The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), the UK's Centre of Excellence for research in land and freshwater environmental sciences, has chosen SAS, the market leader in the new generation of business intelligence software and services, to provide analysis, interpretation and reporting for use with its environmental information arising from the 2007 Countryside Survey. Having begun in May of this year, Countryside Survey is the largest and most comprehensive survey of the British countryside’s natural resources, generating an overall picture of its current status.

As part of its Environmental Informatics Programme, which was set up to address the need for greater knowledge on managing scarce environmental resources in a sustainable and integrated manner, the CEH will make the SAS® Enterprise Intelligence Platform available for use across a wide variety of research projects.

The technology implementation for the survey is being led by ESRI (UK), the market leader in enterprise Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with SAS integral to the project. SAS' software will analyse over 2 million items of information gathered from the survey, translating it into reports on the state of our countryside. These reports will help scientists working on the survey to better understand the causes of current concerns, enabling them to provide the best advice to Countryside Managers who deal with environmental issues in the UK landscape. The first results are due out in Autumn 2008.

One of the main reasons SAS' platform was chosen was for its ability to interpret all the different types of data gathered from the CEH's various scientific disciplines, which have previously been held and analysed separately. Furthermore, SAS provided the highest-level of technical specification of all vendors considered which was of specific importance for compatibility with ESRI (UK)’s GIS. Much of the CEH’s survey data has graphical elements to it, so SAS’ ability to interpret and analyse the geospatial information stored on ESRI (UK)’s GIS was invaluable to the decision.

CEH was already familiar with SAS’ applications, having used, and been impressed by, SAS’ data mining software in previous Countryside Surveys. Following this experience, the CEH was keen to extend its use of SAS and leverage the insight it knew SAS’ technologies could provide.

John Watkins, Head of Section, Environmental Informatics Programme, CEH says: "CEH now has to deal with more information than ever. We were looking for a system that could bring together large volumes of very diverse environmental data, enabling us to generate better information using the full breadth of this resource - SAS does this. Its software allows far greater exploration of different environmental issues through a broad range of data. The tools enable the resulting information to be quickly summarised and presented to a wide audience supporting greater understanding of how and why our environment is changing."

John Dalton, Managing Director, SAS UK and Ireland goes on to say:

“SAS is incredibly pleased to be working with the CEH on such momentous and worthwhile work. We are thrilled to have been chosen to support the CEH’s effort, especially at this time, when preserving our environment is more important than ever. Our work with the CEH shows that having the right intelligence and acting upon it can make a significant difference in any sector of work.”


Additional Information

This news item is based on an original Press Release from SAS issued on 19th July 2007