Am I running slower as I get older?

I read an article recently discussing how runners inevitably slow down with age, particularly after 50. Data from the New York Marathon and Boston Marathon back this up with generally flat average finishing times for ages 20-49 followed by a steady, almost exponential, increase after 50.

Average finish times by age group for the New York City Marathon

I haven’t reached the big 5-0 yet, but it made me wonder: Have I started to slow down already? I decided to use SAS Visual Analytics and my training data from my Garmin GPS watch to try to answer that question.

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Meet your SAS #StrataHadoop Team: Rachel Hawley

Rachel Hawley

Rachel Hawley (L), SAS Solutions Architect, and Brooke Fortson (R), SAS Marketing Specialist

A core SAS team of thought leaders, developers and executives will be in New York City on September 29 at Strata + Hadoop World, mixing and mingling with people like you who live and breathe analytics. We’d love to be a part of your Strata + Hadoop World agenda. Last week, I introduced you to Patrick Hall and Clark Bradley in this blog series featuring Q&As with the folks you can meet at the SAS booth #543.

This week, you'll meet Rachel Hawley and Dan Zaratsian, both Solutions Architects here at SAS headquarters in Cary, NC. First up, Rachel Hawley. Rachel assists customers in defining their business problems and objectives, and using SAS advanced analytics solutions to help them reach their goals. Her main focuses are SAS In-Memory Analytics solutions and SAS Decision Management.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel at Strata + Hadoop World San Jose earlier this year, where we instantly clicked. We share a love for the outdoors, fitness and witty humor. We also both have degrees from North Carolina State University, although hers is a master’s in operations research and mine is a bachelor's in marketing. In other words, she can apply advanced analytics methods to data and I can promote it through a fancy video or infographic. :-)

What’s your background and education?
I’m a “small town girl” from upstate New York.  I earned a Bachelors in Mathematics from the University of Rochester (where I also played varsity lacrosse) and a Masters in Operations Research from North Carolina State University. Having grown up acting and singing in community theater, and through my experience teaching as a graduate student at NC State, I knew I wanted to find a profession where I could combine my presentation skills with my technical background. So, I’ve spent my career working with customers, showing them how to apply analytics to solve complex problems – anything from optimizing their supply chain to combating tax fraud. Read More »

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Happy IT Professionals Day from SAS

Did you know today is National IT Professionals Day? I'm sure you broke out your party hat. And you're dancing a shared cloud infrastructure dance. Am I right? Since this looks to be a new holiday, we thought we'd help you celebrate with links and resources. Share them with your favorite IT professionals or SAS administrators - or bookmark them for later, you know, after the cake and ice cream.

Man in data center
Start by reading this popular series of blog posts, "The IT Whisperer," from Lisa Horowitz. You'll find tips on mapping your SAS environment and increasing IT's awareness of SAS.

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Why we’re creating 150 new jobs in Ireland

In today’s information economy, the ability to engage and develop meaningful digital relationships is fundamental to any business. A growing number of organisations, including small-to-medium sized enterprises, are investing in easy-to-use analytical software and services to extract insights from data about their business. As a result, we're now experiencing the ‘democratisation of analytics’.

This movement is rapidly gaining momentum in Ireland, and if realised, could deliver a significant boost to the Irish economy. Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has shown that big data analytics adoption could deliver additional revenues of €27 billion to Ireland alone over the five years to 2017. But what we’re starting to see more of is data (not necessarily big data) analytics adoption, as organisations of all sizes realise there is more they could be doing with their data – and ignoring it could put them at a competitive disadvantage.

08/09/2015 NO REPRO FEE, MAXWELLS DUBLIN New centre in Dublin expands operations and investment in Ireland’s Big Data economy Pic shows: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, speaking at the IDA Announcement in Dublin today. SAS, the global leader in business analytics, is expanding its operations in Ireland with the opening of a new Inside Sales and Customer Contact Centre. Based in Dublin, the expansion will create 150 jobs over three years, equating to an investment of around €40 million. The move will see the workforce increase six-fold and significantly reinforce SAS’ presence in the region. This project has been supported by the Department of Jobs through IDA Ireland. PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLS   The centre will support sales of data analytics software into markets across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  Roles will include multi-lingual business development and sales specialists, customer engagement specialists, data scientists and software engineers.  Employees will work with customers to demonstrate how analytics will add value in their business and support them as they deploy and implement these solutions.   The new centre will initially be located at NexusUCD, University College Dublin’s industry partnership centre.   There remains a huge opportunity for businesses that haven’t traditionally adopted big data analytics to drive growth through evidence-based decision-making, rather than relying on business instinct or ‘gut feel’. Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has shown that big data analytics adoption could add around €27 billion to the Irish economy alone from 2013 to 2017 and will create up to 61,000 net new jobs.   Businesses are increasingly aware of the value data provides in helping them make better decisions, whether they relate to operational efficiency, understanding customers, identifying new opportunities or managing risk. Many of these organisations are mid-market companies that have no history

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny

SAS is keen to serve the needs of companies now looking to exploit their data. This week, we expanded our operations in Ireland with the opening of a new Inside Sales and Customer Contact Centre in Dublin. Through this investment, we'll create 150 jobs over three years in the city, and expect to see our workforce in Ireland increase six-fold, equating to an investment of around €40 million.

