Alison Bolen
Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

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Looking to learn more about big data? Start here.

Big data. It’s a popular term used to describe the exponential growth, availability and use of information, both structured and unstructured. Of course, the term big data is relative; it applies whenever an organization’s ability to handle, store and analyze data exceeds its current capacity. And the real issue is not

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Optimizing assortments with big data

Macy's Inc. is one of the nation’s largest and most well-known retailers, with a loyal base of customers who shop at its stores and online. The company’s e-commerce division,, is relying on big data and high-performance analytics software from SAS to better understand its customers and help increase overall

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What are the benefits of big data in health care?

What is the solution for patient-centric healthcare? Big data, says SAS expert Alice Swearington in the post, Treat patients with big data insights. "Service providers throughout the healthcare continuum that become patient centric first will win the patient," she explains, citing the industry tends toward insurance exchanges and retail insurance

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Q&A: How big data will revolutionize retail

How can big data coupled with high-performance analytics (HPA) help retail companies tailor their offerings in a way that is beneficial to both the company’s bottom line – and the consumer? Eric Williams, recently retired Chief Information Officer at Catalina Marketing, explains in this interview. Alison Bolen: How do you define

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Six benefits that big data can bring to retailers

In the last week, I have interviewed four retail executives about their predictions for big data and high-performance analytics in the retail industry. I hope to publish their thoughts here in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here are six concrete benefits that big data can bring to retailers, if

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SAS leaders discuss big data

Everyone around SAS seems to be buzzing about big data and high-performance analytics (HPA). As we're preparing for conferences, product launches and customer engagements, it's the main idea on almost everyone's mind. Along with that excitement and buzz, however, it's worthwhile to step back and look at how we got here, and

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Twitter is a big data problem

Back in my day-one post of this "HPA once a day project," I promised a post about Twitter as "big data." I know some of you are already moaning about the noise on Twitter and the "what I ate for breakfast" type of commentary that's prevalent there. So I'm going to

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HPA once a day: day one

I'm not a fan of obscure acronyms in blog post titles, but by the end of this month I'm hoping HPA won't be obscure to anyone who reads this blog. It stands for high-performance analytics, and I'm challenging myself to blog about it once a day for the next month.

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Human ingenuity is still the magic

The tools for analytics are getting more sophisticated as data becomes more voluminous, says Jim Sterne, President of Target Marketing, in the video below. The real magic still comes from human ingenuity, explains Sterne, but it helps to give analysts the tools they need to make that magic happen. Hear

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SAS CEO Jim Goodnight on education reform

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight is passionate about education reform. The fruits of that passion are evident in SAS' philanthropic efforts and in the many public speeches Dr. Goodnight gives on the topic. Earlier this month, we covered his visit to the Kelley School of Business. Last week, he was the

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Analytics then and now

Big data problems are not new, says Vijitha Kaduwela, founder and CEO of Kavi Associates, an analytic consulting firm. The first case in point that Vijitha referenced in his talk yesterday at Analytics 2011 is a revenue generation model that he developed for United Airlines when he worked there 15 years ago.