papers & presentations

4月 202021
 

I can’t believe it’s true, but SAS Global Forum is just over a month away. I have some exciting news to share with you, so let’s start with the theme for this year:

New Day. New Answers. Inspired by Curiosity.

What a fitting theme for this year! Technology continues to evolve, so each new day is a chance to seek new answers to what can sometimes feel like impossible challenges. Our curiosity as humans drives us to seek out better ways to do things. And I hope your curiosity will drive you to register for this year’s SAS Global Forum.

We are excited to offer a global event across three regions. If you’re in the Americas, the conference is May 18-20. In Asia Pacific? Then we’ll see you May 19-20. And we didn’t forget about Europe. Your dates are May 25-26. We hope these region-specific dates and the virtual nature of the conference means more SAS users than ever will join us for an inspiring event. Curious about the exciting agenda? It’s all on the website, so check it out.

Keynotes speakers that you’ll talk about for months to come

Want to be inspired to chase your “impossible” dreams? Or hear more about the future of AI? How about learning about work-life balance and your mental health? We have you covered. SAS executives are gearing up to host an exciting lineup of extremely smart, engaging and thought-provoking keynote speakers like Adam Grant, Ayesha Khanna and Hakeem Oluseyi.

And who knows, we might have a few more surprises up our sleeve. You’ll just have to register and attend to find out.

Papers and proceedings: simplified and easy to find

Have you joined the SAS Global Forum online community? You should, because that’s where you’ll find all the discussion around the conference…before, during and after. It’s also where you’ll find a link to the 2021 proceedings, when they become available. Authors are busy preparing their presentations now and they are hard at work staging their proceedings in the community. Join the community so you can connect with other attendees and know when the proceedings become available.

Stay tuned for even more details

SAS Global Forum is the place where creativity meets curiosity, and amazing analytics happens! I encourage you to regularly check the conference website, as we’re continually adding new sessions and events. You don’t want to miss this year’s conference, so don’t forget to register for SAS Global Forum. See you soon!

Registration is open for a truly inspiring SAS Global Forum 2021 was published on SAS Users.

2月 252021
 

The people, the energy, the quality of the content, the demos, the networking opportunities…whew, all of these things combine to make SAS Global Forum great every year. And that is no exception this year.

Preparations are in full swing for an unforgettable conference. I hope you’ve seen the notifications that we set the date, actually multiple dates around the world so that you can enjoy the content in your region and in your time zone. No one needs to set their alarm for 1:00am to attend the conference!

Go ahead and save the date(s)…you don’t want to miss this event!

Content, content, content

We are working hard to replicate the energy and excitement of a live conference in the virtual world. But we know content is king, so we have some amazing speakers and content lined up to make the conference relevant for you. There will be more than 150 breakout sessions for business leaders and SAS users, plus the demos will allow you to see firsthand the innovative solutions from SAS, and the people who make them. I, for one, am looking forward to attending live sessions that will allow attendees the opportunity to ask presenters questions and have them respond in real time.

Our keynote speakers, while still under wraps for now, will have you on the edge of your seats (or couches…no judgement here!).

Networking and entertainment

You read that correctly. We will have live entertainment that'll have you glued to the screen. And you’ll be able to network with SAS experts and peers alike. But you don’t have to wait until the conference begins to network, the SAS Global Forum virtual community is up and running. Join the group to start engaging with other attendees, and maybe take a guess or two at who the live entertainment might be.

A big thank you

We are working hard to bring you the best conference possible, but this isn’t a one-woman show. It takes a team, so I would like to introduce and thank the conference teams for 2021. The Content Advisory Team ensures the Users Program sessions meet the needs of our diverse global audience. The Content Delivery Team ensures that conference presenters and authors have the tools and resources needed to provide high-quality presentations and papers. And, finally, the SAS Advisers help us in a multitude of ways. Thank you all for your time and effort so far!

Registration opens in April, so stay tuned for that announcement. I look forward to “seeing” you all in May.

What makes SAS Global Forum great? was published on SAS Users.

12月 172020
 

There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a task and getting stuck. Being able to find quick tips and tricks to help you solve the task at hand, or simply entertain your curiosity, is key to maintaining your efficiency and building everyday skills. But how do you get quick information that’s ALSO engaging? By adding some personality to traditionally routine tutorials, you can learn and may even have fun at the same time. Cue the SAS Users YouTube channel.

With more than 50 videos that show personality published to-date and over 10,000 hours watched, there’s no shortage of learning going on. Our team of experts love to share their knowledge and passion (with personal flavor!) to give you solutions to those everyday tasks.

