As a SAS instructor, I’m often on the road, but, in April, my work travel path is going to take me to a place I haven’t visited since I was 12 years old. The occasion? SAS Global Forum 2017. The location? Walt Disney World® in Orlando. While the main conference [...]
Word on the proverbial technology street is that online learning is ideal for modern learners, and, at SAS, we wholeheartedly agree. In 2016, more the 80,000 SAS users trained in an online or blending learning format. In 2017, we kicked off the year with the announcement of our new SAS [...]
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Editor's note: The following post is from Emma Warrillow, Chief DiGGer at Data Insight Group Inc. (DiG). Emma is a featured speaker at SAS Global Forum 2017 and recently named as one of the Top Women in Direct Marketing by Direct Marketing News. Learn more about Emma. “I need [...]
SAS Global Forum 2017 is just a month away and, if you’re a SAS administrator, it’s a great place to meet your peers, share your experiences and attend presentations on SAS administration tips and tricks.
SAS Global Forum 2017 takes place in Orlando FL, April 2-5. You can find more information at https://www.sas.com/en_us/events/sas-global-forum/sas-global-forum-2017.html. This schedule is for the entire conference and include pre and post conference events.
If you’re an administrator, though, I wanted to highlight a few events that would be of particular interest to you:
On Sunday, April 2nd from 2-4 pm there is a “Helping the SAS Administrator Succeed” event. More details can be found here.
On Monday, April 3rd from 6:30-8:00 pm the SAS Users Group for Administrators (SUGA) will be hosting a Community Linkup, with panelists on hand to help answer questions from SAS administrators. Location will be in the Dolphin Level – Asia 4.
There are two post-conference tutorials for the SAS Administrators:
Introduction to SAS Grid Manager, Wednesday, April 5th from 2:30-6:30pm
SAS Metadata Security, Thursday, April 6th from 8:00am-noon
More details can be found here.
For a list of the papers on the topic of SAS Administration, you can visit this link. You will see that SAS Administration has been broken down to Architecture, Deployment, SAS Administration and Security subtopic areas.
Some of the key papers under each sub-topic area are:
Twelve Cluster Technologies Available in SAS 9.4
Deploying SAS on Software-Defined and Virtual Storage Systems
Shared File Systems: Determining the Best Choice for your Distributed SAS Foundation Applications
Do You have a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your SAS Infrastructure
Pillars of a Successful SAS Implementation with Lessons from Boston Scientific
Getting the Latest and Greatest from SAS 9.4: Best Practices for Upgrades and Migrations
Migrating Large, Complex SAS Environments: In-Place versus New Build
SAS Metadata Security 201: Security Basics for a New Administrator
SAS Environment Manager: Advanced Topics
The Top Ten SAS Studio Tips for SAS Grid Manager Administrators
Implementing Capacity Management Policies on a SASLASR Analytic Server Platform: Can You Afford Not To?
Auditing in SAS Visual Analytics
SAS Viya: What it Means for SAS Administration
Guidelines for Protecting Your Computer, Network, and Data from Malware Threats
Getting Started with Designing and Implementing a SAS® 9.4 Metadata and File System Security Design
SAS® Metadata Security 301: Auditing your SAS Environment
SAS® Users Audit: An Automated Approach to Metadata Reporting
SAS® Metadata Security
In addition to the breakout sessions, there is an Administration Super Demo station where short presentations will be given. The schedule for these presentations is:
Sunday, April 2nd:
17:00 Shared File Systems for SAS Grid Manager
18:00 Where to Place SAS WORK in your SAS Grid Infrastructure
Monday, April 3rd:
11:00 Hands-on Secure Socket Layer Configuration for SAS 9.4 Environment Manager
12:00 Introduction to Configuring SAS Metadata Security for Mutlitenancy
13:00 SAS Viya Overview
14:00 Accelerate your SAS Programs with GPUs
15:00 Authentication and Identity Management with SAS Viya
Tuesday, April 4th:
11:00 Accelerate your SAS Programs with GPUs
12:00 Accelerating your Analytics Adoption with the Analytics Fast Track
13:00 New Deployment Experience for SAS
14:00 Managing Authorization in SAS Viya
15:00 Clustering in SAS Viya
16:00 A Docker Container Toolbox for the Data Scientist
As you can see, there is lots for SAS Administrators to learn and opportunities for SAS Administrators to socialize with fellow SAS Administrators.
