Glasgow-based team will have a total of 220 staff

Business analytics company SAS has opened a research and development (R&D) centre in Scotland to help fight fraud and financial crimes.

The SAS investment will add 94 advanced analytics specialists to its established 126 member team in Glasgow and builds on the Scottish Development International (SDI) grant of £1.3m announced in 2013.

SAS executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (AP) Mikael Hagstrom said: “SAS is proud to be building on its existing operations in Scotland. We initially established a global research and development team to create business applications to help modernise law enforcement, improve public safety and enhance national security. The initial investments allowed SAS to see the real Scottish potential with easy access to Europe, the excellent pool of talent from universities and its strong culture of innovation.

“Using this experience, we will fortify our efforts in thwarting financial crime and fraud through this new facility and also focus SAS global R&D centres on advancing the development of big data analytics as the engine of the information economies across the world. The UK has the opportunity to take a lead in the global efforts to deliver real financial benefit from big data – considered a 21st century raw material and referred to by analysts as “new oil”. To do this we also need to ensure that government, academia and businesses work together to further develop the skills available and actively support programmes that nurture development in the next generation.”

SDI chief executive Anne MacColl said: “Data Analytics is an area of significant growth potential and one in which Scotland is well placed to take a leading role as part of the global opportunity that big data represents. Scottish Development International is delighted to be able to support SAS in the creation of its R&D centre and we are committed to helping the company realise its growth strategies in Scotland.”