The use of analytics, statistics and data science in business has grown massively in recent years. Harnessing the power of data is opening actionable insights in diverse industries from banking to horse breeding.  Organisations spend a huge amount of recourses applying business intelligence and advanced analytics techniques to uncover these insights. Organisations doing this most successfully understand that using sophisticated analytics approaches to unlock insights from data is only half the job. Communicating these insights to all of the different parts of an organisation is just as important as doing the actual analysis. Visualising data, and analytics results, is one of the most effective ways to achieve this. This course will cover the theory of data visualisation along with practical skills for creating compelling visualisations, reports and dashboards from data using SAS Visual Analytics.

Presented by

Aoife has spent the last 15 years developing analytical models and processes for major national and international companies in banking, finance, insurance, gaming and manufacturing. Aoife has developed particular expertise in customer insight analytics, fraud analytics, and risk analytics.

Aoife founded The Analytics Store in 2009 to peruse her passionate belief in the importance of developing in-house analytics talent in organisations. Aoife works with organisations to help them build world class analytics teams and processes through a unique mix of training, consultancy and mentoring.

Aoife is a co-author of the textbook “Fundamentals of Machine Learning for Predictive Data Analytics: Algorithms, Worked Examples & Case Studies” published in 2015 with MIT Press.

Learn how to

During this training course, you will learn the following:

  • How to move from business questions to great data visualisations and beyond
  • How to apply the fundamentals of data visualisation to create informative charts
  • How to choose the right visualisation type for the job at hand
  • How to use the exploration environment in SAS Visual Analytics to perform ad-hoc analysis
  • How to design and develop dashboards in SAS Visual Analytics that people will love to use
  • How to tell stories that from your business data to inform better business decisions

Who Should attend

This course is for anyone who analysis business data as part of their job. Some key titles include:

  • Analytics Professionals
  • Business Intelligence Professionals
  • Reporting Specialists
  • Data Scientists
  • Business Analysts.


To attend this course delegates should be some knowledge in the use of data analysis tools such as reporting tools, spreadsheet software or business intelligence tools. Prior knowledge of SAS is no required.

Course Outline

Day 1 Topics

From Business Questions to Data Visualisation and Beyond

The first step in any data analysis project is to move from a business question to data analysis and on to a complete solution. This section will examine this conversion emphasizing:

  • The use of data visualisation to address a business need
  • The need for good quality data to be available to address business problems and how to recognise and address data quality issues.
  • The need for processes to be in place to take advantage of, and support, analysis efforts

Fundamentals of Data Visualisation

In this section the following topics will be covered

  • Fundamentals of data visualisation
  • The visual analytics process
  • Data and its characteristics
  • Transforming data

Introduction to SAS Visual Analytics

In this section, the main functionality of SAS Visual Analytics will be explained including:

  • examining Visual Analytics Explorer
  • selecting data and defining data item properties
  • creating visualizations
  • enhancing visualizations with analytics
  • interacting with visualizations and explorations

Day 2 Topics

Key Components of Good Data Visualisation

In this section the following topics will be covered

  • Colour theory
  • Graphical perception & communication
  • Interaction design
  • Mapping visual encodings to data dimensions

The Visualisation Zoo

This section will explain the visualisation of different characteristics of data and mapping the data type to the correct type of chart. The type of data characteristics and corresponding chart types covered in this section are:

  • Trends
  • Comparisons
  • Maps
  • Networks
  • Hierarchies
  • Text
  • KPIs

Data Exploration with SAS Visual Analytics

Exploring data to answer business questions is one of the key uses of applying good data visualisations techniques within SAS Visual Analytics. In this workshop we will apply all of the data visualisation theory within SAS Visual Analytics to uncover trends within the data to answer specific business questions.

Day 3 Topics

Design and Developing Effective Dashboards & Reports

In this section, the skills learned in the previous section will be brought together in the design and development of dashboards and reports.

  • What is a dashboard and why use them
  • What are the challenges of designing good dashboards
  • Designing good KPI’s
  • The characteristics of well-designed dashboards
  • The process of in the designing good dashboards
  • The best practices of dashboard design
  • How we can use technology to enhance the users experience

Designing Dashboards that people will love using SAS Visual Analytics
In this section, we will implement the full process from business question to final dashboard using SAS Visual analytics

  • creating a simple report
  • creating data items and working with graphs
  • working with filters and report sections
  • establishing interactions, links, and alerts
  • working with gauges and display rules
  • working with tables