Here’s to seeing you in sunny Florida next month.
P.S. SAS administrators don’t have to go to SAS Global Forum to get help administering their environment. In addition to SAS Global Forum and the SUGA group mentioned above, you can find out more information on resources for administrators in this blog. You can also visit our new webpage devoted just to users who administer their organization’s SAS environment. You can find that page here.
Whether you are just getting started with SAS or an experienced user there are a slew of free resources you should know about. First, you can download and learn SAS for free. SAS University Edition is available for anyone who wants to learn SAS. Additionally, SAS offers many free online [...]
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The SAS User Community, albeit spread around the world, is a tight-knit group. We may sit alone in our offices pounding out code, developing applications, tweaking system performance or creating reports, but the truth is other SAS users (our colleagues at work, in online communities, and at local user group meetings), are always there to assist us, and to socialize with from time to time. We rely on our fellow SAS Users for support and companionship, as well as a resource for new ideas and techniques. Then, once each year, we join users on a global scale by gathering for a few days at SAS Global Forum.
The opportunity to strengthen and extend our bonds with other SAS Users makes SASGF a much sought-after event. We will go to great lengths to attend; by demonstrating value to our employer to secure permission, presenting content to receive a registration discount, applying for an award or scholarship, volunteering as a presenter or room coordinator, joining the Conference Team, or even becoming Conference Chair!
What might these efforts look like if we were to record metaphors for them? What I mean is, how would you represent your effort?
For example, here is a photo of two determined SAS Users negotiating a portage on Lady Evelyn River (Ontario, Canada) on their way to SAS Global Forum.
These two must really understand the value of attending!
What are you willing to do to get to SAS Global Forum?!
Share your videos and photos that represent your efforts to get to SASGF in Orlando. We’ll have some fun seeing how our fellow SAS Users spend their non-SAS-coding time. I’m looking forward to seeing new faces and new places.
Simply follow @SASsoftware on Twitter and Instagram, then post your video, photo or gift. Make sure you tag your post with the #GetToSASGF and @SASsoftware.
Share more than one, encourage your fellow SAS Users to play along. And check back often to see what your peers have shared.
Who knows, you may even see your picture or video on the Big Screen at SASGF 2017!
What are you willing to do to get to SAS Global Forum? was published on SAS Users.
Editor's note: Amanda Farnsworth is Head of Visual Journalism at BBC News and a featured speaker at SAS Global Forum 2017, April 2-5, 2017 in Orlando.
There was a best selling book some years ago called “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.” It’s a phrase I thought about a lot when I first started my current job, not so much in the gender sense, but because it can be really challenging to bring together teams with very different experiences, skillsets and, above all, cultures.
In 2013, I was asked to form a new department – Visual Journalism – bringing together Online Designers, TV Designers and Online Journalists with an aptitude for graphics and visuals as well as Developers who worked with me but not for me. These included people staffing the many Language Services of the BBC World Service. The different teams produced content for the BBC News website, TV 24hr News Channels and Bulletins.
And boy, were they all different!
The digital folk were very creative but in a controlled way. They worked with a set visual design language and liked to do this as a structured process which involved a lot of user testing focusing on what the audience would understand and how would they behave when faced with some of our visual content.
Meanwhile, those with a TV background liked to work in a much more fluid way – creative workshops and experimentation - with less audience focus, as it was so much harder to get proper audience feedback on the visual elements of a TV report that viewers would get a single chance to see and take in.
And, as everyone who has gone through change knows, it can be a scary and difficult time for many of those involved. I have always found The Transition Curve one of the most useful things I ever learnt in a management course, helping me to identify how different parts of the team might be handling change. I stuck this diagram on a filing cabinet next to my desk when I created the Visual Journalism team.
And there was one other thing: I had a predominantly TV background and I was now being asked to lead a team that was packed full of digital experts. I’d always prided myself on my technical as well as editorial ability, and now I was less technically skilled than most of the people working for me. How was I going to cope with that?
