Keeping the spark alive with SAS Enterprise Guide

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Robert Springborn has a special relationship with his SAS software.

Like many long-time SAS users, Robert’s livelihood depends upon his advanced skills with SAS technology, as well as his analytical expertise. He’s been using SAS for over 28 years, which means when it comes to writing SAS programs, he’s comfortable with the "old school" approach. (His SAS-based dissertation data resides on a 2-foot diameter tape reel.) He regards SAS Display Manager (the windowing interface for Base SAS) as an old friend: not perfect, but a known quantity that has always been reliable.

In addition to his main job as a Research Scientist, Robert also tries to help new SAS users to become acquainted with SAS. Recognizing that SAS Enterprise Guide provides an easier introduction to the power of SAS for newcomers, Robert set out to learn enough about SAS Enterprise Guide to teach his colleagues how to become productive with it.

He didn’t expect to like SAS Enterprise Guide, but he was surprised. When he introduces his colleagues to SAS using SAS Enterprise Guide, he shares this "coming of age" story:

SAS and I have been long time devoted friends for 28 years. "She" has supported me financially for 28 years working at various federal and state agencies, private sector, and academic institutions. If it were possible I would have married her long ago. Given all of this I was very reluctant to try something new such as SAS Enterprise Guide as not to offend my "lady." To my delight I have discovered that SAS Enterprise Guide is the "unexpected weekend retreats," the "unexpected gifts at unexpected times" the "jazz" or the "buzz" that keeps my relationship with my lady new and alive.

My talk was designed to help staff become familiar with SAS Enterprise Guide. The objective was to give staff the tools they need to take SAS programs previously created in SAS Display Manager and continue to do their job duties by running these programs using SAS Enterprise Guide. Most of us are very busy and have job tasks that need to be done without spending several days trying to figure out SAS Enterprise Guide. This talk provides all the information you will need to run your SAS programs in SAS Enterprise Guide.

Robert and his real-life brideConsider you and SAS Enterprise Guide are on a “first date.” Both of you are nervous and understandably you have questions about each other. Will SAS Enterprise Guide appear devoted to me today and then leave me tomorrow? Does SAS Enterprise Guide have any strange behaviors that I will not be able to deal with? Will SAS Enterprise Guide bring any friends or family to this new relationship that will be difficult to deal with? You and SAS Enterprise Guide have planned a simple afternoon of lunch and a movie. Hopefully you will have a great afternoon and enjoy each other’s company. Hopefully over time your relationship will grow and you will become best friends. At the end of this talk you will receive resources which will counsel, nurture, and guide your new relationship. The resources provided were references to material that further explain SAS Enterprise Guide collected from various SAS User Group conferences.

Lest you think that Robert regards his SAS software with too much undue affection, you might be relieved to know that he actually enjoys a happy married life outside of his analytical work world. Robert was recently wed to his real-live lady friend Barbara at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park (see the accompanying picture). I don’t think that SAS or SAS Enterprise Guide was in attendance, but if there was a reception following, perhaps the happy couple danced the DATA step in their honor.

(A special thanks to Robert for sharing his story and for allowing us to share it with you.)

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

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