It only takes one person to make a difference in the world. Imagine how that impact could be amplified when many diverse people apply their passions, skills and backgrounds to solve problems.
At SAS, we know fueling purpose and passion can have big results for the business and our customers. Here are some examples of what can happen when employees come together to apply their passions to business goals.
Expanding leadership opportunities and outlooks
What happens when you encourage people who traditionally might not have had a seat at the table to contribute to the business at a higher level? Well, they can make big changes happen, as members of our Black Initiatives Group (BIG) know. Their contributions often open eyes to issues that were overlooked in the past.
Some of the advantages of incorporating diverse viewpoints include:
- Identifying bias in models. When you want to understand the different types of bias that can surface from an analytics model, gather input from people of varied backgrounds, ages, cultures, races, nationalities and genders.
- Building diverse teams. Rather than build a team of people who are mostly alike, improve your project teams by tapping into diverse viewpoints. It’s a great way to expand your approach to evaluating and solving problems.
- Strengthening business leadership. Historically, many businesses lacked representation from minority groups. If you want your business to succeed, these groups should be part of your top leadership. After all, research proves that diverse leadership teams strengthen the business. Not only does diversity add richer perspectives to important decisions – it also improves revenue.
Addressing global customer needs
As a global company, SAS has a broad window into the world through the lens of our own employees’ international perspectives and experiences. The SAS International Connection (SASIC) group joins culturally diverse talents, skills and perspectives – which plays out across the business in various ways.
For example, members of this group have helped solve customer needs by:
- Lending insight into globalization and translation efforts for software and documentation.
- Improving natural language processing (NLP) technology by providing input from native speakers.
- Strengthening relationships and resolving concerns of global customers by interpreting and answering questions that arise from unique regional or cultural perspectives.
Doing good in the world
Lots of SAS employees thrive on making a difference in the world by using their knowledge, skills and passions for social impact. Our Data for Good efforts represent how this desire to do good has been transformed into action.
“When you work for a company that cares so much, it creates this culture that keeps us from turning our backs on problems we know analytics can solve,” explained I-Sah Hsieh, Program Manager for the SAS Data Ethics practice.
There are many examples of how our employees have used their data and analytics skills for social impact through our Data for Good program. Consider our work to save the Amazon and our assistance in providing emergency housing for people displaced by natural disasters.
Over the years, SAS employees have used their knowledge and skills to solve problems related to many different issues – poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment.
Supporting innovation through analytics
Our customers have problems to solve – and we know analytics and AI can help. That’s the guiding star behind our Solutions Factory, which is comparable to a collaborative think tank.
The Solutions Factory helps reimagine our approach to helping customers – by driving technical innovation, developing new tools and finding new ways to solve emerging needs.
“A lot of our solutions started with passion projects, where someone wanted to explore something new,” according to Alex Boakye, Vice President of Solutions Development. Innovation, he points out, comes from everywhere – and everyone.
We like to ask: How can we put analytics and AI in your life in a way that enhances it? Thinking creatively helps us develop different, innovative approaches – for applications we wouldn’t have considered before.
But it’s not just about business problems – it’s about improving lives and improving the world.
Hear why we think passion projects are the foundation for innovation.
Great article, Cindy!
Thank you, Robert! It's amazing to see all the ways different employees' perspectives and skills and passions can play out through a business.
Cindy is great. I should know. She was my employee:employee mentor for Big Ideas last December 😉
Aww, thank you, Ted – that’s so kind. You did an amazing job with your Big Ideas presentation – you came in so well-prepared...I didn’t need to do much mentoring! So glad I had the chance to get to know you through that program.