What better way to round out the year than provide a roundup of our most popular videos from 2020? Check out these crowd favorites:

Most viewed

  1. How to convert character to numeric in SAS
  2. How to import data from Excel to SAS
  3. How to export SAS data to Excel

Most hours watched

  1. How to import data from Excel to SAS
  2. How to convert character to numeric in SAS
  3. Simple Linear Regression in SAS
  4. How to export SAS data to Excel
  5. How to Create Macro Variables and Use Macro Functions
  6. The SAS Exam Experience | See a Performance-Based Question in Action
  7. How it Import CSV files into SAS
  8. SAS Certification Exam: 4 tips for success
  9. SAS Date Functions FAQs
  10. Merging Data Sets in SAS Using SQL

Latest hits

  1. Combining Data in SAS: DATA Step vs SQL
  2. How to Concatenate Values in SAS
  3. How to Market to Customers Based on Online Behavior
  4. How to Plan an Optimal Tour of London Using Network Optimization
  5. Multiple Linear Regression in SAS
  6. How to Build Customized Object Detection Models

Looking forward to 2021

We’ve got you covered! SAS will continue to publish videos throughout 2021. Subscribe now to the SAS Users YouTube channel, so you can be notified when we’re publishing new videos. Be on the lookout for some of the following topics:

  • Transforming variables in SAS
  • Tips for working with SAS Technical Support
  • How to use Git with SAS

2020 roundup: SAS Users YouTube channel how to tutorials was published on SAS Users.

11月 202020
 

If you’re like me and the rest of the conference team, you’ve probably attended more virtual events this year than you ever thought possible. You can see the general evolution of virtual events by watching the early ones from April or May and compare them to the recent ones. We at SAS Global Forum are studying the virtual event world, and we’re learning what works and what needs to be tweaked. We’re using that knowledge to plan the best possible virtual SAS Global Forum 2021.

Everything is virtual these days, so what do we mean by virtual?

Planning a good virtual event takes time, and we’re working through the process now. One thing is certain -- we know the importance of providing quality content and an engaging experience for our attendees. We want to provide attendees with the opportunity as always, but virtually, to continue to learn from other SAS users, hear about new and exciting developments from SAS, and connect and network with experts, peers, partners and SAS. Yes, I said network. We realize it won’t be the same as a live event, but we are hopeful we can provide attendees with an incredible experience where you connect, learn and share with others.

Call for content is open

One of the differences between SAS Global Forum and other conferences is that SAS users are front and center, and the soul of the conference. We can’t have an event without user content. And that’s where you come in! The call for content opened November 17 and lasts through December 21, 2020. Selected presenters will be notified in January 2021. Presentations will be different in 2021; they will be 30 minutes in length, including time for Q&A when able. And since everything is virtual, video is a key component to your content submission. We ask for a 3-minute video along with your title and abstract.

The Student Symposium is back

Calling all postsecondary students -- there’s still time to build a team for the Student Symposium. If you are interested in data science and want to showcase your skills, grab a teammate or two and a faculty advisor and put your thinking caps on. Applications are due by December 21, 2020.

Learn more

I encourage you to visit the SAS Global Forum website for up-to-date information, follow #SASGF on social channels and join the SAS communities group to engage with the conference team and other attendees.

Connect, learn and share during virtual SAS Global Forum 2021 was published on SAS Users.

1月 232020
 

When I attend a conference, one of the first things I do is look at the agenda. This gives me a good overview of how my time will be spent.

The next thing I do is find the detailed breakdown of sessions, so I can start building out my own personal agenda. I know my areas of interest, and I want to make sure my time is spent learning as much as possible. I’ve done this at industry conferences, as well as every SAS GF I’ve attended (and I’ve attended a lot).

I am happy to report that the session catalog for SAS Global Forum 2020 helps me understand what sessions are available so I can make the most of my conference experience. Here are my tips to make the most of the session catalog:

Use filters

For the first time, all programs are represented in the catalog. And anyone can attend any session. You can start broad, then filter by level of expertise, topic of interest, industry, product, or style of presentation. Filters are your friend…use them!

Use the interest list

You can bookmark sessions to your interest list, but beware that these do not automatically save for you. Be sure to use the export feature. Then you can share your chosen sessions with friends, print them, and cross-check them as you’re building your agenda in the mobile app starting March 1. It’s a great tool.

Review sample agendas

Speaking of agendas, it’s sometimes hard to narrow down your options. Start with one of the custom-tailored agendas within the session catalog and use these as a starting point to help complete your personal agenda. We keep adding new sample agendas, so you will have many great sessions to pick from!

Solicit the help of your SAS point of contact

If you’re a first-timer, or someone who is overwhelmed by too many choices, let your SAS contact help. They can help select sessions that they feel will be beneficial to your learning and networking.

