sas global forum

4月 042011
 
Yesterday I was in the Big Room for the rehearsal of the Technology Connection, the part of SAS Global Forum where SAS shows off its wares: what's been released recently and what's coming. I believe that customers are going to love what they see. And just about every product that will be shown on stage will feature some view of SAS code; I know that the audience at SAS Global Forum will appreciate that. Nothing pleases hard-core SAS users like watching a SAS program perform its magic.


SAS Global Forum is a great opportunity to learn about SAS software: how others use it, what's coming next, best practices for specific industries, and more.

But it's also a celebration. SAS takes the opportunity to recognize special customer achievements with the Enterprise Excellence Award and the User Feedback Award. And the demo hall features an Innovation Wall, where attendees can "brag" about the cool things they've done using SAS and share their ideas with the world. (Yesterday I took a photo of the Innovation Wall when it was completely blank. I know that tomorrow it will be filled with tremendous, proven, ideas.)

The papers, posters, and meet-ups are all the result of months of hard work by volunteers, and even though it's over in just a few days, everyone involved always says that it's completely worth it. And completely deserving of a round of applause, so don't hold back!

4月 042011
 
…will come home with you. This week, as many of you know, SAS Global Forum is taking place in Las Vegas. Many of our SAS Training Instructors are there teaching classes, presenting papers, hosting workshops and answering your questions in the Demo Hall. We hope the knowledge you learn at SAS Global Forum will be put to use immediately after you return home.

Here’s a handy list of where you can find our SAS Training staff this week.

Monday, April 4

1:00 – 4:00
The Platform for SAS Business Analytics: Overview
Instructor: Christine Vitron
Location: Promenade Level, Milano III

1:00 – 4:00
Best Practices in Base SAS Coding
Instructor: Kent Reeve
Location: Promenade Level, Milano VII – VIII

1:00 – 4:00
Fear SAS Graphs No More!
Instructor: Marty Hultgren
Location: Promenade Level, Milano V-VI

1:00 – 4:00
Understanding Why Your Macros Don’t Work
Instructor: Michelle Buchecker
Location: Promenade Level, Milano IV
Tuesday, April 5

10:30 – 12:15
SAS Workshop: SAS Business Intelligence
Instructor: Eric Rossland
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

2:00 – 3:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Data Integration
Instructor: Kari Richardson
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

4:00 – 5:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Platform Administration
Instructor: Christine Vitron
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

4:30 – 5:30
Becoming a Better Programmer with SAS Enterprise Guide 4.3
Instructor: Andy Ravenna
Location: Promenade Level, Pompeian I

Wednesday, April 6

8:00 – 9:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Business Intelligence
Instructor: Eric Rossland
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

9:00 – 9:50
Don’t Gamble with your Output: How to Use Microsoft Formats with ODS
Instructor: Cynthia Zender
Location: Promenade Level, Milano V-VI

10:00 – 11:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Platform Administration
Instructor: Christine Vitron
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

1:30 – 3:15
SAS Workshop: SAS Data Integration
Instructor: Kari Richardson
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

3:30 – 5:15
SAS Workshop: SAS Business Intelligence
Instructor: Eric Rossland
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

4:30 – 5:20
The Greatest Hits: ODS Essentials Every User Should Know
Instructor: Cynthia Zender
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan I

Thursday, April 7

8:00 – 9:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Data Integration
Instructor: Kari Richardson
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

8:00 – 8:50
Introduction to ODS Graphics for the Non-Statistician
Instructors: Mike Kalt, Cynthia Zender
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan I

10:00 – 11:45
SAS Workshop: SAS Business Intelligence
Instructor: Eric Rossland
Location: Promenade Level, Neopolitan II

You can also stay connected through the SAS Global Forum social media channels.
4月 032011
 
While talking to fellow SAS users at SAS Global Forum 2011 this week, I'll be discussing how SAS programmers can "play" with social media data that they can access on Facebook and Twitter. I always refer people to my blog for more information, and so I've prepared this blog post to make the information easy to find.

If you heard me talk about this topic at the conference and you're visiting the blog to learn more, Welcome! Here are the links to the additional materials that I've prepared.

Social Networking and SAS: Running PROCs on Your Facebook Friends (the paper):
Written with the help of Susan Slaughter, this paper describes how you can access different types of social media data, and provides some ideas for the analysis that you can perform with it.

Example Facebook application for gathering data (Windows application):
This application can be run standalone or as a custom task within SAS Enterprise Guide. You can use it to connect to your Facebook account, gather your friend data (names, education history, relationship status, birthdays, and more), and then save all of the information as a SAS program. You can then run the program in SAS (or via SAS Enterprise Guide).

An example of what the application looks like

The application generates some simple reports, but I'm confident that the creative SAS user community will be able to come up with even better results than I did.

Example SAS program to gather/analyze Twitter content (SAS program):
This program uses the XML LIBNAME engine, FILENAME URL, SGPLOT procedure, and a simple PROC PRINT to create a report of recent Twitter activity around a specified hashtag.

All of this information is also linked from this page on sasCommunity.org.

I owe a big Thank You to Pete Lund, the section chair for the Social Media section at the conference, for inviting us to present on this topic. And also thanks to Susan Slaughter, who helped me to shape and validate the content for this paper and presentation.

4月 022011
 
Along with several other members of the JMP group, I'll be at SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas next week. There's a lot of good information of JMP at this annual gathering of SAS users. So stop by the JMP booth and look out for the many Super Demos and paper presentations about JMP.

Attendees will have a chance to see Super Demos about using SAS and R with JMP, SAS structural equation modeling for JMP, mapping SAS data with JMP, streamlining clinical safety reviews using JMP -- as well as a Super Demo that shows you what JMP is.

John Sall, chief architect of JMP, will present a paper on JMP 9. I'll be there for that. I also hope to hear the presentations by George Hurley of the Hershey Company about "Using JMP Visualizations to Build a Statistical Model" and by Murphy Choy of Singapore Management University on "Data Mining Using JMP," as well as Eric Hill's talk on JMP 9 add-ins.

Here's a listing of all of the JMP-related papers and presentations at SAS Global Forum:

TUESDAY, APRIL 5

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
SUPER DEMO: Mapping Your SAS® Data with JMP®
SAS Support and Demo Area

10:40 AM - 10:50 AM
Top Ten SAS® Sites for Programmers: A Review
Promenade Level, Roman II

11:00 AM - 11:10 AM
sasCommunity.org Benefits to JMP® Coders
Charles Shipp, JMP 2 Consulting, Inc.
Kirk Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation
Promenade Level, Roman II

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
SUPER DEMO: Programming SAS® and R to Extend JMP® Analytics
SAS Support and Demo Area

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
SUPER DEMO: SAS® Structural Equation Modeling for JMP®: A New User Interface
SAS Support and Demo Area

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
SUPER DEMO: So, what is JMP®? An Introduction to Interactive Analytics
SAS Support and Demo Area

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
New Features in SAS/OR® 9.3
Ed Hughes, SAS
Manoj Chari, SAS
Promenade Level, Milano IV

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
SUPER DEMO: JMP® Clinical: Streamline Your Clinical Safety Review
SAS Support and Demo Area

5:00 PM - 5:50 PM
JMP® 9 Add-Ins: Taking Visualization of SAS® Data to New Heights
Eric Hill, SAS
Promenade Level, Milano I

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM
Driving Clinical Safety Reviews with Data Standards
Geoffrey Mann, SAS
Promenade Level, Roman III

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM
JMP® 9 and Interactive Statistical Discovery
John Sall, SAS
Promenade Level, Milano II

8:30 AM - 8:50 AM
Using a JMP® Add-In with SAS® to Evaluate the Measurement Process: Going Beyond the Traditional Gauge R&R
Jose Ramirez, W.L Gore and Associates, Inc
Jon Weisz, SAS
Promenade Level, Roman I

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
JMP® as an Analytic Hub: Using JMP to Build Custom Applications via SAS® and R Integration
Kelci Miclaus, SAS
Promenade Level, Roman I

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
SAS® Predictive Analytics: The Next Frontier
Wayne Thompson, SAS
Jeff Perkinson, SAS
Promenade Level, Pompeian IV