The first thing I did was to offer 30-minute one-on-ones with my staff. About 60% agreed. I sent them a questionnaire to fill in in advance and asked them these three questions:
1. What Single Thing could we do very quickly that would change things for the better?
2. How can the new Visual Journalism team work better together?
3. What new tools do you need to do your job?
It proved to be a treasure trove of information with some interesting thoughts and great suggestions – here are a few examples of Q1 answers:
“A single management structure for the whole team. Sometimes different disciplines within the team clash as they are pulled in different directions by the priorities of their respective managers. This wastes time and creates unnecessary tensions.”
“Unfortunately we have a rather corrosive habit of 'rumour control' which is usually of a negative nature, particularly in this time of change and uncertainty. I think 'rumour control' can easily be reduced by providing as much information as possible ( good and bad ) so none is left to be made up!”
“I would like to see a re-evaluation of the planning area. A map that just happens to be going on air tomorrow, Should that be taking up a slot in planning? Maybe planning should be more focussed on projects that are moving us and our journalism forward. “
And from question 2:
“One word: flexibility. The teams need to absorb the concept that we have one goal, the individual outputs need to grasp this to. A respect for the established disciplines is all well and good, but tribalism needs to be left behind.”
So I had a lot of face time with a lot of staff. They all appreciated the dedicated time, but it also gave me a chance to meet them individually. The questionnaires gave me a written record of all their top concerns which I could refer to in the coming months and use as a justification or guide for change. And I could say after six months that I had done a lot of the things they had asked for along with other things that I felt needed to be done.
In addition, I wanted the teams to meet each other. So, we held a Speed Dating session. We made two long rows of chairs facing each other and sat TV people on one side and online people on the other. They had one minute to say what they did and one minute to listen to the person opposite them share the same before I sounded a horn and everyone moved down one chair. It was a bit chaotic and a little hysterical to watch, but proved to be a great way of breaking the ice between the teams.
After a month in which I also immersed myself in the work of the various teams with a series of show and tells and shadowing days, and asked external stakeholders what they wanted from the new department, I drew up my vision.
It’s main message was that we were now a cross-platform team who needed to share ideas, information, skills and assets to create great, innovative content across TV and Digital.
The build phase
Even as we began the process of real change, the outside world suddenly started to move quickly. More and more of our news website traffic started to come from mobile, not desktop devices, and the distinction between what was TV and what was Digital began to blur, with the use of more video and motion graphics online. Social media platforms proliferated and became a key way of reaching an audience that didn’t usually access BBCTV or Digital content. We found ourselves on the cutting edge of where TV meets the web. And we had to make the most of it.
I began a series of internal attachments where online and TV designers learnt each other’s skills. I supplemented that with training so they could learn new software tools and design techniques. The lines between journalists and designers also began to fade, with many editorial people learning motion graphics skills for use on the increasingly important social media platforms.
I also encouraged and stood the cost of people spending a month outside the department learning how other parts of the BBC News machine worked and help spread the word that the new dynamic Visual Journalism department wanted to partner up and do big high impact, cross platform projects.
I revamped our Twitter feed, offered myself and other colleagues for public speaking at conferences and made sure we entered our best work for awards.
Quite quickly this all began to pay dividends. We won a big data journalism prize and we formed some big external partnerships with universities doing interesting research and with official bodies like the Office for National Statistics. We received a big investment for more data journalism from our Global division and from BBC Sport who wanted to do some big data led projects around the World Cup and Olympics.
Social glue was also important. We instituted a now legendary annual pot-luck Christmas lunch where the tables groaned with the amazing food people brought in to share. The Christmas jumpers are always impressive and we hold a raffle and quiz too.
There was, and still is, a major job to do just listening and looking after the staff. I make a point of praising and rewarding great work. We don’t have a great deal of flexibility on pay at the BBC, but rewards like attending international conferences, getting training opportunities and receiving some retail vouchers from the scheme the BBC runs all help. I also always facilitate flexible working as much as is humanly possible, not just for women returning to work after maternity leave, but for caregivers, people who want to work part-time and most recently for two new dads who are going to take advantage of the paternal leave scheme and be the sole parent at home for six months while their wives return to work.
