sas global forum

3月 102014

We can watch games on TV, rent a movie from Redbox, and Google our favorite SAS procedures when we’ve forgotten how something works.  There are a myriad of ways to get entertained or educated in a second-hand way.  But, whether it’s being at the ballpark, in a theater, or at SAS Global Forum – there’s nothing like being there in person.  I look forward every year to being there at SAS Global Forum.  There’s something about hearing and seeing someone talk about a project, solution or technique that you just can’t get from just reading about it.  And, being surrounded by thousands of like-minded folks has a way of energizing me for long after the conference ends.

Once you’re there at SAS Global Forum 2014, with over 500 sessions in three days, the task of finding the things that you want to see might seem daunting.  At my first conference more than 20 years ago, everything was on paper, and it was a time-consuming task to come up with a plan of attack.  Now, you don’t have to look through pages of titles or abstracts to find the presentations that might interest you.  The conference scheduler is a great tool for getting the most out of the conference.  Log in and click on “My Schedule” and you can search on keywords, topics or names and find presentations that match your needs. And you can check the schedule on the SAS Global Forum 2014 mobile app too.

My passion is reporting, so I started my search with the obvious topics, such as ODS, Excel, PROC REPORT, graphics, and so on.  This filtered down the 500+ to a manageable list from which I could peruse the abstracts and with just a click, put it on my personal schedule.  I quickly added Cynthia Zender’s presentation on ACROSS in PROC REPORT, Scott Huntley’s presentation on PDF and HTML, Chevell Parker’s presentation on ODS and Excel, and a number of others.

You can also search on presenter name. I knew that Vince DelGobbo has always done a great job presenting on SAS and Excel.  Lo and behold, a search on his name found “Ask Vince: Moving SAS® Data and Analytical Results to Microsoft Excel.”  The abstract says that it will be “an open-ended discussion about techniques for transferring data and analytical results from SAS® to Microsoft Excel…and to come prepared to ask and get answers to your questions.”  There’s even a web link in the abstract to submit your questions in advance.  What did I say about how much better it is to be there in person!

It doesn’t matter what your SAS interests are – there will be something for you at the conference.  And while you’re there, make sure to take advantage of another thing you can’t get any other way – the SAS Support and Demo Area.   The room is filled with developers, technical support analysts and other SAS staff that are just waiting to talk with you.  I’ve always been impressed that with the time they take, whether it’s answering your questions or listening to how you use SAS.  It’s also the place to see “Super Demos” – short presentations focused mostly on new features you might not be familiar with.

There are a lot of reasons for “being there” when it comes to SAS Global Forum.  I hope you can make it and that you’ll look me up if you do.

-- Pete

tags: papers & presentations, reporting, SAS Global Forum
3月 072014

The 2014 SAS Global Forum will be the launch pad I use to blast off for SAS exploration! Since being introduced to SAS software, I have been driven to continually evolve as a SAS programmer through the development of my abilities and the discovery of new techniques. Winning the SAS Junior Professional Award is a fortuity that will take my evolution to new heights.

When you consider everything being offered, there is much to be excited about as the conference gets closer. There are workshops, presentations, social events, volunteer activities, and demos--oh my!

Since I have only been using SAS for two and a half years, my initial concern with attending SAS Global Forum was that much of the information shared would be too advanced for me to realize significant knowledge gains. However, my concerns were quickly dispelled when I began using the Conference Scheduler and became familiar with the vast array of topics being offered. The SAS Conference Team did an excellent job at creating a curriculum that can be customized to allow SAS users of all skill levels to optimize their experience.

I will also admit that attending a conference of this size for the first time can feel a little overwhelming, but knowing that there is a First-Timers’ Session scheduled on Sunday afternoon has put me at ease. Being able to begin my SAS conference experience by meeting and speaking with other users who are also making their initial conquest to a SAS Global Forum is comforting. Additionally, I am confident that the guidance given at the First-Timers’ Session will provide me with the flight path I need to succeed.

