I'm always looking for ways to make my job sound more relevant to people who ask me, "so what does SAS do?" SAS does so much that I can't possibly list it all, so I need some umbrella terms that can capture the essence of it (and still keep the attention of the listener who thought this was just making polite conversation).
"Explaining SAS" is less of an issue than it once was, because SAS-the-company has become pretty famous as a great place to work. So while I don't have to explain who SAS is, I still often have to talk about what SAS does and why it should matter to you.
I was recently part of a delegation who took the message to some local 7th graders, as we went into the classroom and "taught" STEM-related course material for a day. For my part, I taught a lesson about how data integration is critical for law enforcement. We even had a hands-on activity where we "solved" a crime using data matching techniques (and good police work, of course).
But the lesson that really captured the imagination of these kids had to do with NBA basketball. The students learned not only about the role of analytics in improving player and team performance, but also how Customer Analytics are used to improve the experience of fans. They heard the story of how the Orlando Magic uses the science of numbers to make games even more fun for attendees (and more profitable for the team).
Customer Analytics is one of those useful umbrella terms that I can now use to talk about what SAS does. For example, I can tell my parents (who love Las Vegas) the role that SAS plays in the loyalty programs they use. And it's how banks and insurance companies work to get more customers, and offer more services to the customers they already have.
During this International Year of Statistics, it's great to remember our statistical roots. But analytics is how we use statistics, combined with business and industry knowledge, to make a difference.