sas global forum

3月 172016

Many of us here at SAS are hustling to prepare for SAS Global Forum set to begin April 18 in Las Vegas. This year’s agenda is shaping up to be a “can’t-miss” event. Monday, before SAS Global Forum begins, there are two SAS Certification testing events. Then after the conference […]

The post The road to SAS Global Forum: A training Q&A series appeared first on SAS Learning Post.

3月 172016

SAS Global ForumIn my last post, Expert tips for first-time attendees of SAS Global Forum 2016, I asked members of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board what advice they had for users attending SAS Global Forum for the first time. In this post, they share tips for returning attendees.

Each year, approximately 50% of SAS Global Forum attendees are first-timers. With attendance expected to exceed 5,000 for this year’s conference in Las Vegas, that means the other half – literally thousands of users – will be returning for at least their second conference experience. Some have made it a yearly ritual. Dr. Herbert Kirk, for example, will be attending his 37th SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas in April. Kirk is the former Vice President of SAS Education and currently an Executive in Residence at the NCSU Institute of Advance Analytics. He’s just one of several dozen users who have attended at least 30 conferences. Hundreds more will be attending SAS Global Forum for at least the tenth time.


Herbert Kirk

“Even though I’ve used SAS for more than 40 years, I always learn something new at SAS Global Forum,” said Kirk. “It’s amazing to see the innovative ways SAS is being used around the world. Plus, I get to meet a new generation of users and learn about the impressive things they’re doing with SAS. The conference really is a must for SAS professionals.”

With so many SAS users making SAS Global Forum an annual part of their career development, I asked the SAS Users Group Executive Board why so many users return year after year.

Here are some of their responses:

Stay fresh and innovative

“In our daily jobs it is hard to keep from getting stale,” said SAS Global Forum 2005 Chair Greg Nelson. “The conference provides an opportunity to stay fresh, network with others and spur innovation in our own ways of thinking. You just can’t get that from a book, blog or article.”

SAS Global Forum 2015 Chair Tyler Smith said the conference gives longtime users a current view of the ever-evolving world of analytics. “These days are not your parents ANOVAs or Logistic Regressions! Staying in tune with changing skills, capabilities, enablers, and key figures are critical for the development of all levels of expertise.”

Debbie Buck, chair of the 2011 conference, may have summed it up best. “I think that keeping current is the highest priority for users in attending SAS Global Forum. Learning how to utilize applications for non-obvious solutions are definitely something that users may not realize.”

Get motivated

Art Carpenter, chair of the 2003 conference, said SAS Global Forum is a great place for longtime SAS users to get revitalized. “The conference gives you a chance to rejuvenate and to explore the wealth of SAS knowledge that is shared by SAS users. Many of the most experienced programmers and users of SAS attend SAS Global Forum, and you can meet and learn from them all.”

SAS Global Forum 2014 chair Marje Fecht said each year brings together a unique set of users and learning opportunities. “SAS Global Forum has always provided an excellent opportunity to learn, to share, and to network. The collective business and technical knowledge of thousands of SAS users means that you will come home with new ideas, experiences, and skills each and every time you attend.

Learn what SAS has planned for the future

Vice President of SAS Publications Kathy Council said SAS Global Forum is a great place for returning attendees to learn about new SAS products, services and program. “SAS is a dynamic player in analytics and we’re constantly responding to the needs of our customers. It is very important to keep up with what SAS plans for the future.”

Frank Fry, 2001 chair, agreed with Council. He said The Quad, a space that invites attendees to gather, mingle, share and learn from their SAS peers, is the perfect place to learn about what SAS and its partners have planned for the future. “You can get valuable information from SAS staff and other attendees on the Quad.”

Continue to build your professional network

“Networking!” said the 2000 Chair Nancy Wilson when asked why attendees would want to attend SAS Global Forum each year. “When I am facing a new coding challenge the SAS users I met at conferences become resources. The ingenuity of user contributions are brilliant examples of real business uses of the SAS tools – and their success are published for us to leverage!”

“Networking and content are two things that keep me coming back year after year,” said Robert Fecht, the 2007 SAS Global Forum chair. “Select key presentations that you want to attend, and try to participate in all the networking activities that the location has to offer.”

Rick Mitchell, chair of SAS Global Forum 2013, encourages returning attendees, who often come for the content, to try to attend as many non-presentation activities as they can. “Network with people! There are so many people with different backgrounds who can give you new perspectives and learning experiences that may change your life.”

See old friends

Fry offered from parting advice for returning attendees: “Don’t forget to reconnect with old friends. I have made some real friends where we can share tips or other information. Some that I met in the 80's still connect by email, text or phone. What a great experience this has been.”

Lori Griffin, 2009 chair said SAS Global Forum can feel somewhat like one big family reunion: “This is one venue that has a family feel which fosters learning and networking.”

If you’re planning to attend your 2nd (or 40th) SAS Global Forum we’d love to hear what advice you’d give other returning attendees. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or go to our SAS Global Forum 2016 community site, a great place for attendees to learn the latest conference news and connect with others planning to attend.


tags: SAS Global Forum

Expert tips for returning attendees to SAS Global Forum 2016 was published on SAS Users.

