data for good

8月 102017
 

The State of Illinois faces an unprecedented budget crisis, with more than $15 billion in unpaid bills. While experts will argue over the exact causes of states' financial struggles, many are pointing to the problem of state leaders avoiding long-term budgetary problems for short-term fixes. Illinois is not alone in [...]

Battling the government budget crisis with analytics was published on SAS Voices by Trent Smith

8月 012017
 

Did you pay your taxes? From stiff penalties to even jail time, the federal government provides plenty of incentive for citizens to pay, but each year nearly one in five Americans do not pay on time. This leads to a more than $450 billion gap in unpaid taxes, creating a [...]

Where the federal government can find $450 billion was published on SAS Voices by Marie Lowman

7月 262017
 

Too much to do and not enough time to do it. That's a common refrain in government, but an important one because of the critical role government plays in the lives of so many. In a new book from SAS, A Practical Guide to Analytics for Governments: Using Big Data [...]

SAS guidebook empowers government agencies to use analytics for good was published on SAS Voices by Marie Lowman

5月 262017
 

Thanks to 100 dedicated volunteers who spent their entire weekend digging into data at North Carolina’s first-ever DataDive: The Anti-Defamation League was able to cite the new approaches it was taking to analyzing hate crime data when its CEO testified before the US Senate in early May. Counter Tools, a [...]

Using data for good: Volunteers dive into data was published on SAS Voices by Kim Darnofall

5月 252017
 

Around the world, animals continue to be added to the endangered species list. Thankfully, there are organizations like WildTrack, a nonprofit organization using non-invasive techniques to monitor endangered species. With the help of SAS® technology, WildTrack can use its collection of data to preserve endangered species and improve conservation efforts. [...]

SAS and WildTrack protect endangered species, one footprint at a time was published on SAS Voices by Shannon Heath

4月 072017
 

“This conference has been one of my best because I’ve learned about GatherIQ, a social, good cause initiative that’s made me think about the bigger picture, and how I can help people who need help,” said a SAS Global Forum attendee who heard about SAS’ new data-for-good crowdsourcing app at [...]

Using data for good with GatherIQ was published on SAS Voices by Becky Graebe

4月 072017
 

“This conference has been one of my best because I’ve learned about GatherIQ, a social, good cause initiative that’s made me think about the bigger picture, and how I can help people who need help,” said a SAS Global Forum attendee who heard about SAS’ new data-for-good crowdsourcing app at [...]

Using data for good with GatherIQ was published on SAS Voices by Becky Graebe

4月 032017
 

At Opening Session, SAS CEO Jim Goodnight and Alexa have a chat using the Amazon Echo and SAS Visual Analytics.

Unable to attend SAS Global Forum 2017 happening now in Orlando? We’ve got you covered! You can view live stream video from the conference, and check back here for important news from the conference, starting with the highlights from last night’s Opening Session.

While the location and record attendance made for a full house this year, CEO Jim Goodnight explained that there couldn’t be a more perfect setting to celebrate innovation than the world of Walt Disney. “Walt was a master innovator, combining art and science to create an entirely new way to make intelligent connections,” said Goodnight. “SAS is busy making another kind of intelligent connection – the kind made possible by data and analytics.”

It’s SAS’ mission to bring analytics everywhere and to make it ambient. That was exactly the motivation that drove SAS nearly four years ago when embarking on a massive undertaking known as SAS® Viya™. But SAS Viya – announced last year in Las Vegas – is more than just a fast, powerful, modernized analytics platform. Goodnight said it’s really the perfect marriage of science and art.

“Consider what would be possible if analytics could be brought into every moment and every place that data exists,” said Goodnight. “The opportunities are enormous, and like Walt Disney, it’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Driving an analytics economy

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Randy Guard took the stage to update attendees on new releases available on SAS Viya and why SAS is so excited about it. And he explained the reason for SAS Viya comes from the changes being driven in the analytics marketplace. It’s what Guard referred to as an analytics economy – where the maturity of algorithms and techniques progress rapidly. “This is a place where disruption is normal, a place where you want to be the disruptor; you want to be the innovator,” said Guard. That’s exactly what you can achieve with SAS Viya.

