How does a VP of big data spend his time?


Some of you might be wondering what I’m planning to spend my time on as the new VP of Big Data at SAS. I think there are three equally important segments:

  • First off I will be talking with customers who are really pushing us hard in the big data space, so we can learn from and contribute to their experiences.
  • Second up is our partner ecosystem where I will continue to be active with partners so they can keep SAS as a viable and visible part of their solutions for handling large problems.
  • Last but not least I will be working with the R&D teams coordinating their development roadmap to take our world-class mathematics to the biggest baddest problems out there.

A recent trip to California provides some examples of how we will be accomplishing these three things. The bulk of my time on the trip was spent in the R&D Labs at Teradata where we are hatching plans for the next generation of collaboration between our teams.

We talked a lot about ways for SAS software development to dovetail with the hardware lifecycle as well as the software releases of the Teradata DBMS. I’m happy to say we do have an interesting crop of features cooked up, and many of them should be able to make the demo section of the Teradata partners conference later this year.

I also spent some time with the SAS financial services modeling group in San Diego, exploring ways they can take advantage of high-performance analytics and big data techniques to deliver more models, more quickly, and to more customers. This wasn’t completely an academic exercise—the team in San Diego has added several new customers recently and have been looking for ways to boost productivity, so this is the perfect setup for our high-performance story. Perhaps you’ve seen Jim Davis’ blog where he ponders what you can do with all the extra time savings that high-performance analytics offers … provide service to more customers is one good idea!

As always, if you have any comments or questions, please let us know. Of course, I’d especially be interested in hearing from customers or partners about your big data challenges.

Learn more from SAS "big data" partners and customers in this special 32-page report on high-performance analytics.


About Author

Paul Kent

Paul Kent is the Vice President of Big Data at SAS. He coordinates with customers, partners and R&D teams to make sure the SAS development roadmap is taking world-class mathematics to the biggest baddest problems out there. Paul joined SAS in 1984 as a Technical Marketing Representative and eventually moved into the Research and Development division. He has used SAS for more than 20 years and has contributed to the development of SAS software components including PROC SQL, the WHERE clause, TCP/IP connectivity, and portions of the Output Delivery System (ODS). A strong customer advocate, Paul is widely recognized within the SAS community for his active participation in local and international users conferences.

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