SAS sales growth outpaces overall analytics market

SAS ranked fifth in overall business analytics software revenue last year and once again ranked first by a huge margin in a key category as its sales outpaced the market, according to market research firm IDC.

Business analytics revenue at the Cary-based company rose 4 percent in 2015, versus 2.5 percent growth in the overall market.

“We’d always like to do better, but I think it’s a solid performance,” said SAS spokesman Steve Polilli.

SAS’s $2.86 billion in revenue from business analytics software, as calculated by IDC, accounted for the bulk of the company’s $3.16 billion total revenue last year.

SAS’s 6.9 percent overall market share ranked fifth behind Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft – much larger companies that, unlike SAS, also compete in a number of other markets. Three of those larger companies – Oracle, SAP and IBM – saw their sales decline in the business analytics category.

In advanced and predictive analytics software used to predict trends based on data, SAS expanded its No. 1 market share with 8.2 percent revenue growth compared with 7.8 percent for the category. That give it a 31.6 percent market share, well more than double No. 2 IBM’s 12.7 percent market share.

“There is a lot of noise from upstart players and established competitors, but we continue to be the dominant player there,” Polilli said.

IDC noted that part of SAS’s success in advanced and predictive analytics stems from the breadth and performance of its software.

IDC reported that the growth in the overall business analytics software market was stunted in 2015 because foreign exchange rates significantly hurt sales reported in U.S. dollars. Sales rose 10.7 percent last year after adjusting for currency fluctuations.

Corporations, government agencies and others use SAS business intelligence and analytics software to analyze their operations and forecast trends. SAS has 14,048 employees worldwide, including 5,616 in Cary.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii