Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space. - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxySAS is big. It's not quite as big as space, although sometimes it might seem that it's just as vast. You can't know everything about SAS because your brain would explode. But that's why we have user group conferences and proceedings. The expertise isn't simply distributed all over the world. It's scattered over the decades as well, recorded for posterity in the form of SAS user group proceedings. If you use SAS often, then the chances are pretty good that there is some corner of SAS, some feature or function, that you know better than just about anyone else. Whether it's some special use of the DATA step, a unique database structure that you use for reporting, a production chart that has become mission-critical in your organization, or some unique use of one of the thousands of SAS procedures, statements or functions: there is something that you know about SAS that no one else knows. For that one aspect of SAS, you are the world's foremost expert. For me, my "World's Expert" debut was at SUGI 21, when I presented "Developing Native Help for SAS/AF Applications." The year was 1996, and I can say it with confidence: nobody knew more than I did about developing help content with Windows Help and OS/2 IPF, and integrating it with a SAS/AF application. That's not Nobel prize material, but I know that my conference paper helped hundreds of people. My presentation was attended by maybe 50 people on a brisk March day in Chicago, but the content lives on within proceedings. Even though I don't think it gets much reference now (at least, I hope it doesn't), it was my first user group talk...and I've written or contributed to dozens of others since then. You still have time to share your SAS expertise with the world. The Call for Papers is still on for SAS Global Forum 2011 (until October 25). In this case, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas; it is shared with the SAS community around the world and across the years.
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!
- Choose a preparation method.
- Apply memorization techniques.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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!
Download Gongwei’s paper and then send any questions you may have to email@example.com.
“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.
Over the next week or so we’ll be publishing a number of posts related to the event (highlights, session recaps, lessons learned, and more). But before we do, here is a summary of the customer intelligence activities during the week.
Sunday, April 11: 9:00 p.m.
SAS Seattle Tweetup! at Tap House Grill, 1506 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA
What a great Tweetup. The venue, with 160 beers on tap and an unexpectedly large and inviting space, was a perfect setting for our group.
The list of journalists, bloggers, analysts and influencers in attendance reads as a who's-who of social media and social CRM. To mention a few: Queen of Measurement Katie Paine. New Marketing Labs general manager Justin Levy. Marshall Lager, President of The Third Idea (he forgot the first two ideas – but the third one works great). Noted author and CRM authority Paul Greenberg. David Myron, Editor in Chief of CRM Magazine. Alex Williams, a senior editor at ReadWriteWeb. Joshua Greenbaum. Research Analyst, Speaker and Consultant, Esteban Kolsky. CRM analyst, Denis Pombriant. Brent Leary, Co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials. Social Media Strategists Wayne Sutton and Shannon Paul. Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. And on. And on.
From SAS, we had our Social Media Analytics mavens John Bastone and Mark Chaves. SAS marketing management, including Adele Sweetwood and Deb Orton. SAS Social Media manager David B. Thomas. Our editor of blogs and social content, Alison Bolen. SAS Customer Intelligence PR managers Angela Lipscomb and Mike Nemecek. Peter Dorrington, SAS EMEA marketing. And many others.
Monday, April 12: 8:00 a.m.
SAS Social Media Analytics Solution Launch at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center
You never know exactly how a launch will be accepted, but so far, so good. A Google search for “SAS social media analytics” turns up hundreds of positive news results and mentions; here are a few worth highlighting:
- Katie Paine (@kdpaine), CEO of KDPaine & Partners, wrote “when I started KDPaine & Partners 8 years ago, I had in mind a system that would somehow, (I didn't know how at the time) connect the dots between outputs and outcomes. That's what [SAS Social Media Analytics] does.” (From KDPaine finally finds an automated analysis tool she can love.)
- Louis Columbus (@LouisColumbus), Market & industry analyst, blogger, market researcher & strategist, commented on the execution of the launch, saying “Televising the launch event live…was a brilliant decision.” Louis went on to conclude that “SAS has set a new standard on how to successfully launch a new service using social media.” (From Lessons Learned from the SAS Launch of Social Media Analytics.)
- Paul Greenberg (@pgreenbe), author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, commented “not only has SAS released a truly excellent social media analytics product - a unique one in fact, but they have attacked the market and their own culture in a way that has transformed the company to something new and perhaps equally as good as their “place to work” accolades indicate.” (From SAS's Coming Out Party - Analyze This!)
- Shannon Paul (@ShannonPaul), marketing and social media strategist, wrote “…the just-launched SAS Social Media Analytics platform looks to be the most comprehensive, in-depth social media monitoring and analytics platform I’ve seen yet…” (From SAS Social Media Analytics Product Launch: Initial Thoughts.)
Continue reading "Customer Intelligence and SAS Social Media Analytics at 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
Dave Thomas reports from the SAS Social Media Analytics Press Launch Event held at SAS Global Forum in Seattle. Dave gets feedback from bloggers, journalists, influencers and analysts in attendance including Paul Greenberg, Wayne Sutton, Justin Levy, Katie Paine and more.
Here you go:
- IT-Sideways: Tech Blog Malaysia posted Multimedia University Student is SAS Malaysian ‘Student Ambassador’. Brandon Teoh writes that 26-year old Somaye Gharibvan, a Ph.D student from Malaysia, was chosen to represent Malaysia as one of the ten Student Ambassadors at SAS Global Forum.
- See You at SAS Global Forum – In many companies, being selected to go to a trade show or conference means that another chore has been added to your already overloaded day. How do SAS or JMP employees view a long weekend at SAS Global Forum?
- Talking about analytics – Alison Bolen lists analytics experts who will be at the conference who are interested in talking with users about analytics. A great part of the format of SAS user conferences is that users, developers and product managers can talk face-to-face and share experiences. Many of the people whose white papers and research you read, solutions and programs you use will be at the conference. Talk with them and share your story.
- Expecting to be Sleepless in Seattle – This guy is no dummy. He knows that the best time to spend time with you, our software experts, is while you are at the conference. He also wants to learn as much from the presentations as you do. We all pack our schedules as full as we can and hope for the best. Read this great post.
- It's Time for Inside SAS Global Forum – Each year, we try to capture key moments from SAS Global Forum and send them to you in quick video snapshots and interviews. This year, your hosts are David Thomas, SAS’ Social Media Manager, and me. Let’s see how much fun we can have. Do you have ideas of people you’d like for us to talk to? Send me an e-mail.
Do you know of other bloggers we should be following?
[NOTE: All times are Pacific Time]
Sunday, April 11: 9:00 p.m.
SAS Seattle Tweetup! at Tap House Grill, 1506 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA
Register here (no cost to register, just a courtesy)
Monday, April 12: 8:00 a.m.
SAS Social Media Analytics Solution Launch at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center
If you can't be in Seattle, it will be streamed live here: www.sas.com/smalaunch (How cool is that?) and you can catch the buzz about the launch on Twitter by following #SASSMA.
Monday, April 12: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: Marketing Success in a World of Empowered Customers
Moderated by Deb Orton, this panel discussion includes executives from Staples, Cisco Systems, GE Capital and Lacek/OgilvyOne. Our panel of experts will tell you how they get, grow and keep their best customers. This takes place at the Sheraton Hotel in the Aspen Room.
Monday, April 12: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: The Social Media Roundtable
Discussion led by Dave Evans, Social Media enthusiast and author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. Includes executives from Starbucks Coffee Co. and The Wet Seal. This takes place in Grand Ballroom A on the 2d floor.
Monday, April 12 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: How Guest Intelligence Drives Marketing and Merchandising at Target
In this session, learn how Target uses guest intelligence to optimize marketing and merchandising processes from Eric Bibelnieks, Target's Group Manager, Guest Data and Analytical Services. Hear how guest intelligence addresses their goal of enhancing guests’ shopping experiences and driving store performance.
