SAS BI is just part of a very broad portfolio of technologies and solutions, all addressing some form of analytics activity. Starting out as a statistics package the SAS product line now addresses statistics, business intelligence, data mining, predictive analytics, machine learning … and a raft of vertical and horizontal business solutions. The BI offering does everything one might expect, with the bonus that it is part of a broader analytical capability. Data visualization, reporting, ad-hoc reporting, self-service BI, collaboration and mobile BI are all available and compare well with other products.
More recently SAS has been working to address performance issues, and particularly support for multi-threaded and parallel processor execution. It is not uncommon to hear complaints about the lack of support for contemporary hardware architectures, but it does seem that SAS is addressing this.
The very broad range of capabilities offered by SAS is well complemented by the extensibility provided by the SAS language, and there really should be plenty of head room for even the most demanding requirements. On the other hand SAS is not likely to be the most productive analytics environment. It is complex and this of course is the shadow cast by the sophistication it offers.
The cost of SAS products and services is often raised by users and prospects alike. Such is the high price of some products that competitors target this as a lure to attract organizations to their own products.
SAS is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated offerings, but it is mostly likely to be attractive to larger organizations with complex needs.