sas global forum

3月 262014

My husband is a life-long golfer so I’m no stranger to the term “sweet spot”. So when I heard the applause after Dr. Goodnight announced free software for students and faculty, my first thought was SAS has hit the sweet spot with this one.

At WUSS in November, I attended a panel session on SAS in the Cloud, which was largely a discussion of SAS OnDemand for Academics, the software offering for the Academic Community. There were two recurring themes among panelists and audience:  students with Apple devices having no access to SAS and students often frustrated with installing SAS on their devices.

In the few short months since the Las Vegas conference, SAS has made good progress in expanding access to SAS software. For many, the highlight of SAS Global Forum 2014 was the launch of SAS Analytics U and the announcements of the SAS University Edition that will be released later this spring.

Ideal for basic data and statistical analysis in teaching, research and self-paced learning, the SAS University Edition will now provide easy access to SAS foundational technologies, at no cost, with a smaller footprint and shorter downloads. Students and professors will now be able to access SAS software in the cloud or on their device based on their individual work environment.

SAS Product Manager Amy Peters shared a few key points in Tuesday’s Technology Connection. SAS University Edition:

  • is available to students and faculty
  • runs on most major platforms—Windows, Linux or Mac
  • is a vApp download. All you need is a virtual machine player
  • includes the most recent versions of Base, SAS/STAT, SAS/IML and SAS ACCESS to PC File Formats
  • includes access to SAS Studio, SAS’ newest web-based tool for writing and running SAS code
  • will be available May 2014 for worldwide consumption

Watch for more announcements, details and updates about the SAS Analytics U program after the conference. Visit these locations to learn more about SAS University Edition when it’s available and to become part of the SAS Analytics U community:

As a footnote, I was amused when I found this text-book definition on Wikipedia:  “The sweet spot is a place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort.”

SAS Analytics U and SAS University Edition are indeed the sweet spot as we gear up to train the next generation of analytics leaders.

tags: SAS Global Forum, SAS University Edition
3月 252014
“My goal is to constantly improve the quality and stability of our software while at the same time innovating,” said Vice President of SAS Resarch and Development Armistead Sapp yesterday at the SAS Global Forum Technology Connection. Hosted by Product Management Director Michele Eggers, the Technology Connection focused not only on […]
3月 252014

Well, if I were asked to name the most intriguing spot in the SAS Support and Demo Area, it would probably be The Catalyst Café sponsored by SAS R&D. This exciting new area at SAS Global Forum 2014 is aptly name:  a informal meeting place dedicated to jump-starting  ideas for how SAS can enhance your user experience with SAS software.

Talking to SAS users one-on-one and hearing your enthusiasm for the software is why SAS Global Forum is so very powerful for SAS employees. Here in the demo hall, you can see the “Potential of One, Power of All” in action—not only within the SAS user community but also among the SAS staff who develop, test and support the products you work with every day.

I snapped a couple photos for a little taste of the area--each station is a creative way to capture your feedback.

“Just Tell Us” Feedback Forum. SAS  is making your feedback more personal through videos. Do you have something you want to say to SAS developers about your product? If you’re still at the conference, come on down and chat with the folks in Catalyst Cafe!

User Experience V-Walls:  Throughout the conference, user experience specialists are asking for feedback on prototypes for icons, symbols and other interface design elements. You see the graphic element and pick what result you might see or task you might perform by selecting it.

Drawing Conclusions graphic wall: This 2013 addition to the demo areas is back by popular demand! Graphics divas Tammi Kay George and Lisa Morton will be gathering feedback visually on an eight-foot graphic wall. This time the topic is “What Does Quality Mean to You?”

And much more:  You can take a user feedback survey at one kiosk. Another walls asks you to share your favorite SAS tip or trick. Users could recharge electronics, try out applications on mobile devices, have a one-on-one conversation with Quality Assurance staff or just enjoy a cup of coffee.

What’s the plan? The videos will be edited and viewed by SAS development teams worldwide, and the graphic walls will be reassembled and displayed at various locations on the SAS campus. Why? The same reason attending SAS Global Forum is so powerful—there’s nothing like a conversation with a customer, nothing like hearing and seeing your feedback first-hand.

tags: SAS Global Forum
3月 252014

In December, Kathy Council gave us the scoop on the consolidation of several divisions at SAS into a single organization focused on customer support. At this morning’s 2014 Technology Connection, Fritz Lehman, Vice President of SAS Customer Engagement and Support, shared his vision by responding to some of your requests and questions about support.

