Move beyond spreadsheets to data mining, forecasting, optimization – and more

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Computing the nearest correlation matrix

Frequently someone will post a question to the SAS Support Community that says something like this: I am trying to do [statistical task]and SAS issues an error and reports that my correlation matrix is not positive definite. What is going on and how can I complete [the task]? The statistical

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Assessing and Advancing Analytics Maturity: Part 1

Analytics maturity is a hot topic right now.  Many come to SAS for answers on how to assess their analytics maturity and advance their use of analytics, especially at a corporate level.  I want to share the highlights of what we usually prescribe from a best practices perspective regarding advancing

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How to Hire a Chief Data Scientist

How do you hire a Chief Data Scientist? That's not a hypothetical question: I know of at least three companies that are actively looking for a "Chief Data Scientist" at the moment. Hiring the right person is harder than you'd think. Whether or not a Chief Data Scientist is a

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Cleaner OLAP cube physical folder structures

Each spring and fall, I start clearing out the kid's small clothes, old toys, etc. It can sometimes go too far and reach into my "digital pack-rat" issues. (Wait, what does that mean? Well, just ask the person who last week requested detail on a project I worked 3 years

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Compute the log-determinant of a matrix

The determinant of a matrix arises in many statistical computations, such as in estimating parameters that fit a distribution to multivariate data. For example, if you are using a log-likelihood function to fit a multivariate normal distribution, the formula for the log-likelihood involves the expression log(det(Σ)), where Σ is the

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So many autoexecs; three tips for BI administrators

BASE SAS users are already familiar with the autoexec file. This is a .sas file that typically resides in the installation folder of the SAS executable. Instructions for setting it up in UNIX, Windows, and other environments is readily available on the SAS website. In SAS BI configurations there are

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SAS loves math: Paul T. Savarese

“We may not see it but math is everywhere around us,” says Paul T. Savarese, Technical Support Statistician at SAS. You don’t have to be a statistician to enjoy this interview, in which Savarese discusses target shooting, Jay Leno and Guinness beer – and ties it all back to the fascinating subject

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Verifying a SAS BI installation

After installing SAS Business Intelligence, I would also suggest verifying that all is working appropriately before adding users or importing content from another machine. (My template checklist is included below.) The act of creating the content is an extremely important test (to immediately rectify issues with accessing data, or saving

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Go on a date with SAS BI Dashboard, part 2

Last week I provided the steps for how to go on a date, at least by using dynamic prompts in BI Dashboard. Now that you have seen how to create them, lets discuss making them smarter. For this example, the customer is asking for two prompts to affect a single

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Is experimental design the red-headed stepchild of modeling?

Andy Pulkstenis of State Farm thinks it is, stating that this red-headed stepchild among modeling technques is where predictive modeling was ten years ago. He opened his talk, "Do You Know or Do You Think You Know? Creating a Testing Culture at State Farm," at the A2012 conference in Las Vegas with

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Data mining, forecasting or optimization?

What's the difference between data mining, forecasting and optimization? When should you use each technique, and how do they interact?  Jeremy TerBush, Vice President of Global Analytics, Wyndham Exchange and Rentals explains that he uses all techniques  together in an overall predictive process. "Data mining is first step in the system,"

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Playing "craps" with unfair dice

Last week I wrote a SAS/IML program that computes the odds of winning the game of craps. I noted that the program remains valid even if the dice are not fair. For convenience, here is a SAS/IML function that computes the probability of winning at craps, given the probability vector

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Go on a date with SAS BI Dashboard, part 1

Don't give up on the dating game. Just because there is no prompt type specifically for dates, it can still be accomplished with some stored process matchmaking. BI Dashboard offers a dynamic prompt indicator which provides the ultimate flexibility in developing prompt based reports and dashboards. The dynamic prompt indicator

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An invitation to look inside advanced analytics at SAS

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

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Friday's Innovation Inspiration - BUBBLE option?

I have to say that I've never heard of the Bubble option, so I looked it up on support.sas.com (my go-to place for searches on customer problems or to simply to learn something about SAS). The search led me to documentation for the statement options in SAS ODS Graphics. So, I assume the