I’ve already written about one highlight of SAS Global Forum 2013: the SAS Web Editor. Here are some more features that I think deserve mention. Please note that I make no claims about the comprehensiveness or completeness of this list.
SAS 9.4 and Enterprise Guide 6.1 are scheduled for release in June and bring some important new features. Here are a few:
ODS POWERPOINT destination The usefulness of this destination is obvious. There will be two new styles designed specifically for PowerPoint: one with a white background and one with a black background. You can use other styles too, but these new styles have the advantage of being fully compatible with the PowerPoint theme selector. Any graphs you create using ODS Graphics will be embedded in this destination.
ODS LAYOUT If I remember correctly, the first time I ever heard about the ODS LAYOUT statement was at SUGI 28 in 2003. I don’t know why it has taken so long to move to production, but I’m glad it’s finally here. If you need custom reports that combine results from multiple procedures, then you will probably love ODS LAYOUT.
PROC ODSLIST and PROC ODSTEXT These new procedures allow you to create bulleted lists and formatted blocks of text in reports. The content can be static or dynamic (based on a data set).
ODS Graphics The SG procedures continue to mature. When I attended Dan Heath’s super-demo on SG procedures, members of the audience repeatedly said “Oh, good, I need that.” New features include a SORT= option in SGPANEL, insets in SGPANEL, split characters for tick and axis labels, and PERCENT and MEDIAN options for STAT=.
Enterprise Guide For a long time, one of the problems with Enterprise Guide was that it kept evolving so quickly that users felt like they had to learn it all over again with each release. EG users will be glad to know that EG 6.1 uses the same basic layout as EG 4.2 and 5.1. Improvements in EG 6.1 include sticky notes and a log summary to help people who write code. Developer Casey Smith said there will be better integration with the ODS Graphics Editor. I am glad to hear that ODS Graphics is being supported in EG, and I would like to see this dramatically increased. EG users should have the best graphics that SAS can offer.
SGF is finally global 28 percent of attendees were from outside the US. I have attended SGF and it’s predecessor SUGI for decades, and most of that time I didn’t see a single attendee from outside the US. It’s exciting to see SAS Global Forum living up to its name.
Finally, if you didn’t get to attend SGF (or even if you did) there were some great presentations that you should watch. I know these have been mentioned by many other people, but they are surprisingly hard to find online. So here are the links:
Opening Session The Opening Session was informative and included an amazing performance by the dance troupe Les Ombres.
Roger Craig’s talk about how he used analytics to train to be a contestant on Jeopardy! was fascinating.