Editor's Note: SAS' Evan Mann contributed to this post.
First came SAS' reputation as a great place to work. Next came a storytellers article series offering a glimpse of the people behind the brand.
Now there's the SAS Users YouTube Channel, where tutorial videos provide a window into some of our personalities—trainers initially, but future contributors will include experts from other areas of SAS.
"Our goal is to make the SAS Users channel on YouTube a ‘must-visit’ channel for those who have the desire to grow their analytical skill set and to learn SAS," said Principal IT Software Developer Michael Penwell, who manages the channel. "It's for both new and experienced users."
My SAS Support Communities teammates Anna Brown and Thiago De Souza produce the videos and Karen Feldman, Senior Technical Learning and Development Specialist, lines up the on-camera talent. Brown explains the idea behind this approach: “Infusing personality into these how-to videos welcomes users into our SAS family in a way we never have before. With this no-script, natural style, we hope that they feel like they’re not being told how to do something in SAS – but rather they’re learning right along with us, together. We’re simply a guide to help users achieve whatever they can dream up in SAS.”
A casual, conversational approach
As Brown describes, instructors walk viewers through the subject matter using a casual, conversational tone - almost vlog style. This approach lets their personalities come through.
Anna Yarbrough, who joined SAS Education last year, travels to teach SAS programming. She likes interacting with SAS users IRL and relishes a good coding challenge. She keeps an eye out for users' questions on her videos and enjoys the digital banter. When this video on merging data sets published, it received the most user comments right off the bat. Why so much interest in merging data?
"When working with structured data," said Yarbrough, "it’s never going to all be stored in one massive data set. There will be smaller tables that can be linked together based on a common column or columns like social security number, or patient number, or something else that uniquely identifies each row of data."
"When you can bring these tables together," Yarbrough added, "you have the ability to answer more complex business questions. I think people are really interested in covering this topic, as well as converting columns from character to numeric, just because it is something that needs to be done all the time."
While building out the videos, Yarbrough recalled questions she had when she first learned SAS. (Don't be surprised if they become topics for future tutorials.) "It's really important as an instructor to be able to put yourself in the shoes of our newer SAS programmers," she said. "Even though we spend so much time covering this content, we need to remember what it’s like to hear about these topics for the first time so that we can present material in a clear and easy-to-follow way. It’s been awesome interacting with users through YouTube."
Check out the first few
Subscribe to the channel
Subscribe, like, and share the SAS Users YouTube channel to get notified of new videos and help fellow SAS users find them.Ready to Learn SAS? It's Time to Meet Your Instructors!
YouTube.com/SASusers: a pop of personality was published on SAS Users.