I also write an end-of-year review and look ahead to the next 12 months that I send to all staff. It outlines achievements and great content we have made but also the aims, objectives and challenges for the year ahead.
Not all plain sailing
Of course there were and still are some issues. As the Transition Curve shows, not everyone is going to follow you and embrace the change you bring. Team members who have been expert in their fields and are happy doing what they do suddenly find they have to learn new things and can feel de-skilled. By definition, they cannot be an immediate expert at something new that they are asked to do and that can be difficult.
As roles and responsibilities blurred, we found we had to redefine the production process for online content as people became unsure of their roles.
Meanwhile such was the external reputation of the team, we suffered a brain drain to Apple, Amazon and Adidas.
And for me, as the department grew to over 160 people when I took on responsibility for the Picture Editors who edit the video for news and current affairs reports, I had to accept I was going to be more of an enabler and provider of editorial oversight than a practitioner. Technology was moving so fast, while I had to know and understand it, actually being able to create content myself was going to be a rare occurrence.
Writing this post has helped me see just how far we’ve come as a department in a few short years. It’s certainly not perfect and the challenges we face are ever–changing. But we have now won over 25 awards across all platforms and the cross-platform vision is embedded in the teams who really enjoy learning from each other and working on projects together.
And, I have a secret weapon. I enjoy singing pop songs at my desk everyday and of course Carols at Christmas.
Trying not to encourage me to sing is something literally everyone can unite behind.
When mentioning to friends that I’m going to Orlando for SAS Global Forum 2107, they asked if I would be taking my kids. Clearly my friends have not attended a SAS Global Forum before as there have been years where I never even left the hotel! My kids would NOT enjoy it… but, […]
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Editor's note: This following post is from Shara Evans, CEO of Market Clarity Pty Ltd. Shara is a featured speaker at SAS Global Forum 2017 and a globally acknowledged Keynote Speaker and widely regarded as one of the world’s Top Female Futurists.
Learn more about Shara.
In the movie Minority Report lead character John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, has an eye transplant in order to avoid being recognized by ubiquitous iris scanning identification systems.
Such surgical procedures still face some fairly significant challenges, in particular connecting the optic nerve of the transplanted eye to that of the recipient. However the concept of pervasive individual identification systems is now very close to reality and although the surgical solution is already available, it’s seriously drastic!
We’re talking face recognition here.
Many facial recognition systems are built on the concept of “cooperative systems,” where you look directly at the camera from a pre-determined distance and you are well lit, and your photo is compared against a verified image stored in a database. This type of system is used extensively for border control and physical security systems.
Where it gets really interesting is with “non-cooperative systems,” which aim to recognize faces in a crowd: in non-optimal lighting situations and from a variety of angles. These systems aim to recognize people who could be wearing spectacles, scarves or hats, and who might be on the move. An Australian company, Imagus Technology has designed a system that is capable of doing just that — recognizing faces in a crowd.
To do this, the facial recognition system compiles a statistical model of a face by looking at low-frequency textures such as bone structure. While some systems may use very high-frequency features such as moles on the skin, eyelashes, wrinkles, or crow’s feet at the edges of the eyes — this requires a very high-quality image. Whereas, with people walking past, there’s motion blur, non-optimal camera angles, etcetera, so in this case using low-frequency information gets very good matches.
Biometrics are also gaining rapid acceptance for both convenience and fraud prevention in payment systems. The two most popular biometric markers are fingerprints and facial recognition, and are generally deployed as part of a two-factor authentication system. For example, MasterCard’s “Selfie Pay” app was launched in Europe in late 2016, and is now being rolled out to other global locations. This application was designed to speed-up and secure online purchases.
Facial recognition is particularly interesting, because while not every mobile phone in the world will be equipped with a fingerprint reader, virtually every device has a camera on it. We’re all suffering from password overload, and biometrics - if properly secured, and rolled out as part of a multi-factor authentication process - can provide a solution to coming up with, and remembering, complex passwords for the many apps and websites that we frequent.
Its not just about recognizing individuals
Facial recognition systems are also being used for marketing and demographics. In a store, for example, you might want to count the number of people looking at your billboard or your display. You'd like to see a breakdown of how many males and females there are, age demographics, time spent in front of the ad, and other relevant parameters.
