SAS hits sweet spot at SAS Global Forum 2014

My husband is a life-long golfer so I’m no stranger to the term “sweet spot”. So when I heard the applause after Dr. Goodnight announced free software for students and faculty, my first thought was SAS has hit the sweet spot with this one.

At WUSS in November, I attended a panel session on SAS in the Cloud, which was largely a discussion of SAS OnDemand for Academics, the software offering for the Academic Community. There were two recurring themes among panelists and audience:  students with Apple devices having no access to SAS and students often frustrated with installing SAS on their devices.

In the few short months since the Las Vegas conference, SAS has made good progress in expanding access to SAS software. For many, the highlight of SAS Global Forum 2014 was the launch of SAS Analytics U and the announcements of the SAS University Edition that will be released later this spring. Read More »

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Catalyst Cafe--sharing a passion for the product

Well, if I were asked to name the most intriguing spot in the SAS Support and Demo Area, it would probably be The Catalyst Café sponsored by SAS R&D. This exciting new area at SAS Global Forum 2014 is aptly name:  a informal meeting place dedicated to jump-starting  ideas for how SAS can enhance your user experience with SAS software.

Talking to SAS users one-on-one and hearing your enthusiasm for the software is why SAS Global Forum is so very powerful for SAS employees. Here in the demo hall, you can see the “Potential of One, Power of All” in action—not only within the SAS user community but also among the SAS staff who develop, test and support the products you work with every day.

I snapped a couple photos for a little taste of the area--each station is a creative way to capture your feedback.

“Just Tell Us” Feedback Forum. SAS  is making your feedback more personal through videos. Do you have something you want to say to SAS developers about your product? If you’re still at the conference, come on down and chat with the folks in Catalyst Cafe! Read More »

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New SAS division enhances customer support

In December, Kathy Council gave us the scoop on the consolidation of several divisions at SAS into a single organization focused on customer support. At this morning’s 2014 Technology Connection, Fritz Lehman, Vice President of SAS Customer Engagement and Support, shared his vision by responding to some of your requests and questions about support.

“Over last year to eighteen months, SAS has been gathering information about your experience with SAS”, said Lehman. “In response, SAS has been reorganizing to try address some of what we’ve learned. In particular, we’ve brought the divisions that have a lot of customer contact together into one larger Customer Engagement and Support Division. By merging and sharing information, we hope to get to know each one of you better and can be more proactive in the services we offer.”

Lehman used this opportunity to address some of the questions or requests SAS hears most often: Read More »

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SAS Global Forum 2014--live on your desktop

Yesterday, I was on a phone call with a disappointed SAS user who won't be attending SAS Global Forum 2014. Like many others, her organization is facing another year of reduced travel and conference budgets.

While there's no substitute for attending in person, live webcasts from SAS Global Forum make it possible to hear first-hand from conference leaders, SAS users and select SAS staff. It's like having a mini-conference right on your desktop!

You'll find a daily playlist of live webcast events on the SAS Global Forum Live and On Demand site. Here's an overview of some of the great content you can take advantage of:

  • Opening Session:  Join us at the main stage for some of the biggest announcements and presentations during the conference. You will hear from Marje Fecht, this year's conference chair as well as key members of the SAS executive team, including SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.
  • Technology Connection: Hear more about what's new in the world of SAS technology. Plus, SAS will review the results of this year's SASware Ballot®.
  • Keynotes:  There’s an exciting line-up of keynote speakers for SAS Global Forum 2014.
  • Session Presentations: Hear SAS staff and experts from the SAS community share tips and best practices for SAS products and tools. Check the daily schedules for topics of interest.
  • Live Reports: Each 30- to 45-minute report features several brief, informative interviews with key thought leaders at the conference on a wide range of SAS topics.
  • Tech Talks: Chris Hemedinger will be “Talking Tech”. Every day of the conference, Chris will take you on a tour of the technology and solutions that created a buzz on the conference demo floor.
  • Inside SAS® Global Forum: Tune in to this video series, where our hosts Chris Hemedinger and Lisa Arney will be interviewing SAS executives, SAS developers, paper presenters and others, giving viewers a look at hot topics that were discussed at this exciting conference.

And don’t forget—stay tuned to your SAS Global Forum social media channels to follow #SASGF14 for up-to-the-minute announcements from the conference.

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SAS user community—making things happen!

Learning. Sharing knowledge. Catching up with colleagues. My favorite part of attending SAS Global Forum is connecting with other SAS users from around the globe. SAS Global Forum 2014 is run for SAS users, by SAS users and all of the content presented at the event is from users like you. That’s unique! More remarkable is that SAS users have been meeting like this since 1976.

