General Message

2月 042013
 
The SAS Online Customer Support Home page is like O'Hare International Airport -- once you get there, you can go almost anywhere else. If you have a layover before you leave the airport, you have lots of opportunities for a good meal, some great shopping, and fantastic people watching.  They […]
5月 022011
 
We've all heard that at some point. You heard it when your best friend moved across town or changed schools. They were words of comfort when you returned from summer camp with your first crush. And you heard them again at graduation when you and your friends were scattered to the four corners of the world. Your experiences determine how true you believe this saying to be.

One thing I know for sure. No one ever told a blogger that absence makes the readers more anxious to read your next post. In fact, every social media advisor tells you that you must post at least once a week to keep your readers. I am so far behind in meeting those guidelines, so if you are reading this, please accept my heart-felt Thank You for staying with me. (And thanks to my co-workers who posted great topics in my absence over the last few weeks.)

What have I been doing, you ask? I'm working on some really exciting enhancements to our Online Support Site offerings. The best part is that they are things that you, our customers, have been asking for. I can't wait to get your feedback. These updates will be available before summer arrives in Cary, North Carolina. The first change is an update to our discussion forums. Here are a few things to look forward to:
  • a better user interface

  • a much better editor

  • the ability to embed graphics inline in a post

  • reputation ratings for contributors

  • indicators of answered questions.

I talked about this a bit in my Inside SAS Global Forum video.





The second change will be an update to the search results. We've added some new features and improved on a few existing ones. You can expect:
  • an improved interface

  • easier access to advanced search features

  • better access to content filters

  • the ability to drill into a section of the site to narrow in on the best results.

Get a first look at the interface.




You'll be hearing a lot more about these features before we release them. Stay tuned.

Take Your Pick: Statistics Books

 General Message, SAS Documentation  Take Your Pick: Statistics Books已关闭评论
10月 212010
 
Contributed by Shelley Sessoms, Acquisitions Editor, SAS Press

October 20, 2010 (or 20.10.2010 as it’s known) was World Statistics Day. The day also falls within the week for the North Carolina State Fair. Maybe it’s a bit of stretch, but I thought of both events while planning this blog post. In honor of World Statistics Day, SAS Publishing would like to provide our customers with a quick view of our statistics books for sale. This is not a comprehensive list, just a smattering of titles you might find helpful. To see the complete list, visit our bookstore.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. How are you going to tie this into the fair? Well, it’s simple really. If you win a game at the fair, you often get your pick of prizes. It might be a giant stuffed frog, or a pink teddy bear. Maybe a large stuffed hot dog on a stick (don’t ask…I actually saw this one year). So I figure if you’re a SAS customer, you’re already a winner! So, take your pick of these helpful statistics books. (Was that a stretch? Maybe, but I hope it provided you with a chuckle anyway.)

Happy World Statistics Day! Now, tell us. What’s your favorite statistics book?

Demystifying SAS Grid Computing

 General Message, SAS 9.2  Demystifying SAS Grid Computing已关闭评论
8月 202010
 
Contributed by Bill Nasuti, Global Professional Services, SAS

We often hear folks refer to SAS Grid as if it were a single entity, when in reality it consists of many facets. SAS Grid provides a rich functional toolset to improve performance and resource utilization of SAS applications and programs. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at the different ways SAS Grid can help us improve performance and improve resource utilization.

SAS Grid Computing involves employing multiple computers collectively to improve hardware utilization and reduce processing times; this is often times referenced under the HPC or High Performance Computing umbrella. SAS Grid computing is built upon Platform LSF which enables our ability to manage workloads across multiple platforms. By employing a third party product like Platform LSF, we can decouple SAS from the underlying OS. This provides us the opportunity to more efficiently manage SAS application workloads for many virtual and physical platforms.

Let’s take a look at how we can utilize this exciting technology with SAS.

Continue reading "Demystifying SAS Grid Computing"

SAS Tech Report Reader’s Survey Uncovers Interesting Questions

 General Message  SAS Tech Report Reader’s Survey Uncovers Interesting Questions已关闭评论
8月 162010
 
Although I’ve only been with SAS for a little more than two years, I’ve made many SAS friends and I’m beginning to feel a part of the SAS user family. But as the editor of the SAS Tech Report, I really wanted to validate some of my assumptions about reader preferences: I’d made those assumptions based upon reader metrics and conversations I’ve had while at conferences and in online arenas including Twitter and e-mail. I thought it was time to float a short survey.
Continue reading "SAS Tech Report Reader’s Survey Uncovers Interesting Questions"
7月 072010
 
I use this blog to talk about all of the great information that is available to you on support.sas.com. I point out features that you may have missed (like the RSS feeds or Discussion Forums); I answer questions that you send via our feedback form (see the Q&A category); and I give you hints for searching and navigating.

While many of the SAS resources are available to you on support.sas.com, locating and understanding them can be a taxing effort. If you like video, sit back, relax, and watch these two new videos from SAS. Each video was produced to help you get more from your SAS investment. One provides an overview of the resources that are available for our customers, and the second gives instructions on how to contact SAS Technical Support.