As one who learns best by doing, I am most excited about attending the hands-on workshops and spending some time in the demo area. The SAS Visual Analytics Workshop in particular is enticing to me as my team is currently seeking new and innovative ways to develop our reports. Another workshop that has caught my attention is the SAS Office Analytics Workshop because I believe that creating stored processes to share across my team would allow the team as a whole to be more efficient.

Outside of the workshops, there are also some very intriguing presentations that I am looking forward to attending. For example, I can benefit from the dozen or more presentations of the different ways to use Microsoft Excel in conjunction with SAS for reporting purposes. Users of the reports I produce in my current position are very comfortable with viewing them in Excel, and I am thus interested in learning the most efficient and effective ways of using SAS and Excel together. As a fraud analyst and future user of the SAS Financial Crimes Suite, I am interested in attending the Financial Crimes Compliance presentation. The information in this SAS session will give me a leg up in learning the product and the logic behind its use.

Since being introduced to SAS, I have always been amazed at the SAS community’s remarkable willingness to assist others through the sharing of knowledge and best practices. That’s why I am ecstatic at having the opportunity to network with fellow SAS users from a multitude of industries and professional backgrounds. I will definitely be taking advantage of some great social events planned throughout the conference. I hope to inspire and be inspired by other attendees.

Winning the SAS Junior Professional Award was a huge honor for me, and without it, I would not have been able to attend SAS Global Forum. I plan on taking the information and techniques I’ve learned back to my employer to improve our report generation and analytical capabilities. I look forward to sharing this experience with my fellow Junior Professional Award Winners as well as all of you.

See you at the SAS Global Forum 2014!



tags: Junior Professional Program, papers & presentations, SAS Global Forum
3月 062014

Another year, another conference! This year I am really looking forward to attending SAS Global Forum 2014. I am, of course, looking forward to seeing familiar faces and making new acquaintances at the networking events.

This year the session content is spectacular and I will be in as many sessions as I can handle! I am particularly impressed with all of the sessions that appeal to SAS users in the banking and finance industry. You’ll find more than 70 different sessions under Banking in the Conference Scheduler:  presentations, conference tutorials, workshops, e-posters and more.

In addition to tutorials on using the fundamentals of SAS tools (you’ll find me here: SAS385 - Help Me! Switch to SAS® Enterprise Guide® from Traditional SAS® ), I found a session discussing credit models. It mentions using both SAS® Enterprise Miner™ and SAS® Visual Analytics (2242 - Researching Individual Credit Rating Models). I’ve been looking forward to trying these tools, and after this session I’ll know where to begin.

There’s a case study about implementing fraud prevention reporting (1855 - How SAS® BI May Help You to Optimize Business Processes)

And here’s another presentation covering SAS® Financial Crimes Suite (SAS405 - Financial Crimes Compliance: Track, Monitor, and Audit).

I’ve already double-booked myself in some time slots at the conference so thank goodness there will be sessions videocast – I get to have my cake and eat it too!

I’ll be at the First Timer’s Session on Sunday afternoon at 4:30, where I hope to meet some new friends – I hope you’ll come and say hello to me!

tags: banking and finance, papers & presentations, SAS Global Forum
3月 052014

SAS Global Forum starts for me in the fall of the prior year. This is when you submit your ideas for papers and then wait patiently for many months to learn if it was selected. I enjoy writing and presenting ideas, so here are my topics and what inspired them.

SAS admin and SAS developers – the invisible divide

Michelle Homes (Metacoda, Brisbane, Australia) and I started talking at the last conference about how dashboards are used and what we call the great divide, which refers to the invisible barrier that exists between SAS system administratorsand SAS BI Developers. [Lisa Horwitz the IT Whisperer has a goodseries as well on this topic.]

We started throwing around ideas about how the two of us could work together on a project that would benefit each. Our idea was to take the data from SAS 9.3 and create performance dashboards. Our SAS Admins Need a Dashboard Too presentation provides an overview of the dashboard creation process, what measurements a SAS administrator might use, where to get the data and a case study about how a team might use such a dashboard. We present the dashboard in SAS Visual Analytics 6.3 tool and use the Metacoda tools for some additional analysis.

