SAS gets awesome revenues

There are 2.87 billion reasons SAS is not going away anywhere in the Big Data Analytics space. Yes , thats the revenue figures declared by them-http://www.sas.com/news/preleases/2012financials.html

Of course I have always wondered how much they earn from SAS Federal LLC ( which is a subsidary that caters to the lucrative and not very competitive analytics in Intelligence) and their revenue breakdown by Product ( how much did they earn by Base SAS licenses versus how much they earned by Cyber Security  http://www.sas.com/industry/government/cybersecurity/index.html )

I wonder how many other analytics companies have even realized that they can help cut down the federal government costs ( or even have something close to this http://www.sas.com/industry/government/national-security/intelligence-management.html )

This year revenue breakdown was-

The Americas generated 47 percent of SAS’ total revenue; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 41 percent; and Asia Pacific 12 percent.

but last year

The Americas accounted for 46 percent of total revenue; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 42 percent; and Asia Pacific 12 percent

So Americas revenue grew faster than Europe revenues!Okay

Continue reading “SAS gets awesome revenues”

How to be a Happy Hacker

I write on and off on hackers (see http://bit.ly/VWxSvP) and even some poetry on them (http://bit.ly/11RznQl) . During meetups, conferences, online discussions I run into them, I have interviewed them , and I have trained some of them (in analytics). Based on this decade long experience of observing hackers, and two decade long experience of hanging out with them- some thoughts on making you a better hacker, and a happier hacker even if you are a hacker activist or a hacker in enterprise software.

1) Everybody can be a hacker, but you need to know the basic attitude first.  Not every Python or Java coder is a hacker. Coding is not hacking. More details here- https://decisionstats.com/2012/02/12/how-to-learn-to-be-a-hacker-easily/

2) Use tools like Coursera, Udacity, Codeacdemy to learn new languages. Even if you dont have the natural gift for memorizing syntax, some of it helps. (I forget syntax quite often. I google)

3) Learn tools like Metasploit if you want to learn the lucrative and romantic art of exploits hacking (http://www.offensive-security.com/metasploit-unleashed/Main_Page). The demand for information security is going to be huge. hackers with jobs are happy hackers.

4) Develop a serious downtime hobby.

Lets face it- your body was not designed to sit in front of a computer for 8 hours. But being a hacker will mean that commitment and maybe more.

Continue reading “How to be a Happy Hacker”

SAS Institute Financials 2011

SAS Institute has release it’s financials for 2011 at http://www.sas.com/news/preleases/2011financials.html,

Revenue surged across all solution and industry categories. Software to detect fraud saw a triple-digit jump. Revenue from on-demand solutions grew almost 50 percent. Growth from analytics and information management solutions were double digit, as were gains from customer intelligence, retail, risk and supply chain solutions

AJAY- and as a private company it is quite nice that they are willing to share so much information every year.

The graphics are nice ( and the colors much better than in 2010) , but pie-charts- seriously dude there is no way to compare how much SAS revenue is shifting across geographies or even across industries. So my two cents is – lose the pie charts, and stick to line graphs please for the share of revenue by country /industry.

In 2011, SAS grew staff 9.2 percent and reinvested 24 percent of revenue into research and development

AJAY- So that means 654 million dollars spent in Research and Development.  I wonder if SAS has considered investing in much smaller startups (than it’s traditional strategy of doing all research in-house and completely acquiring a smaller company)

Even a small investment of say 5-10 million USD in open source , or even Phd level research projects could greatly increase the ROI on that.

That means

Analyzing a private company’s financials are much more fun than a public company, and I remember the words of my finance professor ( “dig , dig”) to compare 2011 results with 2010 results.

http://www.sas.com/news/preleases/2010financials.html

The percentage invested in R and D is exactly the same (24%) and the percentages of revenue earned from each geography is exactly the same . So even though revenue growth increased from 5.2 % to 9% in 2011, both the geographic spread of revenues and share  R&D costs remained EXACTLY the same.

The Americas accounted for 46 percent of total revenue; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 42 percent; and Asia Pacific 12 percent.

Overall, I think SAS remains a 35% market share (despite all that noise from IBM, SAS clones, open source) because they are good at providing solutions customized for industries (instead of just software products), the market for analytics is not saturated (it seems to be growing faster than 12% or is it) , and its ability to attract and retain the best analytical talent (which in a non -American tradition for a software company means no stock options, job security, and great benefits- SAS remains almost Japanese in HR practices).

In 2010, SAS grew staff by 2.4 percent, in 2011 SAS grew staff by 9 percent.

But I liked the directional statement made here-and I think that design interfaces, algorithmic and computational efficiencies should increase analytical time, time to think on business and reduce data management time further!

“What would you do with the extra time if your code ran in two minutes instead of five hours?” Goodnight challenged.

Cloud Computing by Windows , Amazon and Google for free

Some ways to test and use cloud computing for free for yourself-

  1. Windows Azure
  2. Amazon Ec2
  3. Google Storage

The folks at Microsoft Azure announced a 90 day free trial Continue reading “Cloud Computing by Windows , Amazon and Google for free”

Do android hackers tweet about electric sheep?

Here is a very amusing site where bunch of hackers discuss black hat techniques to game social media- they meet in the MJ website. LOL

Thats actually the official MJ website. (also see my Poem on MJ at

https://decisionstats.com/2011/04/29/tribute-to-michael-jackson/

and https://decisionstats.com/2009/12/01/obama-and-mj-on-history/)

But back to the funny twitter gamers

http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/node/703109

MICHAEL JACKSON YOU ARE OVER THE STATUS UPDATE LIMIT. PLEASE WAIT A FEW HOURS AND TRY AGAIN.

Save the Data

Breakdown of political party representation in...
Image via Wikipedia

I just read an online cause here-

http://sunlightfoundation.com/savethedata/

Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated. Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.

I wonder why the federal government/ non profit agencies can help create a SPARQL database, and in days of cloud computing, why a tech major cannot donate storage space to it, after all despite US corporate tax rate being high, US technological companies do end up paying a lower rate thanks to tax breaks/routing overseas revenue.

In the new age data is power, and the US has led in its mission to use technology to further its own values even especially in Middle East. The datasets should be made public and transitioned to the private sector/academia for research and re designing for data augmentation with out straining the massive deficit /borrowing/ fighting 3 wars. Of particular interest would be datasets of campaign finances  and donors especially given large number of retail/small donors/internet marketing in elections as it will also help serve as an example of democracy and change. Even countries like China can create a corruption/expense efficiency tracking internal dashboard with restricted rights to help with rural and urban governance.