Discover SAS Customer Resources
The customer resources video includes a message from Stacy Hobson about customer loyalty as well as information about the SAS Users Groups, Publications, Training, Contracts, R&D, Technical Support, and support.sas.com. You can watch this video from the Community page on support.sas.com site. The video is also available on the SAS Software YouTube channel.

Contacting SAS Technical Support
Did you know that SAS customers have unlimited access to SAS Technical Support? Watch the video to find out when and how to contact Technical Support. The video is available on the Support page of support.sas.com.
3月 302010
 
For years, SAS has collected information from SAS Global Forum attendees about how they use SAS software. In recent years, we have also conducted small usability tests and surveys. The results are always useful and interesting. In an effort to help SAS Global Forum 2010 attendees find all of the paths to providing their feedback, I conducted a quick interview with Paul Hankey, who manages the SAS Usability Lab. Be sure to look for his station and provide your feedback while at SAS Global Forum.


Renee: From my vantage point on the demo floor, I can see that you usually have people two and three deep at your booth. What are you doing over there?
Paul: We’re getting feedback from SAS Global Forum attendees on new product designs. Sometimes it’s just a component that will go into a product, but other times we’ll use a fully-functioning prototype for the evaluations. We also gather attendee reactions to various customer-facing Web sites.

Renee: Usability sounds interesting. What exactly does that mean?
Paul: There are four main phases to the usability process.
  • The first is user research – defining what users need to do their job and using that to help determine what should go into a product.

  • The second phase is designing the feature workflow (e.g. how you get the user from Point A to Point X) as well as creating the user interface.

  • The third part is putting the design in front of representative users and getting their input on what works and what doesn’t work.

  • Finally, information from the evaluation is used to modify the design. We typically do a combination of the first and third steps at SAS Global Forum.

Renee: Do you get good information doing this small/short timeframe test?
Paul: The quality of information we obtain is excellent. Obviously we can’t look at everything in a 15-minute timeframe, so we’ll choose the more important features of a product to focus on. We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t helping us improve our products!

Renee: What are you testing this year?
Paul: We’ll have five or six different things to show and test. We’ll get feedback on some of the new Flash Flex components, test a tree-map visualization, gather information on the design of the 9.2 documentation Web site, and look at different features for the Outlook portion of Add-in for Microsoft Office. We’ll also be demonstrating and getting feedback on the design of a new SAS social-media component.

Renee: Can you tell us a little about how the information you have gathered has changed SAS products and services?
Paul: Information we’ve gathered at previous conferences has directly impacted a number of SAS products, such as Web Report Studio, the Outlook portion of Add-in for Microsoft Office, the e-Learning framework, the Documentation Library, as well as Web sites from Publications, Technical Support and Education. We’ve also had people compare designs for bullet graphs that could be used in dashboards, and the BI Dashboard, itself. Every year the variety of products and services we evaluate seems to grow and grow.

As you can see, the feedback that SAS gathers from our customers is valuable. If you find yourself on the demo floor with 15 minutes to spare, be sure to look for Paul and do a little testing.
1月 252010
 
I saw an interesting question posted to Twitter by @sastips. She asked experienced SAS programmers what advice they would give to new or junior SAS programmers. New user advice is always needed. On support.sas.com, we are frequently asked for advice on how to get started, so this question peaked my interest. I may have missed a few responses, but I managed to catch a few of them and post them here for you.

@SASJedi: Get certified!

@Jeff_Bailey: learn PROC SQL.if they deal w/ databases this is priceless: OPTIONS SASTRACE=',,,d' SASTRACELOC=saslog NOSTSUFFIX;

@gtcox76: my tip to jr programmer. learn the data. You can write great code but if logically wrong it's bad code.

@SSessoms: My advice to a jr SAS prgmr? Read "The Little SAS Book." It's a wealth of info! http://tinyurl.com/yaat224

@sasbi: My advice to a jr SAS pgmr? ALWAYS check the log first!

@sastip: just because it runs doesn't mean it's right.

These tips are interesting and useful. Let's continue this topic and offer more help to those just starting to learn SAS. If you have a tip, post your advice in the comments for this blog post.
What advice would you give?

My advice is more generic than the tips offered on Twitter. I suggest using the free resources available to you.

Two great resources are support.sas.com and sasCommunity.org. Both of these sites contain so much information. I recommend:
  • starting with a few sample programs from the support.sas.com samples database or the Tip of the Day on sasCommunity.org

  • signing-up for training or tutorials from SAS Training

  • Finally, leverage the knowledge of the user community. Take advantage of the discussion forums, sasCommunity.org, SAS users on Twitter, and your co-workers.


And one last thing for junior and senior SAS programmers. I saw this great thread on SAS-L Some Tips and Tricks from SAS-L. It is loaded with years of sage advice on all sorts of SAS topics.