If you have never created a dashboard, you’ll find our technique easy to use and the data within reach. Just to keep things a little fun (and campy), we have added pink fluffy dice that belong on a rearview mirror as our emblem for the talk. If you attend, you might be the lucky winner of bedazzled dice for your swanky automobile.

Debugging and tuning stored processes

Angela Hall (SAS Institute, Cary, NC) and I love stored processes. In our Uncover the Most Common SAS Stored Process Errors, we discuss ways to debug and tune stored processes. These techniques are useful to anyone who is just starting to learn how to write stored process. Many of the tips expand on the keys from our The 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes book.

This paper was inspired by this blog post: Three of the Most Common Stored Process Errors. The first tip is from the most searched phrase on my BI Notes blog. The second tip is one that Angela dedicated several hours of her life to troubleshooting only to find a simple cause. The last tip was based on a phone call I made to Angela because I couldn’t get my prompt to accept the selection I made. I clicked east and the results always showed west … but why?

MS Office and SAS – the Dynamic Duo

There are so many ways to use the SAS Add-In for MS Office in your organization. In Tricks Using SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, I show seven ways a fictional customer service organization uses the tool to solve real business problems.

One of my first reporting jobs was in a customer service organization. The customers continually made requests for data in different formats, different calculations, you name it.  How many ways can you count the same thing I used to wonder?!

I know how we used the tool when it was in its infancy. So I imagined some other ways we could be using the tool today. One of the tips came from this blog series Little Known Secrets from SAS Stored Process Magicians. This event will be livecast on Wednesday, March 26, at 10 AM ET. You can join me without attending the conference.

Turned a drop into a river

I always have more ideas than time to write papers. So I make suggestions to those around me, such as Jennifer McBride (Virginia Credit Union in Richmond, VA). She took a simple idea and turned it into a thoughtful and beautiful presentation about dashboard design.

The results from her video poster, Dashboards: A Data Lifeline for the Business, is so creative and insightful. She compares how clean water was made available to cities at the turn of the 20th century to show her team was able to turn data into awesome looking dashboards. It is remarkably similar! Make sure you get to the SAS Support and Demo Area to see it and talk to her about the process.

Don’t forget the social events

If you are arriving early on Saturday, then please stop by the conference hotel lobby bar to hang out with the other SAS users. Michelle Homes and I are planning a game, and we welcome the preconference chatter. All the good looking and intelligent people will be there – so you know it’s the right event for you. You can find more details #SASGF14: You’re Invited to a Tweetup.

On Monday evening, SAS Administrators are invited to meet at the Metacoda booth in the demo hall around 6:30 or so. Afterwards we will all go to another location so we can discuss geeky topics such as metadata bound libraries, lockdown options, and other new features of SAS 9.4. It’s a birds of a feather event! See you there!

tags: papers & presentations, SAS Administrators, SAS Global Forum
3月 052014

Every year, conference organizers get this same request “I want to attend a SAS conference, but my travel funds are limited, what do you recommend?” This seems like a good opportunity to share some of the clever ways this year’s SAS conference leaders are helping you save on SAS Global Forum 2014 registration!

1. Register before March 12. Spring is just around the corner, and we just can’t wait! Business and government attendees can use the promo code when registering and save $50 per person.

2. Team up. Team discounts for groups of 10 or more can help your organization get more for the money. Groups can register online through March 21.

3. Go local. The conference is being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, located just eight miles from Washington, DC. For those who can’t be out of the office for more than a day, day passes are available online and on-site during the conference.

 4. Use your points. They’re not just for airlines and grocery stores. SAS Global Forum attendees who sign up for pre- or post-conference training or certification exams can use SAS Training Points or EPTO units to cover their SAS Global Forum event registration fees.

5. Validate your parking. Self-parking passes will be available for local commuters on a first-come, first-served basis. Simply bring your ticket to registration, and we’ll validate it. Combine this benefit with a day pass and a great list of presentations—that’s a good deal in you work in the DC area.

6. Consider it an investment. SAS Global Forum 2014 is hosting more that 500 sessions this year. All of them are targeted to helping you sharpen your SAS skills--what better investment than that! Use the conference scheduler to find informative keynotes, tutorials and certification testing, hands-on workshops, demos and much, much more. Oh – and there’s always plenty of opportunity for networking because meals, receptions and charity events are included.