Moral of the story

If you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of the session catalog. It’s totally customizable. The way I use it may not be the way you use it and that’s fine. That’s why there are so many ways to search, filter and save. Just give it a try. Your SAS Global Forum experience will be all the better when you include the session catalog.

And remember, anyone can check out the session catalog. Not planning to attend? Well, boo, go ahead and see what you’re missing. If you’re on the fence about the conference, check out all the great things SAS Global Forum has to offer then go register!

Make the most of SAS Global Forum with the session catalog was published on SAS Users.

6月 022018
 

The SAS PlatformFor software users and SAS administrators, the question often becomes how to streamline their approach into the easiest to use system that most effectively completes the task at hand. At SAS Global Forum 2018, the topic of a “Big Red Button” was an idea that got audience members asking – is there a way to have just a few clicks complete all the stages of the software administration lifecycle? In this article, we review Sergey Iglov’s SAS Global Forum paper A ‘Big Red Button’ for SAS Administrators: Myth or Reality?” to get a better understanding of what this could look like, and how it could change administrators’ jobs for the better. Iglov is a director at SASIT Limited.

What is a “Big Red Button?”

With the many different ways the SAS Platform can be utilized, there is a question as to whether there is a single process that can control “infrastructure provisioning, software installation and configuration, maintenance, and decommissioning.” It has been believed that each of these steps has a different process; however, as Iglov concluded, there may be a way to integrate these steps together with the “Big Red Button.”

This mystery “button” that Iglov talked about would allow administrators to easily add or delete parts of the system and automate changes throughout; thus, the entire program could adapt to the administrator’s needs with a simple click.

Software as a System –SAS Viya and cloud based technologies

Right now, SAS Viya is compatible with the automation of software deployment processes through a centralized management. Right now, SAS Viya is compatible with a centralized automated deployment process. Through insights easily created and shared on the cloud, SAS Viya stands out, as users can access a centrally hosted control panel instead of needing individual installations.

Using CloudFormation by Amazon Web Services

At this point, the “Big Red Button” points toward systems such as CloudFormation. CloudFormation allows users of Amazon Web Services to lay out the infrastructure needed for their product visually, and easily make changes that will affect the software. As Iglov said, “Once a template is deployed using CloudFormation it can be used as a stack to simplify resources management. For example, when a stack is deleted all related resources are deleted automatically as well.”

Conclusion

Connecting to SAS Viya, CloudFormation can install and configure the system, and make changes. This would help SAS administrators adapt the product to their needs, in order to derive intelligence from data. While the future potential to use a one-click button is out there for many different platforms, using cloud based software and programs such as CloudFormation enable users to go through each step of SAS Platform’s administration lifecycle efficiently and effectively.

Additional Resources

SAS Viya Brochure
Sergey Iglov: "A 'Big Red Button' for SAS administrators: Myth or Reality?"

Additional SAS Global Forum 2018 talks of interest for SAS Administrators

A Programming Approach to Implementing SAS® Metadata-Bound Libraries for SAS® Data Set Encryption Deepali Rai, SAS Institute Inc.

Command-Line Administration in SAS® Viya®
Danny Hamrick, SAS

External Databases: Tools for the SAS® Administrator
Mathieu Gaouette, Prospective MG inc.

SAS® Environment Manager – A SAS® Viya® Administrator’s Swiss Army Knife
Michelle Ryals, Trevor Nightingale, SAS Institute Inc.

Troubleshooting your SAS® Grid Environment
Jason Hawkins, Amadeus Software Limited

Multi-Factor Authentication with SAS® and Symantec VIP
Jody Steadman, Mike Roda, SAS Institute Inc.

OpenID Connect Opens the Door to SAS® Viya® APIs
Mike Roda, SAS Institute Inc.

Understanding Security for SAS® Visual Analytics 8.2 on SAS® Viya®
Antonio Gianni, Faisal Qamar, SAS Institute Inc.

Latest and Greatest: Best Practices for Migrating to SAS® 9.4
Alec Fernandez, Leigh Fernandez, SAS Institute Inc.

Planning for Migration from SAS® 9.4 to SAS® Viya®
Don B. Hayes, DLL Consulting Inc.; Spencer Hayes, Cached Consulting LLC; Michael Shealy, Cached Consulting LLC; Rebecca Hayes, Green Peach Consulting Inc.

SAS® Viya®: Architect for High Availability Now and Users Will Thank You Later
Jerry Read, SAS Institute Inc.

Taming Change: Bulk Upgrading SAS® 9.4 Environments to a New Maintenance Release
Javor Evstatiev, Andrey Turlov

Is there a “Big Red Button” to use The SAS Platform? was published on SAS Users.