Over the years, SAS users found ways to continue to share, collaborate---even maintain lasting friendships—long after the event was over. That being said, you don’t want to miss the Online Communities Meet-Up on Tuesday night. This convergence of six different but important online groups includes multiple international communities, SAS Support Communities, SAS-L listserve and sasCommunity.org. sasCommunity.org in particular will be sharing new plans, including a call for motivated volunteers to help with developing and enhancing the site.

Like SAS Global Forum, sasCommunity.org is run for SAS users, by SAS users. It also contains over five years’ worth of technically rich, SAS-user-contributed content. Just browse the site’s longstanding Sasopedia to see what I mean. And if you want a glimpse into the history of SAS user content, check out their catalog of historical conference papers from 1976 to 1996. Conversely, you can subscribe to the sasCommunity.org Planet, a collection of progressive blog entries from the SAS user community. Other new features make it even easier to be involved and stay connected.

sasCommunity.org recently announced a way for presenters to create a presentations index page for their work. This new feature makes it easier to create articles about your presentations, share your presentation materials and continue the discussion online after the conference has ended.

Whether we are talking about online communities, SAS users groups or SAS Global Forum, one thing is clear:  the fact that for so many years SAS users self-organize to connect, share and create value for themselves and others speaks to the rich history and bright future of SAS users worldwide.

See you soon at SAS Global Forum 2014!

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SAS Global Forum--3 ways you're lucky to attend

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and classrooms all over the US are decorated with shamrocks and the green top hats of the mythical leprechaun. According to legend, if you ever catch one, the leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for its release (not to mention the pot of gold they guard). Anyone who catches one of these creatures is lucky indeed!

In seven short days, many of us will be gathering in Washington, DC, for SAS Global Forum 2014. Although conference planners can’t grant magical wishes like leprechauns, they have found three ways to make attendees feel really lucky:

  • Haven’t registered yet? You don’t have to catch a leprechaun to have your wish granted. This year, online registration is open through March 23, and discounted day passes are still available for SAS users in the DC area. Arrive early, and you can take advantage of the parking passes too. That’s better than finding a lucky clover.
  • Fun, meals and giveaways—participation at SAS Global Forum includes all of these. If you join in the gaming from your smart phone, you could win prizes (no pot of gold but still very cool prizes!) And don’t forget to post some pics on Instagram.
  • There’s no rainbow, but you will find gold at the conference—gold in the form of valuable SAS content and support. Don’t miss the more than 70,000 square feet of software demos, problem-solving clinics and SAS staff, sponsors and partners in the SAS Support and Demo Area. And for the first time, pre- and post-conference tutorials are open to the public. Seats are still available.

I’ll be at SAS Global Forum this year! Hope to see you too. We can talk about all the presentations, people and activities that make us feel lucky we attended.

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How to avoid 6 common PROC REPORT errors

Like every SAS procedure, PROC REPORT generates error messages that are specific to that procedure.  Some of these errors are easier to understand and work around than others.  In this blog post, I show six of the trickiest errors, explain what might be causing the error, and give advice for how to circumvent it. Read More »

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Fun with smart phones at SAS Global Forum 2014!

Got a smart phone? Just about everyone does these days. And that little rectangle of glorious technology is changing the way our attendees experience SAS Global Forum.  Your smartphone helps you stay connected at the conference, but it’s also a great tool for having fun.  This year, we’re challenging you to use your smartphone to get competitive, share a laugh and explore everything SAS Global Forum 2014 has to offer.

First things first, download the SAS Global Forum mobile app, now available for iPhone and Android in the app store. The app is packed full of tools to help you navigate the conference. From agenda building to connecting with other attendees, the mobile app has you covered—but the real buzz this year is about the gaming section. Read More »

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Upgrading to SAS 9.4—it’s a trip!

Are you one of the users who upgrades to the latest version of SAS as soon as it comes out? Or are you like some and wait to upgrade until you’re jumping several versions? We’ve talked in previous posts about the benefits of moving to SAS 9.4, so today I’m going to show you a technique for upgrading your SAS 9.2 or SAS 9.3 content to SAS 9.4 using our “all-at-once” migration tools.

Using these tools, you can install SAS 9.4 and upgrade all of your current SAS content. Before you begin, please read the SAS 9.4 Intelligence Platform: Migration Guide for special considerations on migrating from earlier versions of SAS to SAS 9.4.  Also note that this form of migration does have two basic requirements:

  • you must stay within the same operating system family
  • you must keep the same SAS topology or architecture

You will take advantage of two key features of SAS 9.4--the SAS Migration Utility and the SAS Deployment Wizard. (You may remember using the SAS Deployment Wizard during previous installations of SAS.) Read More »

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