Technology Connection offers R&D vision

“My goal is to constantly improve the quality and stability of our software while at the same time innovating,” said Vice President of SAS Resarch and Development Armistead Sapp yesterday at the SAS Global Forum Technology Connection. Hosted by Product Management Director Michele Eggers, the Technology Connection focused not only on technology direction, but on customer collaborations as well.

Read More »

Post a Comment

'You are modernizing. And SAS is modernizing as well.'

The screen at SAS Global Forum

Opening Session at SAS Global Forum

SAS Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis welcomed the Opening Session audience at SAS Global Forumall too appropriately: by using text analytics to create a word cloud, based on CEO Jim Goodnight’s remarks just minutes before.

And he honed in on a word that stood out to him: “modernization.”

“We are in a phase where we have to modernize our infrastructure, modernize our analytic environment to take advantage of the advances that are out there so we can process large amounts of data and do so in a timely fashion.”

Underscoring his point, Davis went through a veritable laundry list of analyst reports from Gartner and Forrester recognizing SAS’ innovation.

He acknowledged that the company not only tries to address issues in its own business but in the marketplace as a whole.

Read More »

Post a Comment

Hanging out with new friends

I enjoy human kids. When I’m not working, they’re a lot of fun to be around.

Recently, Ed had a speaking engagement with some local students who are visually impaired. They were competing in a contest known as the Braille Challenge, sponsored by the national Braille Institute. And, wow, these kids are good.  (Check out this article to learn more.)

Once he was finished talking, Ed answered questions. Naturally, many of questions were about me, because I’m that gorgeous.  Ed took off my harness—which let the kids know that I was off-duty and that it was okay for them to pet me.

Then a teacher asked if she could pet me too, and before you know it, I was totally feeling the love from so many kind people—students, parents, teachers. Yeah.

It was a good day.

Post a Comment

Analyzing 40 million records per month, with more than 600 traits

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight

If SAS users ever doubted their influence on SAS software, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight put any worries to rest during Opening Session of SAS Global Forum 2014 yesterday.

In front of more than 4,500 attendees, and amidst images of the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol on the main stage of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington DC, Goodnight gave a quick rundown of SAS’ projects in the queue and the customer-based rationale for each.

Goodnight highlighted how new SAS products and SAS’ work in fraud and financial crimes empower customers in IT, the corner office and government. He touched on SAS’ recent partnership with SAP, born out of requests for SAS’ advanced analytics to run on users’ existing in-memory, SAP HANA platforms.

Read More »

Post a Comment

Calling all unicorns: SAS remains committed to developing analytical talent

Are retailers suffering a skills shortage when it comes to analytics? Nikki Baird from Retail Systems Research (RSR Group) offers some intriguing observations about the critical analytical talent shortage facing the retail industry in a recent article, “Where Have All the Data Scientists Gone? SAS Analyst Day Report Out.” Her observations came after attending the 26th SAS Analyst Conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Baird says she has believed for a long time that SAS’ customer insight capabilities are some of retail’s best-kept secrets, and SAS’ understanding of the finer points of size optimization is difficult to match in the industry. We couldn’t agree more.

Unicorn in field

Are retail data scientists as rare as unicorns?

However, Baird admits she’s always been curious about SAS’ focus on selling to the "elusive retail data scientists" whom Baird says she's encountered almost as frequently as unicorns or dragons. Consider this excerpt from her post:

This must be why business intelligence and analytics is such a relative mess in retail. I mean, aside from the startling finding from our latest BI benchmark that there is a large contingent of retailers out there who persist in believing that intuition is more important than information for a lot of functions, if business analysts are driving BI investment decisions then I can easily see how the advantages of an enterprise-wide BI platform go down in flames as each group fights for the tools they like best.

I think the big question for SAS in retail in 2014 and beyond will be focused on these data scientist resources. Will retailers recognize and respond to the need for this layer of resource within the enterprise?

Read More »

Post a Comment

Quality needs a new paradigm

After decades of trying to "manage" and "control" quality, manufacturers continue to struggle with consistently achieving quality excellence. To conquer the realities of today's marketplace and achieve quality excellence, manufacturers need to adopt an analytic approach to quality.

The basic objective of manufacturers hasn't changed since the beginning - produce a quality product with the features customers want, at a price they'll pay and is profitable. The principles of quality management best practices were established decades ago. So why are organizations still struggling with achieving their quality goals taking market leadership? I've boiled it down to these four things. Read More »

Post a Comment

Who wants to be a billionaire?

The odds may not be in your favor, but SAS Analytics could help you win a huge prize.

As you may have heard, billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert have teamed up to offer $1 billion to anyone who can create a perfect NCAA March Madness bracket. “Wow,” you might say. “How hard can it be to create a perfect bracket? I could really use a billion bucks!”

Well, the answer is “really, really, unbelievably hard.” So hard that in the history of March Madness, no one has ever done it. For you math lovers out there, the odds are supposedly 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

And what if someone is actually able to create this magical winning bracket?

"I will invite him or her to be my guest at the final game and be there with a check in my pocket, but I will not be cheering for him or her to win," Buffett said, jokingly. "I may even give them a little investment advice.” Read More »

Post a Comment

Something old, something new—planning for a happy marriage of hardware and SAS software

“Something old or new, borrowed or blue” - forgive the paraphrase of the items chosen to bring good luck to brides! Recently I’ve been involved in several situations where SAS customer IT organizations have proposed architectures for new SAS software that are not up to snuff.  It occurred to me that this familiar wedding rhyme is also an apt description for software environments that are cobbled together without proper planning.

One customer is building a sandbox to try out a new implementation of SAS® Visual Analytics.  This exciting visualization software is intended to fly – to bring graphs, tables and forecasts, based on vast stores of data, to your laptop, tablet or smart phone screen fast, fast, fast!  And when the infrastructure is sized and set up appropriately, it will. But if it isn’t, it won’t.

Read More »

Post a Comment

Ask the Statistician: Best practices for explaining statistical results

In my last post in the Ask the Statistician series, we heard statisticians at the Analytics 2013 conference  discuss what types of statistical techniques they use to solve their business problems. Given that these concepts are technical in nature, I wanted to better understand some of their best practices for sharing their statistical results with those more non-technical audiences that need to use this information. Check out their suggestions in the video below. They might also benefit you in your current role.

This video features the question: What are some best practices for explaining your results?

What about you? Do you have best practices to share from your experiences within your organization?

And check back soon for more upcoming posts and videos featuring our statisticians.

Post a Comment

What can a skateboarder teach you about Hadoop?

Have you ever wondered how extracting value from big data might be like skateboarding?  Really, it never crossed your mind? Actually, to be honest I had never considered it either, not even one little bit.  At least, not until I watched a skateboarding legend explain, “The Art of Good Practice” at a big data conference last month.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Rodney Mullen, considered one of the most influential skateboarders in the history of the sport, presented at the 2014 Strata Santa Clara conference.  Had it not been for his O’Reilly Media t-shirt, I would have guessed he was at the wrong conference.   But as I began to listen to his message, it became clear that he was indeed in the right place, talking to just the right people.

Here are the three things Rodney taught me:

Read More »

Post a Comment