“Over last year to eighteen months, SAS has been gathering information about your experience with SAS”, said Lehman. “In response, SAS has been reorganizing to try address some of what we’ve learned. In particular, we’ve brought the divisions that have a lot of customer contact together into one larger Customer Engagement and Support Division. By merging and sharing information, we hope to get to know each one of you better and can be more proactive in the services we offer.”

Lehman used this opportunity to address some of the questions or requests SAS hears most often:

Can you provide more expert guidance? Lehman pointed out that SAS is taking steps to make information more widely available and to provide it more quickly. Here are three ways:

  • Free SAS Tutorials are available today. These are dozens of brief, easily accessed, how-to training videos around SAS programming and analytics.
  • SAS is also exploring ways to share its best-practices content, including more SAS administrator content and implementation tips and techniques.
  • Look for more emphasis on online support communities where you can ask questions and get the information you need from SAS users and SAS practitioners in the field.

How can we find analytic talent? Lehman emphasized that there are a number of universities in the US and around the world that have programs built around SAS Analytics. There are a number of universities represented here at SAS Global Forum 2014. SAS has always strongly supported education and analytics. The new SAS Analytics U initiative is one more way SAS is able to increase its investment in both.

How can I give feedback? The SASware Ballot has historically been the means for users to share input on our products, with the results of each year’s voting announced at the annual global users’ conference. Now the ballot is available year-round on There are a number of other ways, SAS gathers your feedback:

  • trends in your SAS Technical Support calls help define areas of future development and enhancements
  • field consultants, training instructors, and partners provide a wealth of useful information about how you’re using our products
  • social media such as online discussion forums provide a lot of unfiltered feedback about products and services

Please stay tuned as we share more from SAS Global Forum 2014.

tags: SAS Global Forum
3月 212014
I know you’re going to be very, very busy at SAS Global Forum. But there are at least 6 good reasons why you should add the Publications booth to your must-see list: 1.)    Books, books, and more books. For purchase onsite, for order, for preview. On virtually any SAS topic you […]
3月 202014

Yesterday, I was on a phone call with a disappointed SAS user who won't be attending SAS Global Forum 2014. Like many others, her organization is facing another year of reduced travel and conference budgets.

While there's no substitute for attending in person, live webcasts from SAS Global Forum make it possible to hear first-hand from conference leaders, SAS users and select SAS staff. It's like having a mini-conference right on your desktop!

You'll find a daily playlist of live webcast events on the SAS Global Forum Live and On Demand site. Here's an overview of some of the great content you can take advantage of:

  • Opening Session:  Join us at the main stage for some of the biggest announcements and presentations during the conference. You will hear from Marje Fecht, this year's conference chair as well as key members of the SAS executive team, including SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.
  • Technology Connection: Hear more about what's new in the world of SAS technology. Plus, SAS will review the results of this year's SASware Ballot®.
  • Keynotes:  There’s an exciting line-up of keynote speakers for SAS Global Forum 2014.
  • Session Presentations: Hear SAS staff and experts from the SAS community share tips and best practices for SAS products and tools. Check the daily schedules for topics of interest.
  • Live Reports: Each 30- to 45-minute report features several brief, informative interviews with key thought leaders at the conference on a wide range of SAS topics.
  • Tech Talks: Chris Hemedinger will be “Talking Tech”. Every day of the conference, Chris will take you on a tour of the technology and solutions that created a buzz on the conference demo floor.
  • Inside SAS® Global Forum: Tune in to this video series, where our hosts Chris Hemedinger and Lisa Arney will be interviewing SAS executives, SAS developers, paper presenters and others, giving viewers a look at hot topics that were discussed at this exciting conference.

And don’t forget—stay tuned to your SAS Global Forum social media channels to follow #SASGF14 for up-to-the-minute announcements from the conference.

tags: SAS Global Forum
3月 182014

Learning. Sharing knowledge. Catching up with colleagues. My favorite part of attending SAS Global Forum is connecting with other SAS users from around the globe. SAS Global Forum 2014 is run for SAS users, by SAS users and all of the content presented at the event is from users like you. That’s unique! More remarkable is that SAS users have been meeting like this since 1976.