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
SUPER DEMO: Mapping Your SAS® Data with JMP®
SAS Support and Demo Area

10:30 AM - 10:50 AM
Data Mining Using JMP®
Murphy Choy, School of Information System
Emperors Level, Emperors I

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
SUPER DEMO: Programming SAS® and R to Extend JMP® Analytics
SAS Support and Demo Area

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Create compelling visualizations with geographic data and JMP 9
Jeff Perkinson, SAS
Promenade Level, Neopolitan I

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
SUPER DEMO: So, what is JMP®? An Introduction to Interactive Analytics
SAS Support and Demo Area

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
SUPER DEMO: JMP® Clinical: Streamline Your Clinical Safety Review
SAS Support and Demo Area

3:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Using JMP® Visualizations to Build a Statistical Model
George Hurley, The Hershey Company
Promenade Level, Neopolitan I

3:30 PM - 3:50 PM
What’s Hot, What’s Not: Skills for SAS® Professionals
Kirk Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation
Charles Shipp, JMP 2 Consulting, Inc.
Promenade Level, Milano II

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
SUPER DEMO: SAS® Structural Equation Modeling for JMP®: A New User Interface
SAS Support and Demo Area

THURSDAY, APRIL 7

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Introducing SAS® Structural Equation Modeling: A New User Interface That Brings the Power of SAS/STAT® Software to JMP® Software
Wayne Watson, SAS
Promenade Level, Milano III
4月 012011
 
"Twitter, thou art nought but data." So sayeth the SAS programmer.

Many data analysts now recognize Twitter for what it is: a tremendous source of data covering almost any topic, from Justin Bieber's hair to political uprisings to technical conferences to company brands. SAS offers sophisticated solutions to harness this data, merging it with lots of other data sources and analyzing it all for you. I think that we'll see an impressive showing of this in action at SAS Global Forum this year.

But SAS programmers want to get into the act as well, and at least for Twitter data, it's easy to do. I wrote about one simple method back in 2008, but we've come a long way since then.

I'll be talking about using SAS programs to get Twitter data at SAS Global Forum 2011, but I won't be the only one. Satish Garla sent me a note to say that he and his coauthor (Goutam Chakrabouty) are also presenting a SAS programming approach to Twitter.

I'll admit it right now: their approach is fancier than mine. They've developed a SAS macro named %GetTweet that accepts lots of parameters to tune the output. They also present some innovative approaches for analyzing the results, including graphs of rankings and network visualizations.

If you're attending SAS Global Forum, this is a presentation you might want to see. If you won't be there, you can still find the paper in the proceedings at %GetTweet: A New SAS® Macro to Fetch and Summarize Tweets.

3月 212011
 
rtist rendering of early SUGI plotsIn the computer software industry, 35 years is like an eon.

I mean, 35 years ago, the computing power that I carry around within my mobile phone didn't even exist all in one place; but if it did, it would have filled an entire building.

That's why the recent posting of SAS conference papers from 1976-1996 (on sasCommunity.org) is a little bit like uncovering cave paintings from a bygone era. They might not yield information about advanced technology we can use today, but they sure can teach us a lot about where we've been.

I'm proud to say that I wrote one of the papers that appears in this archive. It's at the tail-end of the covered range: SUGI 21 in 1996. The topic is implementing native help for SAS/AF applications on OS/2 and Windows. That paper established me as one of the world's top experts in the subject for a little while, and I received questions on the topic for maybe 5 years after its publication. But the interest has died off since those days, and I have to admit that I feel relieved about that.

Congratulations to Rich La Valley and the sasCommunity.org team for bringing this content together. The SAS Global Users Group (like SAS itself) is rich with "institutional history", and the availability of these proceedings is a great way to show that off.

3月 182011
 
SAS Global Forum 2011 just over two weeks away.

The R&D and product management teams are preparing the demos to show on stage during the highly-visible opening sessions. A tremendous amount of work goes into planning the program. It's great to see what they come up with. When it comes time for the Big Show, it all looks so effortless and really impressive. Just the way it's supposed to.