Monday, April 12 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Executive Conference Demos: Customer Intelligence, Marketing Automation, Marketing Optimization and Social Media Analytics. These take place in the Metropolitan Ballroom on the 3rd Floor during the Intelligence in Action Showcase reception. If needed, we have a dedicated quiet discussion area just outside the doors and a dedicated private meeting room set aside just for Customer Intelligence.
Monday, April 12 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The SAS Social Media Analytics Networking Reception
Come meet your peers from the Seattle online analytics community and others interested in Social Media Analytics. Refreshments will be served and it will include a brief overview of the new Social Media Analytics solution. This takes place in the Cedar Room on the 2d floor. Register here. (no cost to register - just a courtesy)
One additional happening that’s not a SAS Customer Intelligence event, but worth considering:
Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Social Media Breakfast Seattle: No More Excuses: Yes we CAN Measure Social Media
This takes place at Tribal DDB Worldwide, 1000 2nd Avenue, Suite 1000, Seattle, WA and features measurement guru Katie Paine. There’s a nominal fee, but will be well worth it. Register here. Justin and I will be there - come join the fun!
Please remember that with the exception of the tweetup, the networking reception and the breakfast with Katie Paine, you need to be registered to take part in the fun. Here's how to register:
SAS Users: Now On-Site Registration Only
SAS Executive Users: For Director-level and above only.
See you in Seattle!
"The sentiment or affection of the heart from which any action proceeds, and upon which its whole virtue or vice must ultimately depend, may be considered under two different aspects, or in two different relations; first, in relation to the cause which excites it, or the motive which gives occasion to it; and secondly, in relation to the end which it proposes, or the effect which it tends to produce.”Perhaps not surprisingly then, both behavioural psychologists and stock market economists have examined the notion of sentiment for some time – both its cause and effect – with Dow, of the modern day (Dow Jones) Index, being one of them.
Being pragmatic – and translating this to how (and when) organizations successfully analyze sentiment – I am heartened to see that this is consistent with how we examine this today.
Understanding the relationship giving rise to emotional expressions in our current, connected world – sentiment analysis is part of a business analytics process. The evaluation of existing knowledge (observation and measurement of the motive) with the assessment of accurately measured sentiment expression (analysis of the effect) – from whatever communication vehicle the text data is collected. As with all analytics, models are tested, validated, and then deployed. Once deployed into business operations, sentiment is evaluated in real-time – sending triggers and updates to parts of the business that need to be informed and act upon the results. This analytic cycle is expressed further in an Interactive Tour and cited recently in Text Analytics – Two Worlds Collide.
Over 250 years later – with all that has changed since – the theory, at least this context, still makes sense in practice. So whether you are attending SAS Global Forum or the Sentiment Symposium we look forward to hearing about what you are doing in the Text Frontier. See you at the conference.
If you read last month’s Open Mic blog posts from Meg Crawford and Kirsten Hamstra about all the great social media activities happening at SAS Global Forum, then you’re pretty well-informed, but here’s the latest master list of everything social media-related happening at SAS Global Forum.
Twitter and the SAS Global Forum TweetSpot
If you aren't already, start following us on Twitter @SASGLOBALFORUM or join the conversation that will be continuing throughout SAS Global Forum with our hashtag, #SGF10. We also have a few other recommendations for you: @SASPublishing, @SASTraining, @WaynetteTubbs, @alisonbolen, @DavidBThomas, @deb_orton, @kellylevoyer, @abrown7, @hrenee and @sasCommunity will all be dishing up some good SAS Global Forum tweets.
Want to meet your fellow SAS Global Forum tweeters? Attend the SAS Seattle TweetUp on April 11 at 9:00 p.m. at the Tap House Grill. Register early, space is limited.
Are you not yet sold on Twitter? Let us show you how cool it is. Stop by the TweetSpot outside the Demo Area on the Sky Bridge where we’ll be offering tutorials, signing up new accounts, and tweeting with conference attendees. We know you’ll be hooked by the end of SAS Global Forum.