7. Convince your manager. I’m planning to attend, and my manager is coming too!  If you still need to convince your manager that attending the conference is the best way to make sure your organization is getting the most out of its SAS investment, try downloading this letter as a start.

Hope to meet many of you in DC, March 23-26!

tags: SAS Global Forum
3月 032014

For those of us in the United States, particularly those of us on the East Coast where SAS Global Forum 2014 will be held, it’s been a rough winter! Some mornings I wear so many layers that I feel like that Ralphie’s younger brother in the movie A Christmas Story--“I can’t put my arms down!”

That leads me into this year’s advice on what not to wear to SAS Global Forum 2014!

Snowsuits. They are never a fashion statement, but this winter they’re definitely not a fashion faux pas! Good news is that the weather in Washington, DC, in late March ranges from 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. So unless you are like Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, keep your winter digs at home.

Shorts. It won’t be that warm in March so all you snowed-in attendees don’t get too excited about coming out of hibernation! If you do decide to wear them (and I feel compelled to mention this every year), jorts are still a fashion no-no.

Flip flops. They’re the favored footwear and decorating theme of beach-goers everywhere. Again, global warming hasn’t hit so keep those toes tucked away.

Overalls. Word on the street is that they are back in fashion for spring 2014. I say “no” for SAS Global Forum—or anywhere else for that matter!

Sock monkey hat. As of late I have seen many adults wearing these made for children accessories. Really? As a reminder, SAS Global Forum has a policy of no children under 16 permitted in the conference space, so we probably shouldn’t see anyone wearing these.

Too tight clothing. Need I say more? I do think a positive trend and fashion accessory is the get-fit bracelets that track your daily activity or as my friend lovingly refers to them as “those @#%&! bands”. I will be wearing mine proudly. My once too-tight clothing is no longer with the help of data from my new best friend.

USA Olympic sweaters. I am proud to be an American except when I saw what Team USA was forced to wear. But the United States wasn’t the only Olympic nation in questionable couture at the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Like the Olympics, SAS Global Forum is an international affair, so your own culture and style are always in. Any Olympians attending SAS Global Forum, let us know what you thought of the sweater!

No matter what they choose to wear, SAS users are individuals. Like the conference theme, it’s the “Potential of One, Power of All” that makes it happen. Be you, be proud and be in Washington, DC, March 23-26, 2014.

Editor's Note:  Many thanks to SAS Marketing Specialist Katie Strange for sharing this great photo of her son Thomas wearing his dad's vintage snow suit.  

tags: SAS Global Forum
2月 262014

My journey to SAS Global Forum each year resembles a Gartner “Hype Cycle”. Every year, I leave the conference with a million ideas about how I can take what I’ve learned back into my own practice and think (foolishly) that I should write a paper on this or that. Then there is this lull – this sense of complacency that sets in after the real world takes over – and we go back to work. The excitement rises slightly when abstracts and titles are due, but the reality of the commitments are still far off. Then the trough of disillusionment hits when the paper is accepted, and I hadn’t quite thought through the work that would be involved in preparing the examples, the paper itself and the presentation.

It’s not every day that I would use the word “giddy”, but I have to admit, now that my papers are finished, I can look forward to putting my own schedule together for SAS Global Forum 2014. Never before have I seen so many papers directly targeted to the SAS Administrator – from architecture, to security, to SAS Grid and managing metadata – this year promises to be fantastic!

I am giving a few invited papers this year along with a workshop on SAS Administration that starts on Sunday. But for the experienced as well as the uninitiated, here are a few of my favorite peeps! I say this because pretty much anything they have to talk about is worth your time!

Margaret Crevar Paul Homes
Ken Gahagan Peter Villiers
Gary Spakes Stephen Overton
Tricia Aanderud Mike Frost

And the list goes on – that’s why I love this conference and the SAS ecosystem! In addition, I’m so looking forward to meeting some online friends from the SAS online communities such as, and the LinkedIn groups.