For my part, I'm setting the stage for my own content. As part of the duties of presenting an invited paper, I'm supposed to post a description and links to online content on sasCommunity.org. I've done that, and you can see it here:

Social Networking and SAS: Running PROCs on Your Facebook Friends

I've also posted the complete examples, including a download of my Facebook application (turns your Facebook friends into a SAS program) and the source code for my Twitter example.

3月 092011
 

PowerPoint: A Cautionary TaleWith SGF 2011 fast approaching, I’m sure I’m not the only speaker  hard at work preparing my PowerPoint presentations.  I can remember the old days when speakers brought actual slide trays full of film slides.  I don’t miss the expense of those slides or the amount of room they took in my suitcase, and it is wonderful to be able to fix any typos you may discover at the last minute.  Still PowerPoint has its limitations….

If you haven’t seen Peter Norvig‘s Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation, then you definitely should. It’s not new, but I just recently learned about it from my son.  Click here to see what is possibly the most entertaining PowerPoint presentation ever created.


3月 022011
 
Marty Hultgren
Michelle Buchecker
SAS Global Forum creates a big buzz in the SAS user community, so in order to find out what the fuss is about, I decided to chat with a couple of our instructors who would be going to Las Vegas. In addition to teaching pre-conference training, these two instructors will present the two seminars, Fear SAS® Graphs No More! and Understanding Why Your Macros Don’t Work, on Monday, April 4th from 1:00-4:00 before the opening session.

Take a moment to read this Q&A feature with Marty Hultgren and Michelle Buchecker about the seminars they are presenting and what they look forward to on this trip to Vegas.

1. What do you each do for SAS?

Marty: I teach a number of SAS courses, including Programming 1, 2 and 3, Macro, SQL, SAS® Enterprise Guide® and Business Intelligence platform classes. I also write courses, review books by users and answer lots of interesting questions from students I’ve had in classes.

Michelle: Similar to Marty, I teach several classes, write courses and I am also the Curriculum Manager for many SAS Solutions. In addition to that, I manage the Midwest region which includes a staff of eight employees and five SAS training centers.

2. You’re each planning to present on papers written by Michelle. Tell us a little bit about what each of your sessions will touch on and what interests you about the topics.

Marty: Michelle had a business problem that she had been solving using Microsoft Excel, but which she converted to SAS Enterprise Guide. Using her paper (Fear SAS Graphs No More!) as a guide, I’ll show the process she used to get to the result – a process using both point-and-click tools in Enterprise Guide, and some customized code to massage the data and create some sleek and informative graphs. There are a number of interesting things about the talk, and about Michelle’s solution, including the way we move from a lesser to a more robust solution and the way a few small changes to the graph and title code, the addition of a bit of macro code and some simple prompts combine to make for a very useful solution.

Michelle: To add on to what Marty said, one of the main reasons I switched from Excel to Enterprise Guide is that I was tired of getting out the calculator to add numbers from an online Unix system to plug into my Excel spreadsheet … The paper I will be presenting (Understanding Why Your Macros Don’t Work) is good old Macro stuff. The Macro course is where we see the most number of repeat students, namely because of the nuances and intricacies of the Macro facility. There is a lot of power to the macro world, but with that power you need a lot of knowledge to make sure what you are doing is correct. My seminar will be a way to help understand why things work the way they do in the macro world.

Continue reading "2 Popular SAS Topics, 2 Awesome SAS Instructors, a Pinnacle SAS Event"
3月 022011
 
A few months ago I wrote a blog entry titled "SAS/GRAPH "SG" Procedures--Not Just for Statisticians!" It was so well received that I was invited to open for Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas! Well, not really, but I was invited (along with co-blogger Cynthia Zender) to give the presentation "Introduction to ODS Graphics for the Non-Statistician" at SAS Global Forum 2011 in Las Vegas. The presentation is a greatly expanded version of the blog posting that shows you how to use the SGPLOT, SGPANEL, and SGSCATTER procedures and the interactive ODS Graphics Designer to create commonly-used business charts and plots.

Here are a few examples of the graphs that you can easily produce:

So, if you're attending SAS Global Forum, please come by and pick up a few tips. If you're unable to attend, the full paper will be available in the Conference Proceedings, and I'll give my regards to Celine for you!