Time flies when you're having fun. And, we're always having fun here at SAS - I guess that's why so much time has passed!
A lot's happened since our last update; we're coming to grips with our latest dashboards, we're playing around with JMP 9, and we're happily taking advantage of all the productivity enhancements in Enterprise Guide 4.3. We've also spent quite a bit of time out talking with people to find out whether or not what we've released looks interesting and useful - happily, it does! And, we've been lucky enough to have some more local customers speaking out on the benefits they've been able to achieve using SAS.
If you haven't already had a look over what's new in our reporting platform, you owe it to yourself to; keeping track of organizational performance has never been as easy, interactive, or attractive. And, the new integration with Outlook makes it that much easier to action things before they really go wrong. But, don't listen to me - check out what other people are saying.
JMP 9's new features read like a smorgasbord of analytical excitement - bootstrap forests and boosted trees, Excel integration, advanced mapping and visualisation, and enhanced support for multi-monitor setups. And, as if that weren't enough, just like SAS, JMP now offers the ability to execute R code within a JMP session, making it easier to never leave a single environment!
The new version of Enterprise Guide has proven a hit so far with all the developers I've talked to. Some of the major features include mouse-over help to give you a quick overview of syntax and usage, automatic code formatting to help deal with the spaghetti code we inevitably seem to find, and context sensitive keyword completion. The code analyser's also great fun - feed in a block of code and it'll automatically break it out into independent linked processes for you - neat!
Helping everyone understand what's new over the last few weeks has involved a whirlwind tour of Australia. It's always great to catch up with passionate people and, in my mind at least, SAS users tend to be among the most enthusiastic. Thus far we've managed to catch up with groups in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, and over next few weeks we'll be presenting in Sydney, Canberra, and New Zealand. If you're interested in coming along to see what's new and cool and haven't already registered, drop me an email and we'll fit you in.
The last few weeks also saw our final New Zealand Business Analytics Forum for the year - while I was presenting on new advances and applications in text analytics, the start of the show was definitely New Zealand Post, presenting on their new Genius segmentation service. Listening to Nigel Paxton explain how they built a segmentation model that covers the vast majority of households in New Zealand, uses over 1,300 variables, and identifies 36 different behavioural segments was one of the most interesting things I've had the pleasure of listening to this year.
I've said it before, but SAS's user community is unparalleled; I don't think I've ever come across a smarter, more interesting, or more creative set of individuals anywhere. And, it's always rewarding to see customers enthusiastic about sharing the value they're getting from SAS - Telstra, Coles, and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy have happily shared some of their experiences over the last few months.
With Christmas fast approaching, things are pretty crazy. Still, it's been a full year and next year's looking even more exciting, not only in terms of what we're planning on releasing but also what people are looking at working on and how they're looking to us to help. Life's never boring!