1月 252011
For all our SAS Global Forum connoisseurs, welcome to this series - Snapshot of the Best Papers of 2010.
Despite running for more than three decades, there’s always something new and exciting cooking at SAS Global Forum. Through this series, I will be sharing some of those vibrant flavors from our current tracks and section descriptions, as well as interesting aha! moments from our 2010 paper winners.

The last post in this series featured Ian Healy and Rocket Wong, the paper winners from the Business Intelligence and Analytics section. This week’s signature dish is presented by David Logan in his Blistering ETL Performance Using the Intelligent, Dynamic and Parallel Capabilities of SAS. It won the best paper under the Data Integration section. This year, the section is chaired by Sue Douglass, who works as an independent consultant. The track focuses on the latest processes for efficiently transforming data into accurate user information. You can become a star by giving a presentation that best demonstrates the basic features of SAS Data Integration Studio and techniques for implementing ETL, along with robust methods for integrating data.

I reached out to Logan, the star presenter winner of 2010 to find out how he prepared for his paper. Logan is the principal consultant at the PBT Group, South Africa.
Continue reading "Data Integration: Blistering ETL Performance Using the Intelligent, Dynamic and Parallel Capabilities of SAS"
1月 182011
If you aren’t familiar with Analytics, you'll want to be! Analytics is a digital magazine published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (INFORMS), provides readers with real-life examples of how data, modeling and mathematical analysis is used to drive better business decisions and provide concrete competitive advantage.

A colleague of mine, Fiona McNeill, who is also a contributor to The Text Frontier, was spotlighted in the Analytics January / February issue. Fiona writes about text analytics - how to turn text into gold by deriving meaning from the deluge of documents available in most organizations.

I think you’ll find this publication full of the "how-to" stories and "what-not-to-do" stories that Analytics is known for! Be sure to visit page 21 to read the bit on Text Analytics and the three keys to success that Fiona highlights.

You might enjoy a couple of the other articles as well. Prithvijit Roy, Arnab Chakraborty, Pritam Kanti Paul, and Girish Srinivasan provide an inside look at HP's world-class e-marketing business and share a little bit about text mining tools. Talha Omer leads readers on the journey from business intelligence to analytics and touches on all the unstructured text data that has to be considered along the way.
1月 182011
I think being greedy is a virtue – especially when you are trying to feed your intellectual curiosity! You can satiate that hunger at SAS Global Forum, which offers an unlimited buffet of thought-provoking ideas and discussions.

To give you a glimpse of what to expect at Las Vegas this year, I will be presenting you with a new flavor every week in a series called Snapshot of the Best Papers of 2010. This series will showcase and describe some of the tracks you will see in Las Vegas, along with interesting tidbits you will hear from some of the authors who were our 2010 paper winners.

First on the platter was Sy Truong’s paper from the Applications Development section. This week, we have a whole new flavor from Ian Healy and Rocket Wong with Business Intelligence Competency – Maine Medical Center. It won the best paper presented in the Business Intelligence and Analytics section. This year, Christy Hobley from Suncorp and Harry Droogendyk from Stratia Consulting Inc. co-chair this section. The one to take the cake in this category will be the presentation that best demonstrates the implementation of integrated SAS BI solutions to deliver insight, drive business planning and increase organizational performance.

I got in touch with Healy to learn the recipe for his success from last year. Healy is a Manager of Data Analysis at Maine Medical Center as well as the CTO and co-founder at BrightHeight Solutions. Here’s what he had to say: VI. Why did you pick this topic: Business Intelligence Competency – Maine Medical Center? Was there a particular business problem you were trying to solve?
IH. I chose to write the paper Business Intelligence Competency – Maine Medical Center because we needed to properly define the role of business analytics within our organization. This paper served to define best practices for where to locate BI, how to manage projects, and the success we realized by making the analytics group separate from both IT and the other departments.

VI. Is there anything you’d like to share that’s not in your paper?
IH. As part of the process of writing this paper, I tried to look at best practices on how to structure BI at Maine Medical Center. This included talking with other hospitals and institutions using business intelligence. One key element that was not included in the paper was the investment of the user community in business intelligence and how a competency center can foster that. Many BI shops use in-house certification programs to build expertise and buy-in. The BI teams work closely with the business side to develop a curriculum that fosters more of a self-service outlook, and thereby reducing the ad -hoc request demands from the users.

I wrote about training and education in my paper;however, I have a greater appreciation of the importance of investing in each department. This was one of the reasons we decided to write a follow- up paper for this year's SAS Global Forum – how the competency model is put into practice for a project, and how we invest in our users.

VI. How did you prepare for the presentation? Do you have any tips and advice for future presenters?
IH. I simply presented this paper to various interested groups at my organization before the presentation in Seattle last year. That provided really good practice for speaking in front of an audience. I would also advise speakers to keep their talks brief since the questions the audience members have are very interesting and insightful. Receiving audience questions was the highlight of the presentation for me.

VI. What was your experience presenting at SAS Global Forum 2010?
IH. It was an excellent experience. Seattle was my first ever SAS Global Forum, and presenting to the audience provided me a firsthand experience of the conference. I met a lot of like-minded people, who faced the same BI challenges that we did.

VI. What kinds of feedback and comments did you receive after your paper presentation? Did you submit a paper this year?
IH. I received a lot of feedback after my presentation, especially from people who were implementing SAS BI, or people asking advice about migrating to SAS 9.2.

I did submit a paper with my colleague Rocket Wong for the Health Care section for this year's SAS Global Forum. It details an executive dashboard project and shows how the various groups and departments can be brought together and organized.

I wish them the best for this year’s conference! You can read other papers written by Healy on as well as check out the other paper winners of 2010. And to make sure you don’t miss any of the interviews or information about tracks you can expect to see at SAS Global Forum 2011, you can subscribe. To subscribe, click on the orange Snapshot of the Best Papers of 2010 XML button in the right nav or paste this URL into your browser (

Did you find Healy’s insights useful?
If so, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on this post. My next post will bring you the winner in the Data Integration section.
1月 102011
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., one of the United States’ largest grocery retailers, has begun a strategic multi-year agreement with SAS to improve the technology behind its marketing and merchandising operations.