~Contributed by Martin L. Olesen
I began using SAS 6.04 in 1992 for my own projects and as a teaching assistant. Professionally, I have worked in SAS since 1997, after graduation. I use Base SAS, SAS/STAT and SAS/OR.
I work in an Icelandic bank doing credit risk analysis and rating models – a hot topic today. I am a Danish citizen, but left Denmark in 2006, as I have a son with an Icelandic woman.
Familiarity with program code was a big advantage in the beginning, while I was still struggling with learning Icelandic: If my colleagues and I were not really sure we were getting through to each other, a piece of program code served as our lingua franca. I feel the pain of people in other professions, who are more dependent on a spoken language.
Today I speak Icelandic more or less fluently, although with a lot of errors. I am trying to catch up while at the same time teaching my son Danish – hopefully with fewer errors than my Icelandic.
When I moved from Denmark to Iceland, I knew next to nothing of the real estate market, so I wrote a SAS program to crawl the real estate advertisments on the Web. The program gave me a data set to analyze variables including price, size, age, garage, floor number and time since the location had been put for sale.
The project matured during a month, but I guess real coding time took only about two to three days. I built the system so that I could select the postal codes and price ranges that I wanted to crawl on the Web. I crawled approximately 200 to 300 apartments at a time, but the biggest batch was probably 2,000 at a time.
After all of the analysis, I finally chose the apartment with the best view. But I believe that my models allowed me to get a good bargain.
Taking advantage of the buyer’s market after the financial crisis, I used the same program to get an overview of the market for used Jeeps and found a good offer. I wanted to compare answers to questions like, “How much on average does an automatic transmission cost compared to a manual for a used car?” “How much does a diesel engine cost compared to a gasoline engine?”
When I am not on the keyboard I spend most of my time outdoors, as I believe children should be outdoors and in motion as much as possible: hiking, biking, swimming, playing soccer, climbing mountains and so on. Fishing and hunting will be added to the list when my son gets the patience.
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