The centre, while based in Dublin, will support sales of data analytics software into markets across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More »

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Meet your SAS #StrataHadoop Team: Clark Bradley

Meet Clark Bradley: SAS technical architect by day and comedian by night. When he’s not demoing SAS Data Loader for Hadoop, he’s blogging about it on The Data Roundtable. Clark and a core SAS team of thought leaders, developers and executives will be in New York City on September 29 at Strata + Hadoop World, mixing and mingling with people like you who live and breathe analytics.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we’d love to be a part of your Strata + Hadoop World agenda. So, over the next three weeks, I'll be introducing you to our team. This is the second post of the series, which features Q&As with the folks you can meet at the SAS booth #543.

What’s your background?

Clark: I hold a BS in Math and Science from USC (the real one, just south of North Carolina!). I’ve always been interested in data, both from a structural and access perspective. If data has a purpose built structure the access is easy, if not, the access can be more complex to forming the output result set. I’ve worked as a data architect, administrator and developer for over 17 years (that’s 84 years to a beagle!).

Clark Bradley

Clark Bradley, SAS technical architect by day and a comedian by night.

What skills help you most as a technical architect?

Clark: I like working in Hadoop because I use a variety of skills when working with customers. Linux OS skills to monitor performance and troubleshoot various processes, native Hadoop skills to assess the environment and layout, architectural skills to plan and build robust schemas for applications and SAS skills to tie together various data management, data integration, data transformation and data quality activities. It depends on the problem as to which skill I'll use, whether solving a performance problem or building a solution environment. Read More »

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Meet your SAS #StrataHadoop Team: Patrick Hall

The epicenter of big data moves to New York City on September 29 at Strata + Hadoop World. It’s a great chance to mix and mingle with people that live and breathe analytics, including a core SAS team of thought leaders, developers and executives.

We’d love to be a part of your Strata + Hadoop World agenda, so we thought introductions to our team might spark your interest! This is the first of a series of blog posts over the next three weeks that will feature Q&As with the folks you can meet at the SAS booth #543.

First up is Patrick Hall, whose official SAS title is “Senior Machine Learning Scientist,” but I like to refer to him simply as “The Machine.” This guy is impressive – from his patent submissions for an algorithm that will determine the number of clusters in a data set, to his engaging and informative presence on social media. Read More »

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Five reasons oil and gas needs analytics more than ever

Over my career, I've attended many events where the audience was blasted with the value of analytics -- and the pitch usually fell on deaf ears. The 2015 SAS Energy Analytics Forum (which doubled in size from last year) was vastly different. The attendees had more questions and more urgency to take action. This year, attendees were not asking "why?"  They were asking: "how?" and "where do we start?"

108350741Here are just a few of the conversations I had with customers, which highlights the business issues analytics can help tackle:

  1. Forecasting production, cost, and profits at different level of details.
  2. Forecasting the (economic) life of not just one well, but a field of wells.
  3. Doing more work safely, and with fewer resources.
  4. Selecting the right assets for investment.
  5. Measuring success on a daily basis (production and drilling).

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Enter the data composer

Man looking at charts on wallAlong with the data scientist hype, analytics and the people who make them work have found themselves in the spotlight. The trend has also put an emphasis on the "science" aspects of analysis, such as a data focus, statistical rigor, controlled experiments and the like.

Now, I’m not at all against adding more science into the modern analytic mix (see my previous blog post on the topic), but I do fear that an obsession with science risks alienating a significant proportion of the potential audience by making analytics appear cold, hypothetical and potentially not grounded in the everyday world.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Analysts are hungry to seek organizational truths and distinguish trends from chaos in the natural world. In essence, they are looking for those patterns in the overwhelming data streams that bring clarity. This no doubt has a scientific and logical reward, but also brings a higher understanding which some would consider beautiful.

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Time for VirtualOil 2.0?

Since our last VirtualOil update in May, oil prices have continued to take a beating. As the chart of the rolling five-year portfolio shows, much of our strip of options is now out-of-the-money and the average value per barrel of that optionality has sunk below $7. No surprise then that our Value-at-Risk (VaR) has also dropped dramatically – at this point, we have very little left to lose.

VirtualOil Rolling 5-Year Portfolio Aug 15

VirtualOil Rolling 5-Year Portfolio Aug 15


If VirtualOil were an actual physical company, we would be repatriating our ex-pats, shutting down projects, cutting capital spending budgets and, eventually, facing layoffs and restructuring. But as a virtual company based on a stack of options, we can virtually shut-in while we ride out the devastating situation inflicted on us by the global crude oil markets. Our initial options costs are sunk, but the potential for our wells to become profitable again remains.

Even though we are underwater, our portfolio is still valuable because the market continues to offer the probability that our options will exercise in the money. That’s quantifiable: We can calculate precisely our potential to perform in the options market. But does that mean holding is the right business decision?

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Education Meets Big Data: The benefits of an SLDS

This is my final entry in the Education Meets Big Data blog series. Let’s review what we've covered so far…

In my first post, I explained that statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) track student data from preschool through college and workforce across the state. SLDSs can be used to see one student’s growth over time, or, when data is aggregated, spot trends and drive behavior.

In the next post, I shared an interview with Armistead Sapp, one of the authors of the book Implement, Improve and Expand Your Statewide Longitudinal Data System, where he discussed state funding, big data and overcoming challenges with patience and persistence.

In my last post, I shared key steps for preparing your SLDS. Those key steps can also be generalized and used for any data management system for analysis and reporting.

For this final blog in the series, let’s understand the benefits behind an SLDS. Simply put, the SLDS allows for streamlined question asking and answering. Here are a few examples showing how teachers, administrators, state legislators and policy makers can use an SLDS to impact student success. Read More »

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