It's not just about the Paycheck


I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I've come to realize over the years that I often believe that what I'm thinking is completely and totally unique, where unique is a polite term for off-beat or unusual. And where nobody else could possibly have had this thought before, and that while it may not be profound, or even correct, it is mine and mine alone.  And now I've got a means of sharing it with you, and you can prove me wrong.

There's a remarkably underrated movie called Paycheck starring Ben Affleck, among others.  Given how well it did when it was released, I'm probably unique (that is, offbeat or unusual) in thinking it was a good movie, but I really like it, and have watched it several times.  If you've always wanted to watch the movie and you don't want the story to be ruined for you, then consider this your spoiler warning and stop reading now.

As the story evolves, it becomes clear that Ben Affleck's character has invented a machine that predicts the future.  It's a fantastically complex device, with specialized mechanisms of all sizes, shapes and sounds.   It's also top secret, because once you can see in to the future, the future starts affecting the present, which affects the future, blah, blah, blah. In the end, Ben Affleck's character not only saves the day, but also wins the lottery. Everybody wins.

As I sit in the darkened theater, here's where my unique thoughts come into play -- I work for this company.  SAS provides best-in-class predictive analytics --- being able to see into the future and predict things like revenue, demand, the effectiveness of medications, and so on.  And once you can predict the future, you can work toward changing the present if you don't like what the future holds, and then you can watch how your changes affect the predictions. Unlike Paycheck, this isn't science fiction -- it's real and it's used every day at companies around the world -- solving all kinds of complex business problems.

Is linking SAS to a science fiction movie a profound thought? No. But I'm pretty sure it's unique.

See you next time -- in the future.



About Author

Dave Handelsman

Senior Manager, Center for Health Analytics and Insights

Dave is responsible for identifying those market opportunities where advanced analytics brings dramatic innovations and improvements to the business and science of the Health and Life Sciences industries. In previous roles within SAS, Dave has served as the principal product manager for Clinical R&D, where he was responsible for guiding the development and market success of SAS’ flagship pharmaceutical solution SAS Drug Development. Prior to joining SAS in 2000, Davewas a senior director with ClinTrials Research. Before that, he worked with Pharmaceutical Research Associates in Mannheim, Germany and Charlottesville, Virginia. Dave is a frequent life sciences industry speaker regarding clinical trial processes and technologies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and has completed graduate studies in biomedical engineering, both from the University of Virginia.

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