Can you imagine a digital advertising sign equipped with facial recognition? In Australia, Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) devices are already being used to choose the right time to display a client’s advertising. To minimize wastage in ad spend, ads are displayed only to a relevant audience demographic; for instance, playing an ad for a family pie only when it sees a mum approaching.
What if you could go beyond recognizing demographics to analyzing people’s emotions? Advances in artificial intelligence are turning this science fiction concept into reality. Robots such as “Pepper” are equipped with specialized emotion recognition software that allows it to adapt to human emotions. Again, in an advertising context, this could prove to be marketing gold.
Of course new technologies is always a double-edged sword, and biometrics and advanced emotion detection certainly fall into this category.
For example, customers typically register for a biometric payment system in order to realize a benefit such as faster or more secure e-commerce checkouts or being fast-tracked through security checks at airports. However, the enterprise collecting and using this data must in turn satisfy the customer that their biometric reference data will be kept and managed securely, and used only for the stated purpose.
The advent of advanced facial recognition technologies provides new mechanisms for retailers and enterprises to identify customers, for example from CCTV cameras as they enter shops or as they view public advertising displays. It is when these activities are performed without the individual’s knowledge or consent that concerns arise.
Perhaps most worrisome is that emotion recognition technology would be impossible to control. For example, anyone would be able to take footage of world leaders fronting the press in apparent agreement after the outcome of major negotiations and perhaps reveal their real emotions!
From a truth perspective, maybe this would be a good thing.
But, imagine that you’re involved in intense business negotiations. In the not too distant future advanced augmented reality glasses or contacts could be used to record and analyze the emotions of everyone in the room in real time. Or, maybe you’re having a heart-to-heart talk with a family member or friend. Is there such a thing as too much information?
Most of the technology for widespread exploitation of face recognition is already in place: pervasive security cameras connected over broadband networks to vast resources of cloud computing power. The only piece missing is the software. Once that becomes reliable and readily available, hiding in plain sight will no longer be an option.
Find out more at the SAS Global User Forum
This is a preview of some of the concepts that Shara will explore in her speech on “Emerging Technologies: New Data Sets to Interpret and Monetize” at the SAS Global User Forum:
- Emerging technologies such as advanced wearables, augmented and virtual reality, and biometrics — all of which will generate massive amounts of data.
- Smart Cities — Bringing infrastructure to life with sensors, IoT connections and robots
- Self Driving Cars + Cars of the Future — Exploring the latest in automotive technologies, robot vision, vehicle sensors, V2V comms + more
- The Drone Revolution — looking at both the incredible benefits and challenges we face as drones take to the skies with high definition cameras and sensors.
- The Next Wave of Big Data — How AI will transform information silos, perform advanced voice recognition, facial recognition and emotion detection
- A Look Into the Future — How the convergence of biotech, ICT, nanotechnologies and augmentation of our bodies may change what it means to be human.
Join Shara for a ride into the future where humans are increasingly integrated with the ‘net!
About Shara Evans
Technology Futurist Shara Evans is a globally acknowledged Keynote Speaker and widely regarded as one of the world’s Top Female Futurists. Highly sought after and in demand by conference producers and media, Shara provides the latest insights and thought provoking ideas on a broad spectrum of issues. Shara can be reached via her website: www.sharaevans.com
(Note: My new website will be launching in a few weeks. In the meantime, the URL automatically redirects to my company website – www.marketclarity.com.au )
I will begin with a short story.
Like many employers, McDougall Scientific, my employer, requires its employees to review, with their co-workers and managers, what they learned at a conference or course. They are also asked to suggest applications of their learnings so that McDougall might realize value from the expense, both in time and money, of sending them to continuing education events.
Fei Wang, my co-worker, and I attended SAS Global Forum last year in Vegas. During her presentation to co-workers upon our return, Fei not only provided a comprehensive overview of the conference format, sessions, and learning opportunities, but she also chose one presentation to highlight that will fundamentally improve one of our business processes.
Although Fei attended many sessions and learned much, session 8480-2016, with thanks to Steven Black, will save McDougall enough time and money to dwarf the expenditure of sending Fei to SAS Global Forum.
