Help us innovate

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According to Wikipedia, "Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.  Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different … rather than doing the same thing better."

The SAS Publications Division has embarked on a project to think of innovative ways to improve our products and services.  Will you help us? Can you think of things you would like to see us do differently? Do you get the product documentation you need? What new ideas do you have for SAS Press titles? Would you like our information provided to you differently? What about our Website? Is the experience you have there a good one? How could it be better? What other innovative ideas can you share with us?

Publications is celebrating Innovation Day in September. We are asking everyone to submit ideas for doing our work differently. Please submit your ideas as well.  I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

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About Author

Kathy Council

Vice President, SAS Publications

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Innovations continue in SAS publications - The SAS Bookshelf

  2. Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your reply and letting us know about the potential for further personalization features in support.sas.com.

    Regarding documentation update alerts, I personally do prefer RSS. I consume most of my web content via RSS - including SAS blog posts, new usage notes, hotfixes, communities forum posts etc. Adding SAS documentation updates to the list would fit in well for me. I understand that RSS is not everyone's preference though and so perhaps email updates might work for some. I'd sign up for a weekly/monthly email with a list of documents updated in the prior period. I'd even sign up for an email for individual document updates, as and when updated, as long as it could be done by selecting individual documents/books you want to 'follow'. The benefit of the occasional updates documents email, is that I could also find out about new documents too.

    Cheers
    Paul

    BTW I don't know why, but for some reason when I post comments on SAS blog posts, the blank lines are sometimes removed. It seems to be happening on this post.

  3. Paul,
    Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to share your suggestions with us! You may be glad to know that some of these are in the works. I sincerely wish we could provide these things to you today.

    With regard to being notified when a doc you that you use has been updated, we tried to do something like that a few years ago via RSS feeds on support.sas.com. Very few people signed up for these feeds, so we stopped investing the time in creating them. I think part of the issue is that it can be hard for us to make all our customers aware when we try something new like this. Also, RSS feeds haven't proven to be that popular in general. So, if you don't mind, I wanted to ask you, do you have any thoughts on a good way we could provide you with information about doc updates? Where would you expect to find this information, or how would you expect to request it?

    Also, the support.sas.com site is working on some projects that would enable you to personalize your view of the content on the site. Unfortunately, I don't have a timeline for when you might see that rolled out, but it's a great idea and we are working on it. The page you developed is impressive! I have shared it with folks on my team as a great example of the kind of service I'd like us to provide to you and to all our customers. Thank you for sharing it.

    Again, many thanks for your comments and also for using SAS.

    Gary Meek
    Director, SAS Documentation

  4. Hi Kathy,

    I'm an avid reader of SAS documentation and find it an invaluable resource. An enhancement that I would love to see would be the ability to designate favourite books/documents (mine would be SAS platform & metadata books) and to be alerted when they have been updated. I tend to read the PDF versions on an iPad so I have access to them when offline. Currently I manually check back every now to see when they have changed, so it would be great to be notified instead. Perhaps also to be notified of new books and documentation in the same subject area(s)? I would also find a personalized book/reading list of the documents I refer to most often on the SAS web site would also be very handy (perhaps it could be automatically generated based on most recent activity?). Currently I maintain my own reading list on my blog for this purpose.

    Thanks for the opportunity to potentially influence the direction of SAS documentation.

    Cheers
    Paul

  5. Lou Metzger

    Jared,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions! Kathy is away from the office so I am responding in her absence.

    To your point about Amazon.ca not carrying all our titles, they carry many of the titles available for purchase from http://www.sas.com/bookstore. The primary exception is SAS Course Notes (the books that accompany SAS Education courses; we don’t sell them through resellers). Amazon.ca has access to all our titles, but makes the decision as to which books to carry. You would just need to let them know which book(s) you’d like to see them add to their catalog. You may also find our books online at http://www.chapters.indigo.ca

    We understand the cost of shipping and duty charges to Canada are high. We charge the customer the same amount we are charged by our shipping carrier and those costs recently increased. Currently we use UPS Canada Worldwide Express to ship to Canada, but we are going to explore alternative shipping methods.

    We offer eBooks through Kindle, iBookstore, Google Play and the Nook. Since we use these vendors to sell eBooks, we cannot offer a discount. However a project to sell eBooks from the SAS Bookstore is being worked on. When that is available, we will be able to offer discounts on eBooks and bundles with physical books.

    Regarding the Flash Drive idea, we are continually looking at ways to make reading our content easier. The flash drive idea is very interesting and something we’ll evaluate for delivery of future content.

    Thank you,
    Lou Metzger
    Sales Manager SAS Bookstore

  6. My supervisor remembers making physical book purchases directly from SAS and the books were shipped from Canada (where we are). This avoided duty charges. But we recently ordered book and it shipped from the US. The duty charge was nearly the same price as the book. We aren't quite sure why this changed. We know we can purchase from Amazon.ca, but I think sometimes the book is not available on Amazon.ca? Or is the SAS library only just beginning to grow at Amazon.ca? Anyway, if we order a book, we'd like to avoid duty.

    Furthermore, if we order a physical book, is there discounts available for the ebooks format? (And vice versa?)

    And finally, I think there has been fantastic headway made with SAS' ebook offerings. As my ebook library grows, I'd like to be able to store them on quality SAS branded USB sticks. Don't cheap out on the quality USB sticks though. The last thing I want is to have a USB stick lemon.

    Even though we could just use the cloud to store the ebooks, we don't always have the luxury of internet access, ability to install needed software, or using the right devices.

    Perhaps said USB sticks could also be used as promotional prizes for getting people to participate online (twitter, SAS blogs, etc)?

    And perhaps these USB sticks could come preloaded with SAS documentation?

    Or if a person orders a physical book, maybe they also can add onto their shopping cart a 'USB stick with the ebook' on it.

    Food for thought.

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