SAS Global Forum 2015 — bringing focus to the experience!

In this edition of our “We Heard You” blog series, we present responses to the surveys you submitted last year with your suggestions and feedback about the scheduling and structural changes introduced in 2014.  We sifted, synthesized, and prioritized changes based upon trends and your great ideas!

Here are a few of the refinements that will make your SAS Global Forum 2015 experience even better:

  • Make volunteering easier. Now you can find the perfect volunteer opportunity simply by entering your information in the enhanced volunteer coordination and recruitment system.
  • More seating in the breakout rooms. Now more people can attend the presentations they’ve come to Dallas to see. Everything is BIGGER in Texas, right?
  • Longer dining periods. Why not stretch the breaks and lunches while still offering content? Now you don’t have to choose between lunch and that cool Quick Tip. You can do both--we heard you!
  • More time between sessions. You asked for more time to get from one presentation to the next and to take that little break. That sprint for a coffee or a few carrot sticks was a little too much like the Olympics. We got that!
  • Move the Charity Event. Tuesday night is crowded with lots of meetups and social activities, and the charity event is a fantastic networking opportunity. We heard you and have moved the event to Monday evening so you’ll have an opportunity to join in the fun.
  • More opportunities to network. SAS Global Forum and the SAS Executive Conference are held concurrently each year. This year, attendees from both will have an opportunity to meet at Sunday night’s Welcome Reception and the Dessert Reception. We’re together this year!
  • Improved session assessment. Is there an app for that? We heard you, and have made assessment easy from your mobile device! Stay tuned for future posts about the mobile app available in April.

Remember, this is your conference! Built and directed by SAS users in strong collaboration with our SAS colleagues for our community of SAS users. We heard you and continue to refine our already great conference experience.

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Using SAS to add PivotTables to your Excel workbook

SAS Technical Support Problem SolversIn Microsoft Excel, a PivotTable can help you to create an interactive view of summarized data. Within a PivotTable, it’s easy to adjust the dimensions (columns and rows) and calculated measures to suit your ad-hoc reporting needs. You can also create a PivotChart – similar in concept to a PivotTable, but using a visualization technique such as a bar chart instead of a table.

SAS provides a special ODS tagset that can add a PivotTable or a PivotChart to your Microsoft Excel workbook automatically. It’s called the TableEditor tagset, and you can download it for free from the SAS support site.

In the example in this post, we’ll use the ODS EXCEL destination to create a native Open Office XML file (XLSX file) for Excel to read. Then we’ll use the TableEditor tagset to update the workbook to add a PivotTable to this worksheet. Read More »

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SAS Global Forum Session Madness

MarchMadnessIt’s March and everyone is enjoying the madness, at least in the US. We are watching 68 college basketball teams compete for the title of NCAA Champion.

Those of us watching get involved by selecting a bracket, that is, picking who will win each game. Some pick their alma mater. Some choose a team because of the mascot. I just ask my kids! Basically, unless you use SAS analytics, the bracket selection process can be a guessing game.

With over 500 sessions and activities at SAS Global Forum 2015, you may feel like it’s a guessing game too. We have worked to make sure you don’t need help from your kids to build a personalized, winning schedule for the event this year. Filters on topics, skill level, and even job role along with keyword search functionality have made finding the right sessions for you easier than ever.

This year the conference team has set up sample session agendas to make it even easier to get started. These sample agendas are in various categories such as programming basics, biostatistics, and even some for those statisticians who are just getting started.

There is no guessing game involved in creating your own personalized journey. Get started today so you won’t miss a minute of the action during the event. Comment about your personalized journey here so others may benefit from your picks.

See you at SAS Global Forum and good luck with those NCAA picks!

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How to reverse graph axes in SAS Visual Analytics

It may never crossed your mind, but there are real-life cases when reversing graph axes make sense. For example, when Y-axis represents a depth under the sea level or depth of oil well drilling, it makes perfect sense to have zero on top and positive numbers increasing from top down. Or, when X-axis, represents time elapsed from some events in the past before some anchor event occurred, it make sense to have zero time on the right and positive numbers increasing going to the left.