5月 302018
 

SAS Enterprise Miner has been a leader in data mining and modeling for over 20 years. The system offers over 80 different nodes that help users analyze, score and model their data. With a wide range of functionalities, there can be a number of different ways to produce the results you want.

At SAS® Global Forum 2018, Principal Systems Engineer Melodie Rush spoke about her experience with SAS® Enterprise Miner™, and compiled a list of hints that she believe will help users of all levels. This article previews her full presentation, Top 10 Tips for SAS Enterprise Miner Based on 20 Years’ Experience. The paper includes images and further details of each of the tips noted below; I’d encourage you to check it out to learn more.

Top Ten Tips for Enterprise Miner

Tip 1: How to find the node you’re looking for

If you struggle finding the node that best fits what you need, there’s a system that can simplify it.

Nodes are organized by Sample, Explore, Modify, Model, and Assess. Find which of these best describes what you are trying to do, and scroll across each node alphabetically for a description.

Tip 2: Add node from diagram workspace

Double click any node on the toolbar to see its properties. An example of the results this presents are shown below:

Top Ten Tips for Enterprise Miner

Tip 3: Clone a process flow

Highlight process flow by dragging your mouse across, right-click or CTRL+C, and Paste or CTRL+V where you want to insert process flow.

Tip 4: New features

  • There’s a new tab, HPDM (High-Performance Data Mining), which contains several new nodes that cover data mining and machine learning algorithms.
  • There are two new nodes under Utility that incorporate Open Source and SAS Viya.
  • The Open Source Integration node allows you to use R language code in SAS Enterprise Miner diagrams.
  • A SAS Viya Code node now incorporates code that will be used in SAS Viya and CAS, and algorithms from SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning.
  • To save and share your results, there are now the Register Model and Save Data nodes under Utility.
  • You can now register models to the SAS Metadata Server to score or compare easily.
  • A Save Data node lets you save training, validation, test, score, or transaction data as SAS, JMP, Excel, CSV or tab-delimited files.

Tip 5: The unknown node

The reporter node under Utility allows you to easily document your Enterprise Miner process flow diagrams. A .pdf or .rtf is created with an image of the process flow.

Tip 6: The node that changes everything

The Metadata node, on the Utility tab, allows you to change metadata information and values in your diagram. You also can capture settings to then apply to data in another diagram.

Tip 7: How to generate a scorecard

A scorecard emphasizes what variables and values from your model are important. Values are reported on a 0 to 1,000 scale, with the higher being more likely the event you’re measuring occurs. To do this, have the Reporter node follow a Score node, and then change the Nodes property to Summary under Reporter node properties.

Tip 8: How to override the 512 level limit

If faced with the error message, “Maximum target levels of 512 exceeded,” your input is resulting in more than 512 distinct results. To get around this, you need to change EM_TRAIN_MAXLEVELS to another value. To do so, either change the macro value in properties

or change the macro value in project start code.

Tip 9: Which variable selection method should I use?

Instead of choosing just one variable selection method, you can combine different ones such as Decision Trees, Forward, Chi-Square, and others. The results can be combined using different selection properties, such as None (no changes made from original metadata), Any (reject a variable if any previous variable selection nodes reject it), All (reject a variable if all of the previous variable selection nodes reject it), and Majority (reject a variable if the majority of the variable selection nodes reject it).

Tip 10: Interpreting neural network

Decision trees can be produced to interpret networks, by changing the Prediction variable to be your Target and the Target variable to be rejected.

Conclusion

With so many options to create models that best suit your preferences, these tips will help sharpen your focus and allow you to use SAS Enterprise Miner more efficiently and effectively. This presentation was one in a series of talks on Enterprise Miner tool presented at SAS® Global Forum 2018.

Additional Resources

SAS Enterprise Miner
SAS Enterprise Learning Tutorials
Getting Started With SAS Enterprise Miner Tutorial Videos

Additional SAS Enterprise Miner talks from Global Forum 2018

A Case Study of Mining Social Media Data for Disaster Relief: Hurricane Irma
Bogdan Gadidov, Linh Le, Analytics and Data Science Institute, Kennesaw State University

A Study of Modelling Approaches for Predicting Dropout in a Business College
Xuan Wang, Helmut Schneider, Louisiana State University

Analysis of Nokia Customer Tweets with SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS® Sentiment Analysis Studio
Vaibhav Vanamala MS in Business Analytics, Oklahoma State University

Analysis of Unstructured Data: Topic Mining & Predictive Modeling using Text
Ravi Teja Allaparthi

Association Rule Mining of Polypharmacy Drug Utilization Patterns in Health Care Administrative Data Using SAS® Enterprise Miner™
Dingwei Dai, Chris Feudtner, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Bayesian Networks for Causal Analysis
Fei Wang and John Amrhein, McDougall Scientific Ltd.

