sas global forum 2010

4月 192010
I had the pleasure of attending Gongwei Chen’s SAS Global Forum 2010 presentation, Get Certified as an Advanced SAS® Programmer in Six Months or Less! As you might expect, Gongwei is a Certified Advanced Programmer. To become certified at the advanced level, a programmer must pass both the SAS Base Programming Exam and SAS Advanced Programming Exam. Gongwei prepared for and passed both exams in four months, scoring 89 percent on both exams.

This is an extraordinary but not impossible feat. He had some great insight for users who are thinking of getting certified, but are worried about the length of time to certification or preparation class expenses. He even had a few words for those who are worried that they might not pass the exams. First and foremost, Gongwei said, “It will take time to get certified, but most people overestimate how hard the exam is.”

I’m am experienced user, why certify now?
There are many reasons that a SAS user would choose to get certified, including validation of skills and improved marketability for your firm and yourself “I had a lot of experience with SAS, but that doesn’t necessarily make me an advanced programmer,” said Gongwei. “I was doing the same thing for most of my 10 years as a SAS user. In San Antonio, I learned more about SAS Certification, and I said ‘I have 10 years of experience; I should become SAS Certified.’”

So he set a course for self-improvement. Gongwei says that he decided he’d use the SAS® Publishing books (Base Certification Prep Guide and Advanced SAS Certification Prep Guide) and really dig into the materials on his own. (SAS® Training offers certification preparation packages, which can include classroom, e-learning and certification with up to a 50% discount. Gongwei says that might be the best way to prepare for some; he found that the one drawback of solo training with the books is that he didn’t’ have a teacher to help with difficult questions.) It’s crucial, says Gongwei, for you to understand the principles taught in these books.

“The exam is not terribly difficult if you go through the preparation materials,” he says. In order to pass the exam, you must get 65 percent of the 70 computer-based questions correct. “That’s not too high,” he added. Based on the buzz in the room, the audience seemed to agree.

5 Tips to Zoom through SAS Certification

These tips helped Gongwei pass the certification exams very quickly!
  1. Choose a preparation method.

  2. Apply memorization techniques.

  3. Run the sample programs offered in the preparations materials. Gongwei ran the programs on the CDs in the prep books to get a full understanding of the material.

  4. Take the practice exams offered by SAS. “Passing the practice exam will be a good indicator of how you’ll perform on the actual exam,” said Gongwei. “And, it will give you the confidence that you will pass.”

  5. Study with intense repetition. “It’s easy to forget what you studied early in the book, so I constantly went back to previous chapters to reread them.” For each exam, Gongwei read each chapter about five times!

  6. Download Gongwei’s paper and then send any questions you may have to

    “It’s difficult to pass both exams in six months, but if you commit yourself, you can!” ~ Gongwei Chen, Ph.D., Washington Caseload Forecast Council, Olympia, WA.
4月 142010
Social media is all the rage at this year’s SAS Global Forum.

There’s a “Twitter Wall” outside the demo area featuring a steady stream of tweets about the conference. (The hashtag for this year’s event is #sgf10.)

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis (@Davis_Jim) sent his second-ever tweet from the stage at Opening Session. (He also picked up a number of new followers in the process.)

Heck, I even did some live tweeting from the First-Timers’ Session on Sunday afternoon. (You can follow me at @chad_austin.)

Bob Hirschfeld, however, has a different take on social media. He says you’re better off with a “foe list” than a “friend list” on Facebook so you’ll know who to keep your eye on. Hirschfeld, a self-described “cybersatirist”, offered an irreverent, yet hysterical look at all things technology during a comedic keynote address during Monday’s Technology Connection session.

“If you think about it, social media actually has made us like emotional 2-year-olds,” Hirschfeld said. “Because that was the last time we felt the need to shout out everything we’re doing.”

Two-year-old: “Look at me jump up and down.” Corresponding tweet: “Doing aerobics at the Y.”

Two-year-old: “I’m drinking from my Sippy cup.” Corresponding tweet: “Having a Mocha chino at Starbucks.”

Two-year-old: “I go weeeee when I’m on the swing.” Corresponding tweet: “Playing Super Swing Golf on my Wii.”

Hirschfeld acknowledged that some people use social media to share legitimate information (even if they do try to take credit for being the one who shared it.) Helping businesses make sense of the information being shared and disseminated through social media channels is a big reason SAS developed SAS® Social Media Analytics and announced its launch in Seattle.

Now organizations want to know what all of those emotional 2-year-olds are saying about their brand, and SAS is giving them The Power to Know®.

By Chad Austin, SAS Internal Communications
4月 132010
Debbie Buck wants to see all of the folks who are attending their first SAS Global Forum here in Seattle, to return again next year.
Buck, who will serve as the chair for SAS Global Forum 2011 in Las Vegas, led a “First-timers’ Session” before the main festivities of SAS Global Forum 2010 got under way in Seattle. During her presentation, Buck shared her top 10 tips and tricks to get the most out of SAS Global Forum.

