so many courses available, so many wanting to catch our attention, and so many tools available in the form of programs, programming languages, APIs, techniques...

Sometimes it can be frustrating not knowing where to go and how to discern what you need to stand out professionally.

Every day there are new things to learn. In a world like nowadays where the only constant is that everything is constantly changing, we must be up to date, especially professionals in technology, which is in continuous exponential development and will not stop surprising us. 

What do companies look for? How many courses, degrees, or diplomas will bring me closer to the job I want?

Today, we will focus on our field of interest: Business Analytics and something that will surely make you stand out and increase your professional value. This not-so-well-known software can open many doors and allow you to choose where you work: SAS. 

Yes, Python, R, SQL, etc., are still important for a data analyst. Still, it's about bringing excitement to the game, raising the level a little, and looking beyond the basics, something that makes us stand out and I think SAS can be that game-changing asset that could allow you to be one step above your peers.

SAS stands for Statistical Analysis System, a statistical analysis and business intelligence software that provides us incredible tools for data management, statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, and data visualization.

Due to its capabilities, more and more companies are using it to analyze their data and be part of their BIT (business intelligence tools). It is not surprising then that these companies seek professionals with a firm grasp of SAS to perform roles such as data analysts, data scientists, business intelligence consultants, etc.

Born in university, raised in top Businesses 

This highly-demanded software was born in North Carolina, in 1966, at the hands of James Goodnight, Anthony Barr, and John Sall while working at the university. They began developing statistical software for the United States Department of Agriculture and later expanded their reach to include more areas, founding SAS Institute in 1976.

In the blink of an eye, it became one of the first statistical software companies in the market. It quickly became a popular tool for statistical analysis and business decision-making. Over time, SAS has expanded to include a wide range of data analysis and business intelligence solutions.

Today it is a private company based in Cary, North Carolina, with a global network of offices and partners. It is considered one of the leading providers of statistical analysis and business intelligence software in the world.

What sets SAS apart from other software?

Certainly, if there is something that stands out about SAS, it is its focus on integrating different data analysis tools and solutions in a single platform; it also has a large number of built-in functions and procedures, which allows users to perform advanced analysis quickly and easily. As well as many machine learning algorithms and predictive models, which allow companies to make accurate predictions about their business.

Something else that is fundamental, too, especially in the area of Big Data, is that SAS has a remarkable ability to handle large volumes of data with shocking scalability. Therefore, it has enough capacity to perform real-time updated data analysis solutions.

A striking feature mostly loved by analysts is the fact that SAS also has API (Application Programming Interface), which allows connecting SAS with other tools and programs, unifying all necessary in one single place to successfully perform their job, saving time, compatibility problems, and improving the integration of data and processes between different programs.

For instance, imagine that you are working on a project in SAS, and you need to do something that you are better at or already had consolidated in Python; you can use the SAS interface with that other program having everything in one place. You could also connect SAS with R, even with relational databases, which are daily bread in the world of data: Oracle, MySQL, etc. Besides, in a more focused big data environment, you could connect it with Hadoop or Spark. 

In short, something very comfortable for professionals in the world of data.

Last but not least, an advantage that seems obvious but, in the long run, is appreciated is that it has a GUI (graphical user interface), which provides easy and intuitive use.

Companies do use SAS:  

As technology advanced and became more accessible in businesses, SAS became an increasingly valuable tool for analysis and decision-making.

Various companies in different industries use SAS and are looking for professionals with SAS experience to work on their teams. For example: 

  • Banks and financial institutions: Bank of America, Citibank... to analyze financial data and make decisions.
  • Insurance companies: Allstate, AIG, MetLife, Prudential... analysis of risk data and development of products.
  • Retail companies: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Macy's... To analyze sales data and develop marketing strategies.
  • Market research companies: Nielsen, Kantar, Ipsos…
  • Service companies: Deloitte, Accenture, PwC…
  • Technology companies: Microsoft, IBM, Google…
  • Healthcare companies: Many healthcare companies use SAS to analyze patient data and develop strategies for improving medical care.
  • Government: Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and France, among others.
  • Telecommunication companies: Vodafone, Telstra, AT&T, among others.
  • Transportation companies: UPS, FedEx, and DHL, among others.

These are just a few examples of companies that demand SAS for hiring; many other companies in different industries use SAS and look for professionals with SAS experience.

What certifications are available? How do I learn SAS?

SAS Certification credentials are globally recognized in over 120 countries and are highly valuable.

There are several SAS certifications available; some of the most popular are:

  • SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9: certify an individual's ability to use the SAS platform to manipulate and process data.
  • SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9: certifies the individual's ability to use advanced SAS programming techniques to manipulate and process data.
  • SAS Certified Predictive Modeler Using SAS Enterprise Miner: certifies the individual's ability to use SAS Enterprise Miner to build, test, and implement predictive models.
  • SAS Certified Big Data Professional: certifies the individual's ability to use SAS to analyze large volumes of data and big data processes.
  • SAS Certified Data Scientist: certifies the individual's ability to use advanced data analysis techniques and predictive modeling to solve complex problems.

There are different ways to study for these certifications to take the exam. The most common one is to follow the study pills on their website, which you can access from the different types of certifications with materials, examples, cases, and videos for self-study. 

However, it is not an easy exam, so I would recommend you to look for additional material, such as tutorials or private lessons, for those concepts that you are not very clear about or concern you.

Be very clear about the structure of the exam and go to the SAS offices calmly on the day you are going to take the exam. It can be a bit impressive to arrive at that place, see the offices, and be amazed that the experience is real with those innovative spaces where people work. If you pass, you’ll be closer to something similar, but far from being scary, it has to inspire, excite and motivate you to give your best on the exam.

In summary, to pass a SAS exam you must know the requirements of the exam, acquire the necessary knowledge, practice with exercises and problems, use exam study materials, and review and rest adequately before the exam.

What do you think? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Good luck in your SAS journey!

About the author: Sandra is a tech-savvy young entrepreneur currently President of Generación Empresarial, a youth-oriented university association committed to creating the next generation of successful European business leaders.

🔥 Check out more about Sandra here!🔥

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