Classifying and Predicting Spam Messages Using Text Mining in SAS® Enterprise Miner™
Mounika Kondamudi, Oklahoma State University

Image Classification Using SAS® Enterprise Miner 14.1

Model-Based Fiber Network Expansion Using SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS® Visual Analytics
Nishant Sharma, Charter Communications

Monte Carlo K-Means Clustering SAS Enterprise Miner
Donald K. Wedding, PhD Director of Data Science Sprint Corporation

Retail Product Bundling – A new approach
Bruno Nogueira Carlos, Youman Mind Over Data

Using Market Basket Analysis in SAS® Enterprise MinerTM to Make Student Course Enrollment Recommendations
Shawn Hall, Aaron Osei, and Jeremiah McKinley, The University of Oklahoma

Using SAS® Enterprise Miner for Categorization of Customer Comments to Improve Services at USPS
Olayemi Olatunji, United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General

Top 10 tips for SAS Enterprise Miner based on 20 years’ experience was published on SAS Users.

5月 302018
 

SAS Enterprise Miner has been a leader in data mining and modeling for over 20 years. The system offers over 80 different nodes that help users analyze, score and model their data. With a wide range of functionalities, there can be a number of different ways to produce the results you want.

At SAS® Global Forum 2018, Principal Systems Engineer Melodie Rush spoke about her experience with SAS® Enterprise Miner™, and compiled a list of hints that she believe will help users of all levels. This article previews her full presentation, Top 10 Tips for SAS Enterprise Miner Based on 20 Years’ Experience. The paper includes images and further details of each of the tips noted below; I’d encourage you to check it out to learn more.

Top Ten Tips for Enterprise Miner

Tip 1: How to find the node you’re looking for

If you struggle finding the node that best fits what you need, there’s a system that can simplify it.

Nodes are organized by Sample, Explore, Modify, Model, and Assess. Find which of these best describes what you are trying to do, and scroll across each node alphabetically for a description.

Tip 2: Add node from diagram workspace

Double click any node on the toolbar to see its properties. An example of the results this presents are shown below:

Top Ten Tips for Enterprise Miner

Tip 3: Clone a process flow

Highlight process flow by dragging your mouse across, right-click or CTRL+C, and Paste or CTRL+V where you want to insert process flow.

Tip 4: New features

  • There’s a new tab, HPDM (High-Performance Data Mining), which contains several new nodes that cover data mining and machine learning algorithms.
  • There are two new nodes under Utility that incorporate Open Source and SAS Viya.
  • The Open Source Integration node allows you to use R language code in SAS Enterprise Miner diagrams.
  • A SAS Viya Code node now incorporates code that will be used in SAS Viya and CAS, and algorithms from SAS Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning.
  • To save and share your results, there are now the Register Model and Save Data nodes under Utility.
  • You can now register models to the SAS Metadata Server to score or compare easily.
  • A Save Data node lets you save training, validation, test, score, or transaction data as SAS, JMP, Excel, CSV or tab-delimited files.

Tip 5: The unknown node

The reporter node under Utility allows you to easily document your Enterprise Miner process flow diagrams. A .pdf or .rtf is created with an image of the process flow.

Tip 6: The node that changes everything

The Metadata node, on the Utility tab, allows you to change metadata information and values in your diagram. You also can capture settings to then apply to data in another diagram.

Tip 7: How to generate a scorecard

A scorecard emphasizes what variables and values from your model are important. Values are reported on a 0 to 1,000 scale, with the higher being more likely the event you’re measuring occurs. To do this, have the Reporter node follow a Score node, and then change the Nodes property to Summary under Reporter node properties.

Tip 8: How to override the 512 level limit

If faced with the error message, “Maximum target levels of 512 exceeded,” your input is resulting in more than 512 distinct results. To get around this, you need to change EM_TRAIN_MAXLEVELS to another value. To do so, either change the macro value in properties

or change the macro value in project start code.

Tip 9: Which variable selection method should I use?

Instead of choosing just one variable selection method, you can combine different ones such as Decision Trees, Forward, Chi-Square, and others. The results can be combined using different selection properties, such as None (no changes made from original metadata), Any (reject a variable if any previous variable selection nodes reject it), All (reject a variable if all of the previous variable selection nodes reject it), and Majority (reject a variable if the majority of the variable selection nodes reject it).

Tip 10: Interpreting neural network

Decision trees can be produced to interpret networks, by changing the Prediction variable to be your Target and the Target variable to be rejected.

