Compare R Language with SAS

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Now a day’s analytics market has grown at a double speed. Today, the analytics software market is having numerous players and ranging from billion-dollar companies to a single person operated shops and businesses offering sophisticated and custom-based solutions to various communities as per their requirements. The analytics field is continuously growing, new tools and technologies have started coming in the market, causing the business analysts to master them for better career options.

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Today, number of analytical tools are available in the market, but the major competition is observed between R and sas.

Before diving into the main agenda of this article, let us first understand what R, sas is?


R is the lingua franca of statistics. It is a procedural language that depends on a series of sequential subroutines. R is open source and cost-effective approach and the highly preferred programming language among many data scientists. With its built-in packages and library functions. R is the most preferable language in the case of data and plot visualization which are crucial in the context of data analysis.


Statistical Analysis System (SAS) is a premium software suite introduced to explore large datasets in a visually good-looking format and the undisputed market leader in the enterprise analytics space. It is having features of good GUI, an array of statistical functions, along with a full-fledged technical support.


Comparing attributes:

1. Availability / Cost
2. Data handling and management
3. Graphical capabilities
4. Big Data Applications
5. Deep Learning Support
6. Learning curve
7. Career Opportunities
8. Customer service support and Community

Availability / Cost:

R: R and Python both are open source tools and accessed for free of cost and having a number of open community forums and support development teams. Which makes R and Python widely popular among many startups and well-established company.

SAS: SAS is an expensive commercial software available in the market. However, it occupies the highest market share in Private Organizations. SAS has brought a University Edition that is free to access but it has some limitations. 

Availability / Cost:

R: R computes everything in RAM (Random access memory), which makes it difficult to run even a small task.

SAS: It is having a good user-friendly GUI for data management but falls short of the capabilities for data handling and managing.
They no longer have differentiation in data management. Hadoop and Spark Integrations are added and supporting Cloudera and Apache Pig.

Graphical Capabilities:

R: It steals the limelight for making data visualization and graphics more appealing with packages like RGIS, Lattice, GGPlot, etc.

SAS: Working with large data sets sas is preferable.

Big Data Applications:

R: R integrates well with Hadoop, they lack the feasibility required for machine learning analytics.

SAS: sas also integrates easily with Hadoop but it lacks in features in machine learning analytics. 

Deep Learning support:

R: R has recently added support for kerasR and keras packages. In R act as an interface to the original Python package and Keras

SAS: Deep learning in sas is still in beginning phase, the sas technical team are working on it. 

Learning Curve:

R: It’s a low-level programming language designed to perform data analysis with more user-friendly behavior. 

SAS: sas may easy to learn but it does not have good work on programming era.

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Career Opportunities:

R: R is highly famous across startups and middle level organizations and MNCs. Which shows a better opportunity. 
SAS: sas still the market leader in corporate jobs. Most of the big organization are still work on sas.

Customer Service support & community:

R: R is not having customer service support but having many online communities. So, in R if you have any problem you will solver by your own or you take a help of online community people.

SAS: In the case of sas, having two options like customer service support and online communities if anyone having any problem on installation they can reach out to the customer service as well as communities.

Parameter R sas
More Preferable
Ease of learning Good Preferable
Data handling capacities Preferable Preferable
Graphical capabilities Preferable Good
Advancement in tools Preferable Preferable
Job opportunity Preferable Preferable
Customer Service Support & community Good More Preferable
Deep Learning Support Good Not applicable


Big communities who creates libraries High adoption rate in major industries
Free to use Flow based interface with drag and drop
Early Adopter in Explanatory and Predictive modeling Official Support
Easy to connect to data sources, including no SQL and web scraping Handling large Datasets


Can be slow with big Datasets                                          Relatively high cost
Steep learning Curve                                                                              For nonstandard options not in interface, we have to write the code
No official support Slow adopting to new technology
No user interface Different programs for visualisation


To Sustain in analytic market mandatory to expertise in the high-level coding and programming. With their open community forums and regular updates R and Python trending all the business in market.


>> Entering in analytics industry as a fresher, learn SAS as your first language is recommendable. Because It is easy to learn and holds highest job market share.

>> Fresher having good knowledge on math and statics R is preferable to learn.


If you are experienced in analytics, already spent time in industry, you should try and diversify your expertise be learning a new tool.

If you want to expert in the analytical field you should know any two-analytical technology.


** For Startup, freelancing R is Recommendable.

** For corporate setups that require more hands-on assistance and training, so they choose SAS as an option.

** For Researchers and statistician’s R is recommendable because it helps in heavy calculations.

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