“But John,” you might ask, “why not simply search the proceedings after the conference?” Well, because we would never think to search for CRF annotation automation. Innovation of this sort is more easily found by attending the conference. Discovering valuable nuggets like Steven’s idea is a common occurrence at SAS Global Forum.
The value that employers realize from SAS Global Forum is the reason “content is king,” a cliché first introduced by the magazine publishing industry in the mid-1970s.
Our speakers represent every region of the world!
Though there are a number of really great benefits from attending the conference, great content continues to reign supreme at SAS Global Forum. This year’s conference is no different. The 2017 Content Advisory Team has assembled a stellar lineup of well over 600 sessions; invited speakers, contributed papers, hands-on workshops, tutorials and posters. And, I am very proud to report that 25 countries are contributing speakers this year, with every region of the world represented: North, Central, and South Africa, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. This sort of global diversity brings new ideas and new ways of looking at and solving problems that really grows your knowledge and helps move your organization forward.
In addition to all of this great technical content, we have made special effort to organize sessions that help SAS Users better present their work. As Melissa Marshall famously claims, “Science not communicated is science not done.” Therefore, in keeping with the SAS Global Users Group’s mission to champion the needs of SAS users around the globe, here is a sampling of sessions that will help you better communicate.
The list starts with Melissa herself!
Present Your Science: Transforming Technical Talks
Session T108, Melissa Marshall, Principal, Melissa Marshall Consulting LLC
This versatile half-day workshop covers the full gamut: content strategy, slide design, and presentation delivery. With a dynamic combination of lecture, discussion, video analysis, and exercises, this workshop will truly transform how technical professionals present their work and will help foster a culture of improved communications throughout the SAS community.
How the British Broadcasting Corporation Uses Data to Tell Stories in a Visually Compelling Way
Session 0824, Amanda J Farnsworth, Head of Visual Journalism, BBC News
… data is often seen as a dry, detached, unemotional thing that's hard to understand and for many, easy to ignore. At the BBC, employees have been thinking hard about how to use data to tell stories in a visually compelling way that connects with audiences and makes them more curious about the world that we live in. And, there is an ever-increasing amount of data with which to tell those stories. Governments are publishing more big data sets about health, education, crime, and social makeup. Academics are generating huge amounts of data as a consequence of research. Businesses and other organizations conduct their own research and polling. The BBC’s aim is to take that data and make it relevant at a personal level, answering the audiences' number one question: what does this mean for me?
Convince Me: Constructing Persuasive Presentations
Session 0862, Frank Carillo, CEO and Anne Coffey, Senior Director, E.C.G. Inc.
Data outputs do not a persuasive argument make. Effective persuasion requires a combination of logic and emotion supported by facts. Statisticians dedicate their lives to analyzing data such that it is appropriate supporting evidence. While the appropriate evidence is essential to convince your listeners, you first have to be able to gain and maintain their attention and trust. Persuasive presentations fight for hearts and minds, and are not a dry, unbiased recitation of facts or analyses. This session is designed to provide suggestions for how to utilize successful structures and create emotional connections.
Data Visualization Best Practices: Practical Storytelling Using SAS®
Session T117, Greg S Nelson, CEO, Thotwave Technologies LLC.
Data means little without our ability to visually convey it. Whether building a business case to open a new office, acquiring customers, presenting research findings, forecasting or comparing the relative effectiveness of a program, we are crafting a story that is defined by the graphics that we use to tell it. Using practical, real-world examples, students will learn how to critically think about visualizations.
Presentations as Listeners Like Them: How to Tailor for an Audience
Session 0408, Frank Carillo, CEO and Anne Coffey, Senior Director, E.C.G. Inc.
Data doesn't speak for itself. We speak for it, and how we do that influences how people view and interpret that data. One of the most overlooked aspects of presenting data is analyzing the audience. At no point in history have speakers had to face such heterogeneous audiences as they do today: there might be many as five different generations in the room, cross-functional teams have broad areas of expertise, and international companies integrate different cultures and customs. This session is designed to teach attendees how to analyze not the data, but the listeners. Who is your audience? What is important to them? What is your message …?