This very useful feature of reversing axes in graphs is available in SAS Visual Analytics.  It’s a process that involves creating a custom graph template and then applying that template to your data in SAS Visual Analytics Report Designer. Here’s how in two quick steps: Read More »

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We heard you! SAS Global Forum 2015 is better than ever.

Each year, SAS Global Forum conference organizers take your responses to surveys and pore over the suggestions and feedback you provide. Content and content delivery are bigger and better than ever at SAS Global Forum 2015 because of your feedback.

Often, as good minds think alike, there will be trends and grouping of comments that really help us to refine the content we seek and the means by which we deliver it.  Below is a high-level list of some of these refinements that center around your remarks on content and content delivery:

  • Offering a few sessions during lunch where lunch is provided. We heard you—some would rather soak up extra content than sit at a table to eat. We have tried to offer both.
  • More recorded material. The fact is that we cannot be in two places at once. With nearly 600 presentations, we heard you and have increased our recording capability so you can catch up on missed sessions at your convenience.
  • A keynote presentation streamed from the SAS Executive Conference. This addition is in response to the level of interest in the great content being presented at the Executive Conference. We plan to increase this integration in the future—we heard you!
  • More hands-on experiences. We heard you—more hands on!
  • Quick Tips in one room with a new room design and a new look and feel.
  • A new session type – Table Talks – roundtable discussions for a more individual experience and interaction with the speaker
  • The Quad has the merchandise store and various “quadrants” to help align program areas (Learn, Network, Play, Socialize). We heard you, the Quad is one of the greatest draws to our attendees and we have worked hard to make this experience even better!
  • Improved scheduler…!!! We knew there were areas for improvement and were grateful for the many suggestions by our attendees as to how to make it better.

Remember, this is your conference!  Built and directed by SAS Users who need feedback from all of you to improve this already great conference. Come and check out the new features based upon your survey feedback!

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Descriptive statistics—the more, the merrier in SAS Visual Analytics

This blog is not about the original movie The More the Merrier (1943) or its remake, Walk, Don’t Run (1966), which I’ve actually seen a couple of times. It’s actually about the wide variety of descriptive statistics available in SAS Visual Analytics—and when you want to examine the characteristics of numeric data in your report—the more, the merrier. Read More »

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SAS FULLSTIMER—turn it on!

SAS FULLSTIMER is a SAS system option that takes operating system information that is being collected by SAS process runs and writes that information to the SAS log. Using it can add up to 10 lines additional lines to your SAS log for each SAS step in your SAS log—so why would I recommend turning it on? Read More »

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Relationships are easy – for SAS objects!

Somebody once said that relationships are not easy. Well now they are—in SAS 9.4, at least!

SAS objects have inherent relationships and dependencies, and a change to one element can often have an impact on one or many related objects. For example, for SAS Visual Analytics reports to work as designed, they need to have access to the data that was used to create them. However, when looking at a report, it is often difficult to determine which data table is the source, what columns are used in the report, or what LASR library the data uses? Enter the batch relationship reporting tools. Read More »

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SAS Global Forum 2015: three exciting changes that make it the best ever

This year I am expecting SAS Global Forum to be one of the biggest and best ever!

The SAS Global Users Group makes changes and enhancements each year at SAS Global Forum based on the feedback we receive from SAS users. And I am pleased to be the first to say “We heard you!” and to have a role in making some of them happen. Here are just a few things I am excited to share with you for this year’s conference in Dallas from April 26-29. Read More »

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SAS Visual Analytics: creating a custom sort order

Does your week start on Sunday or Monday? Do you have a promotional product you would like to see at the top of your list? Do you have a particular order in which you like to view your regions?

Custom sorting is now possible with SAS Visual Analytics 7.1. The ability to specify a custom sort order is available for category data items only. This includes any calculated data items that are categories and custom categories. Read More »

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