Here’s her list:
10. Visit the Demo Hall.
9. Meet new people.
8. Use your program.
7. Don’t waste your time.
6. Build a Personal Agenda.
5. Try a new technology at a Hands-On workshop.
4. Be prepared.
3. Don’t wear yourself out.
2. Volunteer.
1. Free stuff.

“The goal here is that you have a great conference experience this year, so that you come back next year for the conference in Las Vegas,” Buck said. “If you get a lot out of this conference, you will want to come to future conferences.”
So, have a great time in Seattle, and we’ll look for your next year in Las Vegas.
2月 092010

Even with more than 45,000 global customer sites, I often hear SAS users say that “SAS” is a small world. Perhaps conferences enhance the feeling: From the moment you get in line to get your conference materials, you start to recognize people from your SAS “family.” An attendee also described the SAS conference atmosphere to me as a “SAS love-fest.”

This family or love-fest feel probably stems from the once-a-year reconnection with people you’ve once collaborated with, know only through e-mail, or worked with at a former job. And the conferences offer a place to connect with others who face similar challenges, meet and talk with users whose books and papers you’ve read, and to learn new techniques.

SAS Global Forum and the regional conferences feature speakers and presenters who have become SAS icons. Here is a very short list of some of those who are speaking at this year’s SAS Global Forum. Click on their names to find out when they’ll be presenting:
  • Art Carpenter, a SAS user for 34 years, is a member of the SAS Global Forum Executive Board, Chair of SUGI 28 and the author of four SAS books.
  • Gregory Nelson, founder and CEO of ThotWave Technologies and Chair of SUGI 30, will present two papers at this year’s conference, adding to his more than 150 papers published in the US and Europe.
  • Joseph Gardiner, SAS user for more than 25 years, is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.
  • Kathy Council is a member of the SAS Global Forum Executive Board and Vice President of Publications at SAS. In 2010, Council will celebrate 33 years as a SAS employee.
  • Ron Cody, a SAS user since 1977, is a renowned SAS author with books and article titles too numerous to list. His latest book is set to be released in the winter of 2010.
  • Cynthia Zender has more than 25 years of SAS experience that she loves to share at conferences and on the SAS Procedures discussion forum. Zender also co-wrote Output Delivery System: The Basics and Beyond.
The presentation schedules are available now. Design your conference agenda to allow plenty of time to experience the family connection. Make time for networking with newer SAS users who can offer a fresh look at older issues, and connect with experienced users who know their way around the software and can help you learn the back roads with its twists and turns. Lastly, don’t forget to include time for making new friends and taking in the sights.

I’ll see you there!
3月 252009

1.) Where I could find you if you weren’t at a users group conference?
You’d find me outdoors. In winter it’s skiing (x-c and downhill) and in the spring-fall it’s hiking, mountain biking and camping.

2.) How many times have you been to SAS Global Forum, and what was your most memorable experience so far?
2009 will be my 12th conference. Which is interesting since I guess that means my conference in Seattle will be lucky 13!

Memorable experiences – They’re all about the people you meet at SAS Global Forum
(1) Getting an early peek at the next releases of SAS reporting procedures and tools with developers Sandy McNeill, David Kelley, Dan O’Connor, Eric Gebhart, and others.
(2) Hanging out with all of my favorite SAS Press authors (Art Carpenter, Ron Cody, Susan Slaughter, Lora Delwiche, and others)
(3) Bumping into someone who it turns out is doing the same sort of obscure analysis I’m currently working on. I met a woman at lunch one year who was analyzing data from the same medical device as a clinical trial that I was working on, but she was in a completely different field. It was fun to trade notes on how we dealt with data and analytical issues.

3.) What was your “official role” at SAS Global Forum 2009?
I was the chair of the Industry Solutions section. I worked with my team of eight Industry Solution Leaders to find keynote speakers, SAS speakers, customers, and contributed papers to cover the topics of interest to people in the Life Sciences, Financial, Communications, Retail, Education, Government, Customer Intelligence, and Energy industries.

4.) Who are the major players that produce SAS Global Forum ?
There are three groups involved in producing each SAS Global Forum:
1. The conference volunteer team: The conference chair and section chairs provide the ideas and the contacts in their industries or areas of expertise. Thanks to them, we can bring attendees the latest information and practical advice that’s relevant to their day-to-day work.
2. SAS: SAS provides a lot of logistical support, and gives us access to top presenters who can teach us about features of upcoming releases of the software.
3. The SAS Global Forum Executive Board is responsible for picking the conference chair, and providing advice and support to the chair. The Executive Board also focuses on projects such as that provide benefit to the entire SAS user community, not just those who attend SAS Global Forum.

5.) What new things are you thinking about trying for SAS Global Forum 2010?
Given the economic times, a big focus for me will have to be finding ways we can control our costs without adversely affecting the content of the conference. I will also be working with my team to come up with documentation that potential attendees can use to convince their managers that SAS Global Forum is one of the most cost-effective educational opportunities out there for SAS professionals.

As a manager, another area of interest for me is expanding the content we have available for front-line managers of SAS professionals. This includes management seminars, presentations, panel discussions, and technology briefings.