Be sure to create your own schedule at SAS Global Forum Connect. As for me, I’ve created my own wish list of things I want to see in the areas of SAS Administration (along with a few other papers I am required to attend) and have included that for you here!

My Interests

1318 - Secure SAS® OLAP Cubes with Top-Secret Permissions, Stephen Overton

1247 - SAS® Admins Need a Dashboard, Too, Michelle Homes and Tricia Aanderud

1262 - SAS® Installations: So you want to install SAS?, Rafi Sheikh

1365 - Tips and Tricks for Organizing and Administering Metadata, Michael Sadof

1491 - Modernizing Your Data Strategy: Understanding SAS® Solutions for Data Integration, Data Quality, Data Governance, and Master Data Management. Greg Nelson

1559 - SAS® Grid Manager I/O: Optimizing SAS® Application Data Availability for the Grid, Gregg Rohaly and Harry Seifert

1684 - Grid—What They Didn't Tell You, Manuel Nitschinger and Phillip Manschek

1721 - Deploying a User-Friendly SAS® Grid on Microsoft Windows, Houliang Li

1761 - Test for Success: Automated Testing of SAS® Metadata Security Implementations, Paul Homes

1792 - Big Data/Metadata Governance, Sigurd Hermansen

1815 - A Case Study: Performance Analysis and Optimization of SAS® Grid Computing Scaling on a Shared Storage, Suleyman Sair and Yingping Zhang

1868 - Queues for Newbies – How to Speak LSF in a SAS® World, Andrew Howell

2237 - The Role of the SAS® Administrator: A Day in the Life of a Modern SAS Enterprise, Greg Nelson, Conference Tutorial

SAS008 - Better Together: Best Practices for Deploying SAS® Web Parts for Microsoft SharePoint, Randy Mullis

SAS054 - Advanced Security Configuration Options for SAS® 9.4 Web Applications and Mobile Devices, Heesun Park

SAS072 - SAS® in the Enterprise—a Primer on SAS® Architecture for IT, Gary Spakes

SAS086 - Integrating Your Corporate Scheduler with Platform Suite for SAS® or SAS® Grid Manager, Paul Northrop

SAS102 - An Advanced Fallback Authentication Framework for SAS® 9.4 and SAS® Visual Analytics, Zhiyong Li

SAS106 - Top 10 Resources Every SAS® Administrator Should Know About, Margaret Crevar

SAS109 - SAS® Administration Panel Discussion, Margaret Crevar

SAS111 - SAS® UNIX Utilities and What They Can Do for You, Jerry Pendergrass

SAS118 - Using Metadata-Bound Libraries to Authorize Access to SAS® Data, Jack Wallace

SAS119 - Lessons Learned from SAS® 9.4 High-Availability and Failover Testing, Arthur Hunt

SAS142 - Security Scenario for SAS® Visual Analytics, Dawn Schrader

SAS167 - Auditing an Enterprise SAS® Visual Analytics 6.2 Environment with SAS® Tools: From the SAS® IT Perspective, Dan Lucas

SAS282 - Useful Tips for Building Your Own SAS® Cloud, Peter Villiers

SAS289 - SAS® Grid Manager, SAS® Visual Analytics, and SAS® High-Performance Analytics: Sharing Hardware and More, Ken Gahagan

SAS299 - Secure Your Analytical Insights on the Plane, in the Café, and on the Train with SAS® Mobile BI, Christopher Redpath

SAS315 - SAS® 9.4 Web Application Performance: Monitoring, Tuning, Scaling, and Troubleshooting, Rob Sioss

SAS357 - Migrating SAS® Java EE Applications from WebLogic, WebSphere, and JBoss to the SAS® Web Server, Zhiyong Li

SAS375 - Effective Use of SAS® Enterprise Guide® in a SAS® 9.4 Grid Manager Environment, Edoardo Riva

SAS394 - Exploring Data Access Control Strategies for Securing and Strengthening Your Data Assets Using SAS® Federation Server, Margaret Crevar and Mike Frost



tags: papers & presentations, SAS Administrators, SAS Global Forum
2月 252014

Having served as conference chair for last year’s SAS Global Forum, I am so looking forward to just being a normal attendee at this year’s conference in Washington, DC. That’s right, I’ll have no speaking commitments, no interviewers, no responsibilities—just the privilege of selecting the content that is right for me.

