Update: While the SAS analogy still works, my calories-in/calories-out strategy didn't! But today I'm in the best health of my life by using food as medicine, a journey that began by working with a SAS registered dietitian nutritionist. Read this post for a window into my experience.
I’m a data-entry freak. This was not always true. I have balked at the simplest online form, passing up great free stuff because it required entering data.
But that all changed because of a free app for the iPhone. I wanted to drop a few pounds and decided to give LoseIt.com a try based on a blog recommendation. You set up a free account, set a goal, and start recording all the food you eat and exercise you do.
The app gives you a daily calorie budget. Every time you add food you’ve eaten, it subtracts from your budget. When you exercise, it credits your budget with calories that you can either consume -- or not, if you want to lose weight faster.
I was amazed at how motivating it was to know where I stood at any point during the day. Results were fast! I entered data dutifully, enjoying the extra exercise calories and smaller numbers on the scale. Friends and family members ribbed me about being obsessed. (At this point, I should apologize to any Facebook friends I annoyed after linking the app to my wall and unleashing a torrent of LoseIt updates. Sorry, folks! It’s safe to unhide me now.)
I kept at it. Inches melted away. After two years and a loss of 20 pounds (more than half of it after using LoseIt for five months), I reached my ideal weight and shut the app down.
Congratulations, you say, but what does this have to do with SAS?
It dawned on me as I went through this process that it really is all about the data. When I saw immediate, tangible benefits for entering all that food and exercise info into LoseIt, SAS’ business became clear to me in a new, personal way.
We do analytics, which relies on steady streams of data.
Day in and day out, in organizations everywhere, data piles up exponentially. Data knows things: what sells and what doesn’t, which transactions are legal and which aren’t, what techniques work and which waste time, money spent wisely versus wastefully. There’s no limit to what it can tell you.
SAS analytics gives data a voice. When it speaks, you know what your options are.
And who wouldn’t want to know?