Meet your SAS #StrataHadoop Team: Dan Zaratsian

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Dan Zaratsian, SAS Solutions Architect, will be at Strata+Hadoop World Sept. 29 - Oct. 1.

It’s me again!! We're at the halfway point of meeting our Strata + Hadoop World dream team. So far, you’ve met machine learning guru Patrick Hall; data management expert Clark Bradley; and  advanced analytics specialist Rachel Hawley. Next up … Dan Zaratsian!

I met Dan a few years back while preparing for Analytics 2013 in London. He showed me how to analyze Super Bowl tweets with SAS Text Analytics and SAS Visual Analytics (now, if only he could show me how to win in my Fantasy Football league ...).

Dan specializes in text analytics and event stream processing, and will have a lot of cool things to demo in SAS booth #543 at Strata + Hadoop World, including live, streaming sensor data and real-time text analysis of conference social media feeds.

What’s your background and education?
Dan:
I have a Master's in Analytics from NC State's Institute for Advanced Analytics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron. Prior to SAS, I worked as an engineer designing and implementing sensor networks and automated control systems primarily for aerospace, biotech and pharma. I'm currently a Solutions Architect at SAS, where I specialize in text analytics and real-time event stream processing.

What skills help you most as a data scientist?
Dan:
I believe it’s important for data scientists to be comfortable in at least one programming language and to always be curious. Having the ability to code introduces a greater level of flexibility and creativity into the analytical process of collecting data, transforming it, applying predictive models and ultimately customizing the data to create value for an organization. Data science is a fast evolving field with new algorithms, technology and tools to help us do our job quicker and better. It’s important that we stay curious, try out new technology, collaborate with others and continually develop our skills.

When did you figure out you wanted to be a data scientist? What motivated you to become one?
Dan:
Analytics, as we know it today, wasn't a path available to me when I was in college. As part of my engineering work, I saw a need for more advanced analytics and data processing, so I started researching certifications and graduate school options. I knew this was what I wanted when I came across the Institute for Advanced Analytics. At the time, I didn’t exactly know where this would take me, but it was motivating to know that I’d be learning new skills that impact organizations and create value.

Dan GroupWhat’s your biggest accomplishment thus far
Dan:
It's always been a career goal of mine to become a specialist. I'm fortunate because working at SAS has helped me specialize in text analytics and event stream processing. Because of this, I’m involved in strategic sales opportunities, deep dive technical discussions, high-visibility projects and challenging “swat team” engagements. I'm also privileged to be selected for internal and external speaking engagements, publications and panel discussions related to my areas of expertise.

What’s your favorite new technology or app?
Dan: Real-time analytics. Although it's been around in various forms for a long time, I believe that the computing power, analytical algorithms, supporting technology stack and hardware have all come together to create a unique opportunity for organizations.

What are you most looking forward to at Strata + Hadoop World NYC?
Dan: This conference is great because there's always a lot of discussion around new use cases and unique ways of leveraging the latest technology. There's also an opportunity to really dive into the details, whiteboarding and brainstorming solutions to various issues across industries and applications with the attendees.

What software/techniques are you excited to show attendees?​
Dan:
I'm excited to show and discuss applications and best practices around real-time Event Stream Processing and Text Analytics technology.

Check out a few of Dan's blog posts on SAS Voices: Event Stream Processing with Text Analytics and Streaming Text Analytics: Finding value in real-time events.

We’d love to be a part of your Strata + Hadoop World agenda, so come by and visit us at SAS booth #543. And don’t miss Paul Kent’s session on Thursday morning, Oct. 1: Patterns from the Future.

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Brooke Fortson

Marketing Specialist

Hi, I’m Brooke Fortson. I’m a wife, mother and marketing guru who runs on coffee, Skittles and laughter. I graduated from NC State University in 2003 with a B.S. in Business Management and a concentration in Marketing. Before coming to SAS, I worked for a gourmet candy company, a newspaper publisher and a real estate boutique. I am now a marketing specialist in the SAS Americas Marketing and Support division, focusing on the promotion of data management and Hadoop. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love best, every day: communicate great ideas in fresh, unexpected ways. My favorite color is green, my best dance move is the Sprinkler and my happy song is “Boogie Shoes” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band. That’s my story.

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