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Difference between SAS and SSAS

Posted on 2011-03-09
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What the heck is the difference between SAS and SSAS
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Question by:TechMonster
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derekkromm earned 2000 total points
ID: 35083929
SAS is a specific software suite, developed by SAS Institute, that you might think of as comparable to peoplesoft

SSAS is a Microsoft SQL Server component that is used for data warehouse and data mining
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by:TechMonster
ID: 35093580
Nice..thanks for the fast response
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by:cipriano555
ID: 38296731
..amazing that someone would liken SAS to PeopleSoft.

SAS is Statistical Analysis System, and it is essentially a collection of procedures for doing statistical analysis, such as: descriptive statistics, linear regression, analysis of variance, design of experiments, time series analysis, etc, It has grown over the years and also includes many data management functions.

SSAS is Sql Server Analysis Services, and is a multidimensional database, aka OLAP, aka cube.  It has a query language, MDX, that has some basic statistical calculations, (such as sums, averages, ranks).  But the point of SSAS is to do dimensional analysis, essentially, compute summaries of quantitative data broken out by descriptive factors, such as product, geography, time.  The other main angle is to take those categories, express them in multiple levels of granularity (for example, zip code - city - state - country) and build hierarchies for them.

Because of the popularity of dimensional data, SAS actually does have a multidimensional database offering, SAS OLAP, that also uses the MDX query language, but the focus of the SAS Institute is statistical analysis.  

Three are three main approaches to analyzing data:  Statistics, OLAP, and Data Mining.

SSAS does include a basic data mining engine.  SAS sells very powerful data mining software. But basically, SSAS is a database, and SAS is statistical procedures.
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