DR. JIM GOODNIGHT
Chief Executive Officer, SAS
“SAS was originally created to analyze crop data through a grant from the Department of Agriculture. Forty years later SAS is used in every industry around the world. There are plenty of success stories still to be told. Federally supported university research is vitally important to keeping America at the forefront of technology innovation.”
$2.26 billion FY08
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
North Carolina State University
US Department of Agriculture
THE POWER TO KNOW ®
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Born from the Statistical Analysis System developed by company founder Jim Goodnight at North Carolina State University to analyze agricultural data, SAS is today the world’s largest privately held software company and the leader in business analytics software and services. It counts 91 of the Fortune 100 companies as its customers and its products are installed at more than 45,000 business, government and university sites around the world. SAS software is used today to sift through massive amounts of data. Insurance companies use SAS to flag fraudulent claims. Retailers use SAS to find profitable places to put stores and products within those stores. Financial institutions use SAS to detect money laundering, as mandated by the USA PATRIOT Act and Basel II. They also use it to sniff out fraud and to score credit applications.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
On completion of his doctorate in statistics, Goodnight became employed as a member of the NC State faculty. During his doctoral research, he joined forces with Anthony Barr, a fellow North Carolina State University graduate. By this time, the department of statistics had become a focal point for incoming agricultural data from universities all over the Southeast. Rather than writing a new program each time analysis was required, Goodnight and Barr thought it would make sense to write one program that could be applied again and again. From this, Statistical Analysis System (SAS) was developed.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
By 1972, with federal funding for the project running out, Barr and Goodnight persuaded the schools using SAS to fund their salaries so that they could continue to develop the software. The partners then were approached by pharmaceutical and insurance companies who recognized the applications of the software for their industries. By 1976 Goodnight and Barr had 120 clients and a growing group of SAS fans. It became apparent that SAS had out-grown its initial status as a research project and needed to move out of the confines of the university. With business partners John Sall and Jane Helwig, Goodnight and Barr established the SAS Institute.
A research grant from the US Department of Agriculture supported the development of Statistical Analysis System.
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