SAS Global Forum provides an environment filled with opportunities to learn, share, network and spend time with fellow SAS users, SAS authors, and SAS employees. You can look around at all the conversations taking place and the passion and excitement for the topic being discussed is evident. This conference provides a great opportunity to get feedback and spend time in a more intimate setting hearing from the users on how we can make our products better which is nirvana for a product manager like me!
At this past conference, I got to meet with a group of students attending the conference to discuss some ideas in development around new ways to edit & submit SAS code. I had some mock-ups of a web browser based tool and a mobile app, and I was delighted to find that not only did this seem to resonate with the students, but they were genuinely surprised we didn’t have something like this already. Listening to them compare this to other tools they use really helped me to hone in on what’s expected versus what are cool extras. And since the group had a wide range – from high school to graduate school – I was able to capture different use cases for the different needs.
This specific project is targeted for use by SAS OnDemand for Academics and our hope is to offer a beta release this Fall. So having students provide input is critical since they are the target market. But the long range plan is to grow this into something that’s generally available, and that’s where I think having the next generation of SAS users help drive direction will ensure they have something they can really use once they’re out in the “real” world!
To learn more about how students can engage with SAS, check out the student resources section of the SAS Global Academic Program website.