Even if you’re not ready to sign up just yet, you won’t be left out because our GIANT Twitter Wall above the entrance to the Demo Area will keep you in the loop. Check out all the live, scrolling tweets to see what everyone is saying about the conference.
SAS Global Forum Connect
Connect with your peers on SAS Global Forum Connect at http://www.sasCommunity.org/Connect. New for sasCommunity.org, SAS Global Forum Connect enables SAS Global Forum 2010 attendees to connect online before and during the conference. Even if you're not attending in-person, you can still participate.
Find colleagues on the searchable / sortable list, add messages to the public Message Board, send messages, add colleagues, view Web site contributions, add photo avatars & more! Stay connected during the conference and keep your connections all year long.
Facebook is a great way to get real-time updates about the conference, new happenings and key information, and interact with SAS professionals and users who will be in attendance. The SAS Global Forum Facebook Fan Page has more than 700 active members and is growing daily. We also recommend you become a fan of the SAS Publishing and SAS Training & Certification pages. We will all be posting photos and status updates live from the Demo Floor. Watch our feeds and you just might win some free SAS goodies!
There will be LOTS of blogging going on during SAS Global Forum. The official SAS Global Forum blog features many talented voices from all over SAS. Read along to follow a series of posts during the conference to hear from SAS employees serving a wide variety of roles at SAS Global Forum. Gain insight into popular paper presentations, Demo Hall activities, breaking SAS news and the latest conference updates.
You’ll also want to visit the Open Mic blog to hear from SAS Press authors, SAS Publishing editors and others as they blog live from the conference. SAS Training & Certification will be launching a new blog next month but first we need your help! Vote for your favorite blog name or suggest your own and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a free training class!
The SAS Global Forum LinkedIn Group has more than 400 members and is a great way to connect with other professionals in your field who will be sharing their insights at the conference. Joining the Fans of SAS Books and SAS Training & Certification LinkedIn groups will keep you in touch with your peers long after SAS Global Forum 2010 ends.
Get a closer look at SAS Global Forum through the informal video interview series, Inside SAS Global Forum 2010 hosted by Dave Thomas, SAS Social Media Manager and Waynette Tubbs, Editor of the SAS Tech Report. We would love to hear your ideas for what you’d like to see on Inside SAS Global Forum. Who would you like us to interview? Please send your ideas to Waynette.Tubbs@sas.com.
Last year, SAS Publishing kicked off a new video series featuring interviews with SAS Press authors during the M2009 Data Mining Conference and The Premier Business Leadership Series Conference in October and will be continuing it at this year's major conferences including SAS Global Forum. Armed with a handheld Kodak Zi8, Kirsten Hamstra will be tracking down authors and asking them 3-4 questions which she’ll then edit together into a fun video montage for SAS Publishing’s YouTube channel.
Also, if you’ve ever taken a SAS Training class, we encourage you to visit the video interview station in the Demo Hall at the SAS Education Center to record a short video about how SAS training has helped you. We will also be putting together a video montage for SAS Training’s YouTube channel.
SAS Social Media Analytics Launch
SAS will announce a new social media analytics solution April 12 via a live webcast. See it in person at SAS Global Forum during the opening ceremony or watch it live at www.sas.com/smalaunch and tweet about it with the #SASSMA hashtag. During the webcast you’ll hear from social media and analytics experts, see the new software in action and have the opportunity to ask questions. Don’t miss this highly anticipated product launch!
Meeting you Face-to-Face!
Obviously you can tell we love communicating with our customers and colleagues via social media, but there’s still nothing better than good, old-fashioned face-to-face communication. We can’t wait to meet you in person and talk about whatever it is you want to talk about it – social media, SAS Global Forum, new SAS technologies, restaurants, books, sports, travel, children…you get the idea – we’re excited to get to know as many people as we can. After all, isn’t networking one of the greatest benefits of attending a conference?