Conclusion

With so many options to create models that best suit your preferences, these tips will help sharpen your focus and allow you to use SAS Enterprise Miner more efficiently and effectively. This presentation was one in a series of talks on Enterprise Miner tool presented at SAS® Global Forum 2018.

Additional Resources

SAS Enterprise Miner
SAS Enterprise Learning Tutorials
Getting Started With SAS Enterprise Miner Tutorial Videos

Additional SAS Enterprise Miner talks from Global Forum 2018

A Case Study of Mining Social Media Data for Disaster Relief: Hurricane Irma
Bogdan Gadidov, Linh Le, Analytics and Data Science Institute, Kennesaw State University

A Study of Modelling Approaches for Predicting Dropout in a Business College
Xuan Wang, Helmut Schneider, Louisiana State University

Analysis of Nokia Customer Tweets with SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS® Sentiment Analysis Studio
Vaibhav Vanamala MS in Business Analytics, Oklahoma State University

Analysis of Unstructured Data: Topic Mining & Predictive Modeling using Text
Ravi Teja Allaparthi

Association Rule Mining of Polypharmacy Drug Utilization Patterns in Health Care Administrative Data Using SAS® Enterprise Miner™
Dingwei Dai, Chris Feudtner, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Bayesian Networks for Causal Analysis
Fei Wang and John Amrhein, McDougall Scientific Ltd.

Classifying and Predicting Spam Messages Using Text Mining in SAS® Enterprise Miner™
Mounika Kondamudi, Oklahoma State University

Image Classification Using SAS® Enterprise Miner 14.1

Model-Based Fiber Network Expansion Using SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS® Visual Analytics
Nishant Sharma, Charter Communications

Monte Carlo K-Means Clustering SAS Enterprise Miner
Donald K. Wedding, PhD Director of Data Science Sprint Corporation

Retail Product Bundling – A new approach
Bruno Nogueira Carlos, Youman Mind Over Data

Using Market Basket Analysis in SAS® Enterprise MinerTM to Make Student Course Enrollment Recommendations
Shawn Hall, Aaron Osei, and Jeremiah McKinley, The University of Oklahoma

Using SAS® Enterprise Miner for Categorization of Customer Comments to Improve Services at USPS
Olayemi Olatunji, United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General

Top 10 tips for SAS Enterprise Miner based on 20 years’ experience was published on SAS Users.

2月 282018
 

Goutam Chakraborty is a busy man. In addition to serving as SAS professor of marketing analytics at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Chakraborty is the director and founder of the SAS and Oklahoma State University MS in Business Analytics and an award winning author and professor. He teaches courses in such areas as business analytics, marketing analytics, data mining, marketing research, and web strategy, and has been preparing students to enter the workforce with advanced skills in marketing and analytics for more than 20 years. Throw in the regular consulting engagements he has with some of the world's top companies and it makes you wonder if Dr. Chakraborty has time to add anything else to his already full plate. Well, this year at least, you add SAS Global Forum 2018 Chair to the list - likely at the expense of a good night's sleep.

As the largest gathering of SAS users in the world, SAS Global Forum will attract more than 5,000 SAS professionals for several days of learning and networking. Recently, I sat down with Dr. Chakraborty to talk with him a bit about this year's conference, which takes place April 8-11, 2018 in Denver. I left excited about SAS Global Forum 2018 and, at the expense of losing credibility as a fair and balanced reporter, convinced that Dr. Chakraborty is one of the nicest individuals you'll ever meet.

Larry LaRusso: I know you've been preparing to chair SAS Global Forum 2018 for more than three years, but now that the event is only a few weeks away, how excited are you to kick this thing off?
Goutam Chakraborty: More excited than you know Larry. I've participated in many SAS Global Forums, but serving as chair gives you the ability to influence every aspect of the event, from speaker and content selection to charity-related events and networking opportunities. It's been a wonderful opportunity to give back to the SAS user community, one I'll never forget.

LL: What excites you most about this year's event?
GC: There are so many new things about this year's conference, all geared toward providing an enriching experience for all SAS users. I'll mention three that immediately come to mind.

One thing we've tried to do well this year is connect industry with academics. While we'll have a full program of events and talks specifically geared toward students and professors, this year we'll emphasize partnerships with industries in a new way. I might be most excited about Sunday's Talent Connection. This event brings students and SAS professionals together to network, discuss career opportunities and share knowledge, research and partnership opportunities that might exist with each other. I anticipate it being a great success for both students and industry looking to connect with young analytical talent.