I’ve been reading over the conference schedule and am amazed at just how much content is actually there for the attendees. Whether one is a beginning programmer, a SAS Guru, a manager of other programmers or just anyone wanting to improve their skills and knowledge of a SAS tool or product, there will be something at the conference for everyone.

The first content item that caught my eye was Art Carpenter’s Macro presentation, “Before You Get Started: A Macro Language Preview in Three Parts. Part 2: It's All about the Timing—Why the Macro Language Comes First.” If there is one presenter at SAS Global Forum that I can personally relate to, it is Art. He approaches his content in a logical and easy to understand way. Even the most advanced programmer walks away from Art’s session having learned something new, and the most youthful of programmers come to realize that they can accomplish anything with SAS.

Michael Raithel’s “Supporting SAS® Software in a Research Organization” also caught my eye as his audience is not the hands-on programmers. Instead, he offers advice on how an organization can create and maintain the necessary infrastructure for SAS programmers to be successful in their work.

And then of course, there is always the opportunity to pick up new and unique nuggets of content such as Josh Horstman’s (along with co-author Roger Muller), “Don't Get Blindsided by PROC COMPARE,” as they guide the user to think outside the box and take their approach one step further when comparing their SAS data sets.

So much content, so many choices—SAS Global Forum 2014 could perhaps be the best conference ever. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you there!


tags: papers & presentations, SAS Global Forum
2月 242014

Networking with other SAS users is what I love most about SAS Global Forum! At every conference, I look for ways to find those who share my interests or whose experience sheds new light on my use of SAS software.

When I come across tips on networking, I always try to put at least one into action. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about the SAS Global Forum 2014 Conference Scheduler. It’s designed to make networking so much easier! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

1. Have a purpose. Think of networking as a tool, not a goal. Many of us attend SAS Global Forum with a specific outcome in mind—whether you are researching a new SAS software product, trying to improve your programming skills or possibly wanting to talk to others who are migrating to SAS 9.4. Having a clear goal makes it so much easier to find the content and attendees that are likely to help.

2. Know what to expect. Use the conference scheduler filters to find the combination of presentations and activities that match your interests, skill level and industry. Mark them as My Interests, and be sure to make a note of the authors and organizations represented.

3. Introduce yourself online. How many times have you agreed to meet someone in a crowded lobby and wondered who to approach? Fill out your profile in the General Info tab of the Conference Scheduler and be sure to include a photo. Also important--your messaging preference lets others know how to contact you. Want to connect with another attendee? Be sure to accept the conference Terms and Conditions to access the attendee list. Now you can get to the contact information you need.

4. Make time for fun. It’s hard to hold a good conversation as you’re running from presentation to demo to panel discussion. So be sure to set aside time for the great social events we have planned! Use the Special Events and Meals filter for an up-to-date list of activities tailor-made for networking.

5. Volunteer. There’s no better way to feel part of a community than giving back. At this year’s Red Wagon charity event, you and others can roll up your sleeves, build wagons and fill them with STEM related books and toys.

6. Ask questions. Every list of networking tips suggests that asking good questions and listening thoughtfully is the best way to make a good connection. Too shy to speak up in a presentation or introduce yourself? Or maybe you want to ask a question that takes more thought? Tap into the list of speakers and attendees and ask your questions through conference scheduler messaging.

7. Go social. Photos, tweets, videos—we’ll be sharing lots of them throughout the conference. What a great chance to include other attendees, SAS users back at the office and even family and friends in your SAS Global Forum experience! Watch for a blog later this month telling you all the great ways you can connect.

8. Bring a buddy. Encourage your colleagues to attend. Sometimes having a few acquaintances along can make a roomful of strangers seem less intimidating. There are team discounts available throughout regular registration.

9. Follow up. Lists of networking tips always end with this important reminder. If you’ve been promised an answer or if you have information to share with a new acquaintance, be sure to follow up.

I look forward to networking with both new and old acquaintances! See you at the conference.


tags: Make the Most series, SAS Global Forum