A year ago I set out to periodically blog from my perspective of leading R&D for our advanced analytics software. I invited SAS colleagues who also work in various areas of advanced analytics to blog on their own interesting conversations with each other and with customers about the intersection of research and ever-evolving customer business challenges. Our 20+ posts generated positive feedback, so we decided to strike out on our own. So this post launches our new blog: Subconscious Musings: Bringing Advanced Analytics from Research Drive to the World.
Are you wondering about the name of the blog? Well, Research Drive is the name of the street at SAS World Headquarters where the largest R&D building is located. And Subconscious Musings is the outdoor sculpture in front of this building. We moved into this building over two decades ago, when R&D had grown from a handful of employees in the late 70s to enough to almost fill this new building. Today, we occupy two full buildings and part of two more! When I see how we have grown I am energized about the passion and excitement that is still present as we develop innovative new algorithms and find new ways to solve complex business problems.
I plan to use this blog to provide news items and updates about the work that happens within R&D as well as with specific customer engagements across the globe. I hope to include musings from my colleagues within R&D, as well as those in other divisions who work with customers in the area of analytics, about new trends that drive innovation and challenges that continue to expand the boundaries of what is possible.
What is at the top of my mind right now?
Working on High Performance Analytics has occupied a large amount of my attention in the last year, but at the end of August we also released the 12.1 version of our analytical products. In previous years, the software was updated only with new versions of Base SAS® software, but this is no longer the case. This means that all of the core analytical SAS software products can be released to customers when enhancements are ready, and goal is every 12 to 18 months. To mark this newfound independence, the analytical products now have their own release-numbering scheme, beginning with 12.1. Enhancements range from more Bayesian analyses to more model selection methods and from multivariate monitoring techniques to network optimization and analysis. Check out these recordings highlighting some of the many enhancements to SAS/STAT® and SAS/ETS®. We moved to a more frequent release schedule based on customer input, and I’m looking forward to hearing what some of you have to say about it at the upcoming A2012 event in Las Vegas.
What do I expect to learn from A2012?
If last year is any indication, we expect 1000 attendees at this conference focusing on the latest in analytical practice. I’m excited about the fact that we will have papers and posters that cover the breadth of analytics from statistics to data mining to forecasting to optimization to text analytics. In addition, we will have updates on the fast-growing offerings in high performance analytics and visualization. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones who share my passion for analytics. Many of my R&D colleagues will be giving talks, and you can learn more by visiting the exhibit hall Futures station, which will be staffed by R&D. I hope that many of you are planning to attend this conference and will take the opportunity to corner one of us to find out how we can help you solve your most challenging problems.
In addition to conferences like A2012, we also reach out to analytical users through SAS® Statistics and Operations Research News, a newsletter our R&D team publishes every other month. Check out the September edition and be sure to subscribe to it to receive updates.
I invite you to share your feedback on this blog and to provide suggestions for topics that may be of interest to an analytical audience. And if you're attending the A2012 conference, find me there and let me know what you’ve been musing about, consciously or subconsciously!