At SAS Global Forum, one of the most difficult areas for me to show to you are the poster presentations. This year, I asked Steve Polilli, a colleague who is great with a Flipcam, to video a few for me. I picked out three that I will use in the coming weeks on the Friday's Innovation Inspiration series.
The first in the series is a presentation by Jenine Milum from her paper, Creating a report in the SAS Information Delivery Portal using SAS Information Maps. To do a poster presentation, you still have to write a paper, but you also have to prepare a poster representation for display.
Chris Battiston, a first-timer at SAS Global Forum 2012 and Second place awardee for Best Contributed Paper in the Posters category for his paper, Wake Up Your Data with Graph'n'Go, says that poster presentations may be a great way to gradually learn speaking skills for those who are uncomfortable speaking in front of a large audience. Your presentation is only a few minutes - unless Polilli gets a hold of you.
Be sure to check out Milum's award-winning Coders' Corner Paper. She won Best Contributed Paper for Proc Format, a Speedy Alternative to Sort / Sort / Merge.
Annette Harris spends several minutes during this video extolling many of the high-performance virtues of Pete Lund, Information Systems Manager, Looking Glass Analytics. One thing she didn't mention (it was mentioned to me later) is that Pete is a long-time member of SAS-L. Do you know how many other SAS User Feedback Award Winners have also been SAS-Lers?
Here is a list of some of the SUGI, SAS Global Forum and SUG papers that Lund has published.
Part of what captivated me about this paper and poster presentation were the presenters - these guys are high school kids using SAS to do a visual analysis of Internet use by high schoolers. The idea was so compelling that Anna Brown and Inside SAS Global Forum went to talk to two of the presenters to learn what they researched and why they started the project.
Aren't these guys fascinating?! They are definitely going to be competing for one of the sexy statistician jobs of the future! How can you use their inspiration in your research?
Here's a link to their paper, "A Week in the Life”: A Visual Analysis of Internet Use by School-Age Students.
So, when you go to the game, do you buy a hot dog, a beer and a banner before the first quarter? Do you buy them all from the same vendor? Do you go back during the half? Does the score impact how much money you spend on concessions? All of these questions and more are being considered by Orlando Magic as data points in the customer experience.
Watch this great Inside SAS Global Forum interview with Anna Brown and Anthony Perez, Director of Business Strategy with the Orlando Magic.
Read this fantastic SAS Global Forum 2012 paper about creating the customer experience by Toshi Tsuboi. Tsuboi writes, "If you are involved in a consumer-oriented business, you probably get a sense that consumers are never satisfied....while you strive to provide them with what they want, if you mess up just once, they decide to tell everyone around the globe about it using Twitter and Facebook.
This change in customer expectations was foreseen back in 1999 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore in a book titled The Experience Economy. They described a new economy they called the experience economy, in which experience is the new currency. They argue that businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory, or "experience," becomes the product. If a business is more advanced in providing experiences, that business can begin charging for the value of the transformation that an experience offers."
Intrigued? Read the paper.
Stanley Fogleman says that SAS can be hard to learn on your own - not because it is a difficult language - but because of the various business requirements. In fact, even college students entering the workforce are often ill-prepared in some ways. That's why Fogleman believes that a SAS mentoring program can be so effective.
Fogleman says that when he first began learning SAS, he had only six months of mentoring - that was the length of a SAS consultant's contract that he was working with. During that time, he could ask any question that he wanted. After that, he was on his own to learn and figure out the courses to take.
Since that time, Fogleman has refined a mentoring program for junior programmers. He believes the plan should span one to two years, have executive buy-in and include SAS users group conferences.
"Creating a structured learning environment should be the goal of a mentor," said Fogleman.
Here are some of his tips for success:
- Map training using support.sas.com Learning Paths, training organized by job roles.
- Provide training milestones and keep track of accomplishments.
- Make yourself available as a resource.
- My favorite resources: SAS-L, sasCommunity.org and SAS Samples and SAS Notes
- Provide coding guidelines.
- Advocate SAS users group conference attendance and participation.
"I wish more managers knew about the value of that local, regional and national SAS users group conferences have," said Fogleman. "I can say very confidently that most of the SAS code that I've learned has been at conferences."
What not to do:
- Be a substitute manager
- Monday morning quarterback
"It's about guidance. Structured learning is more efficient," said Fogleman. "There are many different ways to solve programming problems, but there are also many blind alleys. A SAS mentor can help programmers avoid the blind alleys."
Read Fogleman's paper for more advice on What is a SAS Mentor? If you are interested in becoming a mentor, I'd suggest you contact Fogleman. In his presentation, he included a slide showing how to structure the learning process and accomplishments.
SAS already has some cool mobile Business Intelligence apps. Now, Scott McQuiggan tells Anna Brown, in this Inside SAS Global Forum interview, that you can view the really cool high-performance analytics reports that you've created on your desktop - right from your mobile device. Check this out!!
It is becoming more and more apparent that social media is a gold mine of unstructured data that is just waiting to be analysed so that the nuggets can be extracted. At SAS Global Forum, I was particularly impressed with the diversified use of sentiment analysis and the exploration that has been conducted into the field of social media. I attended a number of great presentations and an extremely interesting Super Demo on the analysis of consumers’ moods during Super Bowl commercials.
The Super Demo detailed how to use mood statements alongside sentiment analysis to measure in more detail the emotion displayed by people - more than would be possible with sentiment analysis alone. For example, the underlying purpose of advertising is to generate a reaction, hopefully positive, to a particular product or service. The key, therefore, is to understand this reaction through the use of social media to determine the best marketing strategies to implement.
Text analytics can be used here to derive the emotions people are displaying through the words and phrases they use on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. From this data, sentiment and intensity (defined here as the “passion” component) can be derived to determine which commercials hit the mark with their targeted audience. Read this blog post by Richard Foley about analyzing sentiment for more information about the Superbowl research.
Another thought-provoking presentation on a novel implementation of sentiment analysis and forecasting was given on the topic of predicting electoral outcomes. The purpose of this presentation and paper was to try to predict the outcomes of popular elections through social media when polling data is not necessarily available. It also demonstrated the ability to validate election outcomes and check for potential instances of fraudulent election administration.
What was interesting (maybe more than the demonstration on popular elections) was the demonstration of this same methodology on the popular television show American Idol!
The four-step methodology given to achieve this through the extraction, validation, analysis, and prediction of outcomes from the relevant social media data was:
- Extract a set of Tweets about the candidate of interest.
- Filter the Tweets to ensure that the keyword pulls are relevant.
- Analyse the Tweets for positive or negative sentiment around a candidate using sentiment analysis.
- Predict contest winners based on the aggregate sentiment scores for the candidate of interest over time using forecasting.
This process allows researchers to surface the general opinions of the social sphere at differing time points to determine a view of sentiment before and after a particular event, for example an eviction from the show.
Not only is sentiment analysis crucial for this exploration, but there are also forecasting applications to determine future events given the textual information that has been determined from the sentiment analysis. Check out Jenn Sykes’ full paper, Predicting Electoral Outcomes with SAS ® Sentiment Analysis and SAS ® Forecast Studio. Also take a minute to watch her in this short Inside SAS Global Forum interview.
With regards to the application of sentiment analysis in other sectors, I can see that there is certainly potential here in the financial sector, where there is a great need for information on sentiment from customers, not only for marketing-related activities, but also customer retention and acquisition.
This year’s conference was a fantastic display of what to look forward to in the world of analytics, and the next SAS Global Forum, San Francisco April 28th thru May 1st is already in the diary!