Making plans for SAS Global Forum 2014


SAS Global Forum starts for me in the fall of the prior year. This is when you submit your ideas for papers and then wait patiently for many months to learn if it was selected. I enjoy writing and presenting ideas, so here are my topics and what inspired them.

SAS admin and SAS developers – the invisible divide

Michelle Homes (Metacoda, Brisbane, Australia) and I started talking at the last conference about how dashboards are used and what we call the great divide, which refers to the invisible barrier that exists between SAS system administratorsand SAS BI Developers. [Lisa Horwitz the IT Whisperer has a goodseries as well on this topic.]

We started throwing around ideas about how the two of us could work together on a project that would benefit each. Our idea was to take the data from SAS 9.3 and create performance dashboards. Our SAS Admins Need a Dashboard Too presentation provides an overview of the dashboard creation process, what measurements a SAS administrator might use, where to get the data and a case study about how a team might use such a dashboard. We present the dashboard in SAS Visual Analytics 6.3 tool and use the Metacoda tools for some additional analysis.

If you have never created a dashboard, you’ll find our technique easy to use and the data within reach. Just to keep things a little fun (and campy), we have added pink fluffy dice that belong on a rearview mirror as our emblem for the talk. If you attend, you might be the lucky winner of bedazzled dice for your swanky automobile.

Debugging and tuning stored processes

Angela Hall (SAS Institute, Cary, NC) and I love stored processes. In our Uncover the Most Common SAS Stored Process Errors, we discuss ways to debug and tune stored processes. These techniques are useful to anyone who is just starting to learn how to write stored process. Many of the tips expand on the keys from our The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes book.

This paper was inspired by this blog post: Three of the Most Common Stored Process Errors. The first tip is from the most searched phrase on my BI Notes blog. The second tip is one that Angela dedicated several hours of her life to troubleshooting only to find a simple cause. The last tip was based on a phone call I made to Angela because I couldn’t get my prompt to accept the selection I made. I clicked east and the results always showed west … but why?

MS Office and SAS – the Dynamic Duo

There are so many ways to use the SAS Add-In for MS Office in your organization. In Tricks Using SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, I show seven ways a fictional customer service organization uses the tool to solve real business problems.

One of my first reporting jobs was in a customer service organization. The customers continually made requests for data in different formats, different calculations, you name it.  How many ways can you count the same thing I used to wonder?!

I know how we used the tool when it was in its infancy. So I imagined some other ways we could be using the tool today. One of the tips came from this blog series Little Known Secrets from SAS Stored Process Magicians. This event will be livecast on Wednesday, March 26, at 10 AM ET. You can join me without attending the conference.

Turned a drop into a river

I always have more ideas than time to write papers. So I make suggestions to those around me, such as Jennifer McBride (Virginia Credit Union in Richmond, VA). She took a simple idea and turned it into a thoughtful and beautiful presentation about dashboard design.

The results from her video poster, Dashboards: A Data Lifeline for the Business, is so creative and insightful. She compares how clean water was made available to cities at the turn of the 20th century to show her team was able to turn data into awesome looking dashboards. It is remarkably similar! Make sure you get to the SAS Support and Demo Area to see it and talk to her about the process.

Don’t forget the social events

If you are arriving early on Saturday, then please stop by the conference hotel lobby bar to hang out with the other SAS users. Michelle Homes and I are planning a game, and we welcome the preconference chatter. All the good looking and intelligent people will be there – so you know it’s the right event for you. You can find more details #SASGF14: You’re Invited to a Tweetup.

On Monday evening, SAS Administrators are invited to meet at the Metacoda booth in the demo hall around 6:30 or so. Afterwards we will all go to another location so we can discuss geeky topics such as metadata bound libraries, lockdown options, and other new features of SAS 9.4. It’s a birds of a feather event! See you there!


About Author

Tricia Aanderud

Principle, And Data Inc.

Tricia Aanderud is SAS BI evangelist, who is often found pursuing design tips, programming tricks & other experiences to share on her Business Intelligence Notes for SAS Users blog. She has co-authored two books with Angela Hall about the SAS BI toolset (Building Business Intelligence with SAS and The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes). Her company, And Data, Inc, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC, where she lives with her husband and two bratty cats. She invites you to share your opinions about this topic.


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