Another strong focus for us is career development and learning for SAS users at all levels. We'll have a full menu of traditional training and certification opportunities for data scientists, business and data analysts and SAS programmers, but we're also providing opportunities to build on soft-skills development, such as networking, analytical story-telling and much more. We'll also have an on-site Learning Lab, available for several hours each day, where users can explore more than 25 e-learning courses for free.

Finally, I'll mention our volunteer opportunities. We'll have several ways for users to give back, but I'm particularly excited about our STEM-related charity event. During meals and evening networking receptions, both Monday and Tuesday, attendees will have the opportunity to work with RAFT Colorado (Resource Area For Teaching), and build STEM-inspired teaching kits for local teachers to use in their classrooms. Each kit will repurpose educational items RAFT has collected and make them available to teachers as creative tools for teaching STEM – inspiring the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers and creators. It's an extraordinary opportunity to impact local area children.

LL: Speaking of extraordinary, this year's conference theme is "Inspire the Extraordinary." What does that theme mean to you?
GC: It means never accept "good enough." I always tell my students to push for something above and beyond what's expected of them, to be extra-ordinary. We expect the same for this year's SAS Global Forum. Knowing the event like I do, I feel confident we're going to deliver a SAS Global Forum that surprises and delights our users in a way they didn't expect.

LL: We all know that one of the best things about SAS Global Forum is its incredible content. What can you tell us about the content you’re putting together for this year’s event?
GC: Thanks to tons of hard work and research from a lot of SAS users, we've selected fantastic content from renowned speakers from across the world. Perhaps the best part of our content planning this year is the variety. Topics range from deep hard-core programming to high-level strategic thinking about data and analytics. From sessions that will help you to develop yourself personally as a better human-being to learning about optimizing Monday night NFL schedule for best viewership to thinking strategically about data as a currency – there is something of value for everyone.

SAS Global Forum 2018LL: SAS Global Forum is likely to attract more than 5,000 data scientists, analytics professionals and business leaders. Every year it amazes me how many of those users are attending SAS Global Forum for the first time. What advice would you give first-timers?
GC: First piece of advice: Have a plan and build a personalized agenda so you don’t get overwhelmed by the large number of available sessions. Second, take every opportunity to engage and network with other attendees. One of the best things about this conference is how willing veteran SAS users (regulars at this conference) are to help and welcome newcomers. So, take advantage of it. If you are sitting down for breakfast or lunch, take the time to introduce yourself to people around you. You may be surprised where it could lead. I'd also encourage attendees to take time to visit the Quad. The Quad is a casual and interactive space where attendees can network with other SAS enthusiasts, view demos and visit with experts from SAS and our sponsors. And, last but not the least, have some fun! Attend the social events we have planned, especially the Kick Back Party at Mile High Stadium on Tuesday evening.

LL: As an academician, I know you’re passionate about learning? What additional learning opportunities, beyond the session talks, are available to attendees?
GC: There are so many learning opportunities at SAS Global Forum that it is mind-numbing. Of course, the 20 and 50 minute session talks are the main modes of content delivery, but there are also e-posters, table talks and super demos in the Quad. We'll also have dozens of pre-conference tutorials, post-conference training, and all the activity in the Learning Labs, including hands-on workshops and the ability to take individual e-learning courses.

LL: Given your personal interests, I know one of your goals for this year’s conference is to increase participation in the event for students and professors. Can you tell me a little more about the special events you have planned for this audience?
GC: For starters, SAS Global Forum is completely “free” for students! As long as you are a full-time enrolled student of an accredited, degree-granting academic institution you can attend free of charge. There are credit hour minimums that must be reached to be eligible, so I'd encourage students to visit the website for complete details.

Programmatically, we have the Sunday afternoon sessions entirely dedicated to academics. We have a fantastic academic keynote speaker, Temple Grandin from Colorado State University, and special training sessions for professors interested in teaching analytics at their universities. For students, we offer a number of opportunities to network and special courses, such as how to best use social media for networking while looking for a job, to help them make a successful transition from student to working professional. We also encourage students, and really anyone who has an interest, to attend the presentations students make as winners of the SAS Global Forum Student Symposium Student Symposium. Though closed now, the Symposium provides an opportunity for teams of two to four students and a faculty adviser to showcase their skills and compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics in solving a big data problem. This year, more than 60 teams entered; the top eight will present 20-minute talks during the event.

LL: Dr. Chakraborty, I've taken a lot of your time, but is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
GC: Actually, I'd like to thank the many volunteers who have helped put this conference together. From serving on our SAS Global Users Group Executive Board to helping evaluate and select talks, to serving in our Presenter Mentor Program, hundreds of users have invested their time to make this conference the best one yet. SAS Global Forum is truly a user's conference and we depend on the user community to plan, promote and execute so many tasks and activities related to the event. Though I can't call them out by name, I would be remiss if I didn't mention their contributions and take a minute to thank them.