As if SAS Viya didn’t leave enough of an impression, Guard took it one step further by inviting Goodnight back on stage to give users a preview into the newest innovation SAS has been cooking up. Using the Amazon Echo Dot – better known as Alexa – Goodnight put cognitive computing into action as he called up annual sales, forecasts and customer satisfaction reports in SAS® Visual Analytics.

Though still in its infant stages of development, the demo was just another reminder that when it comes to analytics, SAS never stops thinking of the next great thing.

AI: The illusion of intelligence

On his Segway, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Oliver Schabenberger talks AI at the SAS Global Forum Opening Session.

With his Segway Mini, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Oliver Schabenberger rolled on stage, fully trusting that his “smart legs” wouldn’t drive him off and into the audience. “I’ve accepted that algorithms and software have intelligence; I’ve accepted that they make decisions for us, but we still have choices,” said Schabenberger.

Diving into artificial intelligence, he explained that today’s algorithms operate with super-human abilities – they are reliable, repeatable and work around the clock without fatigue – yet they don’t behave like humans. And while the “AI” label is becoming trendy, true systems deserving of the AI title have two distinct things in common: they belong to the class of weak AI systems and they tend to be based on deep learning.

So, why are those distinctions important? Schabenberger explained that a weak AI system is trained to do one task only – the system driving an autonomous vehicle cannot operate the lighting in your home.

“SAS is very much engaged in weak AI, building cognitive systems into our software,” he said. “We are embedding learning and gamification into solutions and you can apply deep learning to text, images and time series.” Those cognitive systems are built into SAS Viya. And while they are powerful and great when they work, Schabenberger begged the question of whether or not they are truly intelligent.

Think about it. True intelligence requires some form of creativity, innovation and independent problem solving. The reality is, that today’s algorithms and software, no matter how smart, are being used as decision support systems to augment our own capabilities and make us better.

But it’s uncomfortable to think about fully trusting technology to make decisions on our behalf. “We make decisions based on reason, we use gut feeling and make split-second judgment calls based on incomplete information,” said Schabenberger. “How well do we expect machines to perform [in our place]when we let them loose and how quickly do we expect them to learn on the job?”

It’s those kinds of questions that prove that all we can handle today is the illusion of intelligence. “We want to get tricked by the machine in a clever way,” said Schabenberger. “The rest is just hype.”

Creating tomorrow‘s analytics leaders

With a room full of analytics leaders, Vice President of Sales Emily Baranello asked attendees to consider where the future leaders of analytics will come from. If you ask SAS, talent will be pulled from universities globally that have partnered with SAS to create 200 types of programs that teach today’s students how to work in SAS software. The commitment level to train up future leaders is evident and can be seen in SAS certifications, joint certificate programs and SAS’ track toward nearly 1 million downloads of SAS® Analytics U.

“SAS talent is continuing to building in the marketplace,” said Baranello. “Our goal is to bring analytics everywhere and we will continue to partner with universities to ready those students to be your successful employees.”

Using data for good

More than just analytics and technology, SAS’ brand is a representation of people who make the world a better place. Knowing that, SAS announced the development of GatherIQ – a customized crowdsourcing app that will begin with two International Organization for Migration (IMO) projects. One project will specifically focus on global migration, using data to keep migrants safe as they search for a better life. With GatherIQ, changing the world might be as easy as opening an app.

There's much more to come, so stay tuned to SAS blogs this week for the latest updates from SAS Global Forum!

SAS Viya, AI star at SAS Global Forum Opening Session was published on SAS Users.

1月 182017
 

Improving citizen happiness is an important goal for many, if not all, governments.  But what is happiness really?  Can it be objectively measured?  Can we discover the key factors that best correlate with happiness?  And ultimately, can governments implement policies and programs that maximize happiness? Is maximum happiness nothing more than […]

Can you measure and optimize happiness? was published on SAS Voices.

12月 142016
 

Clinical research generates extensive amounts of data, yet most of it is siloed or generally unavailable to a larger pool of willing potential researchers. If this data were liberated to the masses, we would venture into a world of endless possibilities where the search for new cures and treatments could […]

Clinical research data sharing promises new cures and treatments was published on SAS Voices.