According to a recent report issued by the Journal of Business Forecasting, SAS leads the forecasting software package market with the highest share.

The report, “Benchmarking Forecasting Software and Systems,” is based on feedback received from attendees at the Institute of Business Forecasting (IBF) conferences conducted throughout the year. It reports that SAS obtained the greatest market share in 2002, with 18.75 percent, while its closest competitor had 10 percent.

“Although business forecasting is a young function, it has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two decades or so,” the report stated. “Every business decision is based on some expectations about the future. Good forecasts can help to minimize inventory risk and optimize customer service.”

The IBF anticipates continued growth for operational forecasting in many key industries – such as pharmaceutical, automotive, oil/petroleum, healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products, utilities and retail, among others.

“This report is vendor-neutral and reflects business analysts’ beliefs that SAS is the company to turn to for their forecasting needs,” Jim Davis, SAS’ senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Forecasting is critical in helping businesses operate efficiently and strategically, planning growth for increased profitability. SAS allows you to go far beyond traditional analyzing and forecasting processes to identify previously unseen trends and anticipate future changes.”

SAS, based in Cary, provides forecasting functionality through its end-to-end business intelligence infrastructure, called the SAS Intelligence Architecture. It builds on top of existing IT investments.