Over the years, SAS users found ways to continue to share, collaborate---even maintain lasting friendships—long after the event was over. That being said, you don’t want to miss the Online Communities Meet-Up on Tuesday night. This convergence of six different but important online groups includes multiple international communities, SAS Support Communities, SAS-L listserve and in particular will be sharing new plans, including a call for motivated volunteers to help with developing and enhancing the site.

Like SAS Global Forum, is run for SAS users, by SAS users. It also contains over five years’ worth of technically rich, SAS-user-contributed content. Just browse the site’s longstanding Sasopedia to see what I mean. And if you want a glimpse into the history of SAS user content, check out their catalog of historical conference papers from 1976 to 1996. Conversely, you can subscribe to the Planet, a collection of progressive blog entries from the SAS user community. Other new features make it even easier to be involved and stay connected. recently announced a way for presenters to create a presentations index page for their work. This new feature makes it easier to create articles about your presentations, share your presentation materials and continue the discussion online after the conference has ended.

Whether we are talking about online communities, SAS users groups or SAS Global Forum, one thing is clear:  the fact that for so many years SAS users self-organize to connect, share and create value for themselves and others speaks to the rich history and bright future of SAS users worldwide.

See you soon at SAS Global Forum 2014!

tags: SAS Global Forum,
3月 172014

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and classrooms all over the US are decorated with shamrocks and the green top hats of the mythical leprechaun. According to legend, if you ever catch one, the leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for its release (not to mention the pot of gold they guard). Anyone who catches one of these creatures is lucky indeed!

In seven short days, many of us will be gathering in Washington, DC, for SAS Global Forum 2014. Although conference planners can’t grant magical wishes like leprechauns, they have found three ways to make attendees feel really lucky:

  • Haven’t registered yet? You don’t have to catch a leprechaun to have your wish granted. This year, online registration is open through March 23, and discounted day passes are still available for SAS users in the DC area. Arrive early, and you can take advantage of the parking passes too. That’s better than finding a lucky clover.
  • Fun, meals and giveaways—participation at SAS Global Forum includes all of these. If you join in the gaming from your smart phone, you could win prizes (no pot of gold but still very cool prizes!) And don’t forget to post some pics on Instagram.
  • There’s no rainbow, but you will find gold at the conference—gold in the form of valuable SAS content and support. Don’t miss the more than 70,000 square feet of software demos, problem-solving clinics and SAS staff, sponsors and partners in the SAS Support and Demo Area. And for the first time, pre- and post-conference tutorials are open to the public. Seats are still available.

I’ll be at SAS Global Forum this year! Hope to see you too. We can talk about all the presentations, people and activities that make us feel lucky we attended.

tags: SAS Global Forum
3月 142014

Got a smart phone? Just about everyone does these days. And that little rectangle of glorious technology is changing the way our attendees experience SAS Global Forum.  Your smartphone helps you stay connected at the conference, but it’s also a great tool for having fun.  This year, we’re challenging you to use your smartphone to get competitive, share a laugh and explore everything SAS Global Forum 2014 has to offer.

First things first, download the SAS Global Forum mobile app, now available for iPhone and Android in the app store. The app is packed full of tools to help you navigate the conference. From agenda building to connecting with other attendees, the mobile app has you covered—but the real buzz this year is about the gaming section.

As you travel around the SAS Support and Demo Area, stop by different stations and take the action listed in the app to earn points. A leaderboard within the app will keep you updated on who has earned the most points. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 25, at 4 p.m., and the top four leaders can pick up awesome prizes like vouchers for free books and training or a personal Fitbit.

Once you’ve conquered the gaming section, join our photo hunt on Instagram. We’re challenging our attendees to snap a photo that they feel truly captures these categories:

  • Cutest SAS Couple—It’s like your high school yearbook all over again!
  • Most Creative Conference Attire—Crazy socks, wild hats and interesting interpretations of business casual. We’ve seen it all.
  • Best Photo with SAS Celebrity—Your turn to play paparazzi.
  • Favorite SAS Swag #SASSwag—What’s a conference without some seriously fun goodies to take home?
  • Best Photo promoting SASGF 2015 with Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau #BIGinTexas--Yee haw! Big hair and cowboy boots, here we come!

Keep your eyes open and share your favorite shots on Instagram with the hashtag #SASGF14. We’re on the lookout for the best of the best and might just give your photo a little extra love on our official @SASSoftware social media channels.

Need some inspiration? Check out what our staff and attendees are already posting at #SASGF14.

Charge up those smart phones and get ready to have some fun with your SAS Global Forum 2014 experience!



tags: SAS Global Forum