LL: Well let's hope they're reading! Dr. Chakraborty, I want to thank you again for your time. I look forward to seeing you in Denver in April.

Visit the SAS Global Forum 2018 website for more information and to register. Conference Proceedings will be available shortly before the event begins.

Continue the conversation: Join our live Tweetchat, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How are you inspiring the extraordinary?

The next analytics extraordinary use case is just waiting to be discovered. We believe that in the hands of lifelong learners, the future of data is unlimited, especially when education and business join forces. That is why we are warming up to SAS Global Forum 2018 in Denver with a tweetchat on Wednesday 7th March (simply search #SASchat or #SASGF). We kick off at 6pm CET, 5pm UK, noon ET and 9am Pacific. Will you join us? The discussion will kick off with the following questions, posed to our expert panel:

  • Why is there more interest in lifelong learning now?
  • How does lifelong learning contribute to the analytics economy?
  • What are your favorite examples of analytics in the not-for-profit sector?
  • How is the education sector influencing the development of citizen data scientists?
  • What trends do you see in the consumption of analytics?

A conversation with SAS Global Forum 2018 Chair Goutam Chakraborty was published on SAS Users.

2月 162018
 

pricing and promotionThe consumer packaged goods (CPG) and Retail industry are going through a period of significant change. Both retailers and manufacturers are struggling to find growth and improve profitability. One strategy is through consolidation - e.g., Kraft-Heinz, Keurig- Dr Pepper Snapple Group on the manufacturer side, as well as Safeway-Albertsons, Ahold-Delhaize, Walgreens-Rite Aid on the retailer side. The thinking here is that these mergers would lead to large operational efficiencies and focused growth strategies.

Another important lever to drive growth is pricing and promotion. Companies have realized the importance of getting the pricing right and running high-impact promotions in a highly competitive market. As consumer shop multiple channels and new retail formats begin to permeate (e.g., smaller format stores, new entrants such as Aldi and Lidl), the importance of price-promo continues to increase. Pricing and promotion have become the second largest item on CPG manufacturer’s P&L, after cost-of-goods. Similarly for retailers, price-promo decisions have become critical for growth, maybe even survival. This is manifested in the growth in investment focused on pricing and promotion decisions. In some cases this investment could be as much as 20-25% of net revenue of the company.

However, despite the heavy investment in price-promo, the impact of these decisions is declining. A recent IRI study indicated that the price and promo elasticities (response of volume to pricing change) have been steadily declining over the past 3-4 years. Consumers are willing to buy less when faced with decreases in “regular or base” price as well as promoted price.  The study indicated that the “lift” from promotions had decreased by about 1,000 basis points over the past four years.  There is, therefore, an immediate need to manage price and promotion decisions in a more creative and impactful manner.

Three areas of improvement

What does this mean? What can companies do to improve the impact of their pricing and promotion investment? We believe that there are three important areas of improvement. The first area is around a more refined understanding of the impact of price-promo decisions.  The new focus is on understanding the true impact of merchandising through both traditional and new lenses, including stockpiling, cross-retailer pricing and advanced price engines. Being able to more accurately predict the pattern of consumer behavior allows for automation and faster and better decisions.

The second area is around rapid and dynamic decision making. This involves a focus on new techniques such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to drive price-promo decisions. AI/ML is already getting entrenched within demand identification, product development and in-market execution as well as marketing. Within CPG and retail pricing, this will be accomplished by (a) speed in dealing with the regularly-repeated manual tasks in an efficient manner and (b) new levels of insight and accuracy based upon market trends that enable pricing analysts to focus their efforts on the areas that matter in a dynamic manner. It is imperative to move from a user-driven, manual pricing adjustments to dynamic “smart solutions.”

Another important area of change in pricing and promotion is “personalized pricing;”that is allowing manufacturers and retailers to customize price-promo decisions towards individual consumer/shopper segments. This is done by combining frequent shopper (FSP) data with traditional price-promo modeling for an in-depth evaluation of merchandising strategies as well as developing custom offers that would stimulate demand within these segments. IRI research shows that FSP/loyalty card holders react differently to brand price changes. For example, Brand Loyals react stronger to base price changes, while Brand Non-Loyals react stronger to base price reductions, promotional prices and quality merchandising tactics​.

In our session titled “New Frontiers in Pricing Analytics” at the SAS Global Forum 2018, we will provide a detailed overview of the state of the industry and how it is evolving. We will provide an overview of the new techniques and technologies in this space as well as where things are headed in the future. We hope to see you there.

 

Shifting sands in pricing and promotion was published on SAS Users.