3月 012016

Ten things that excite about SAS Global Forum 2016It’s hard to believe, but SAS Global Forum 2016 is less than two months away. As chair of this year’s conference, I’ve been preparing for the event for nearly two years. Now, it’s right around the corner!

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and contributing to the 2016 SAS Global Forum community group. This group was designed to help users stay updated on all things SAS Global Forum 2016. It's a great place to post questions, share ideas for content, and connect with others about the event.

As I was perusing the community recently, I started thinking about what I’m most looking forward to at the conference. Since I really can't choose one single thing, I thought I’d share with you the ten things that excite me most about SAS Global Forum 2016.

1) The First-Timers’ Session

This year, our First-Timers’ session takes place on Monday, April 18 from 2:30-3:30. I always enjoy seeing new faces at the conference and this session is a must if it’s your first conference experience.

2) The Academic Summit

Held on Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., this event showcases our SAS Ambassadors, Student Scholarship winners, Faculty Scholarship winners, and the Student Symposium semi-finalists. If you’re in academia, it’s a great time to see the award winners and network with fellow educators and students.

3) The Charity Event

This is event is SOOOOO much fun!  It is a great way to get to know fellow attendees and give back to the Las Vegas community at the same time. This year, attendees will roll up their sleeves on Monday at 7 p.m. to build, decorate and fill wagons with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) items.

4) Monday Evening Mingle and the #SASGF TweetUp

I can’t miss this event. Held from 7-9:30 p.m., this is the perfect place to eat, drink and tweet! It’s a great event to see old friends and make new ones.

5) SAS Student Symposium presentations

Conference sessions begin bright and early Tuesday morning and a few talks I definitely want to attend are the presentations from the first SAS Student Symposium. In these sessions, the semi-finalists will present their solutions to the analytics problem of their choice. I always love seeing the next generation of SAS users in action.

6) Conference Sessions

Getting to attend sessions in general is always a great experience. I always learn something that I can take back to my workplace and immediately implement!

7) Technology Connection

Held on Wednesday morning, the Technology Connection gives me the opportunity to learn about the new things being implemented at SAS. Also during this time we will be announcing the winners of the Student Symposium, and hear from Ben Casnocha, one of our super keynote presenters.

DavidMcCandless8) David McCandless

Though I’m looking forward to all the great talks, I am particularly excited about David McCandless. His keynote presentation will take place from 2:15-3:15 p.m. on Wednesday. David is the visualization king and I’m looking forward to the creative ways he tackles data presentation.

9) The Kick Back Party

All work and no play makes for a very boring Jennifer and I plan on being front and center at the Kick Back Party to dance and sing along with Capital Cities! This event will take place from 8:00-11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

SusanCain10) Susan Cain

Another keynote that really excites me! Susan is our final keynote presenter (8:30 on Thursday) and best-selling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Her talk promises to be an excellent one.

So there you have it. Jenn’s ten things to be excited about at SAS Global Forum 2016.

What about you?  What are you looking forward to at SAS Global Forum?



tags: SAS Global Forum

Ten things that excite me about SAS Global Forum 2016 was published on SAS Users.

2月 262016

SAS Global Forum 2016tips for first time attendees of SAS Global Forum is the largest gathering of SAS users in the world, with more than 5,000 data scientists, analytic professionals and business leaders expected for this year’s event at The Venetian in Las Vegas, April 18-21. While many users make the event a part of their professional development plan each year, about half of attendees are experiencing the event for the first time. (Last year 56% of attendees were first timers.)

With so many sessions, learning and networking opportunities, and activities, your first SAS Global Forum experience can be a little overwhelming. To help new attendees navigate their first conference experience, I asked several members of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board this question: What advice would you give first time attendees at SAS Global Forum?

Several great tips emerged.

Tip #1: Attend the First Timers Session.

Several board members recommend the appropriately named First-Timers’ Session as a great place to start. “The First-Timers’ Session will provide you with a road map on how to navigate the conference,” says 1990 SAS Global Forum chair Tony L. Oña. Oña says the session is designed to give first time attendees an overview of the conference, help them decide on what sessions to attend, and provide tips for getting the most out of their first conference experience. The session takes place on Monday, April 18 from 2:30-3:30pm.

Tip #2: Spend time in The Quad.

The Quad is a casual and interactive space that invites attendees to gather, mingle, share and learn from other SAS professionals. Independent Consultant and 2001 chair Frank Fry says The Quad is a great place to interact with SAS staff and partners. “Go to The Quad, ask questions of SAS staff or vendors and network.” The Quad offers software demos, business strategy sessions, theater presentations, games, and numerous networking opportunities. “Take advantage of all of the learning opportunities available in the Quad,” suggests 2011 Chair Debbie Buck. “And, try attend all the networking events and receptions held there.”

Tip #3: Make a plan.

Marje Fecht, 2014 chair, says there are so many talks, it can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. “Plan your agenda before you arrive as you’ll be too busy to do this at the conference!" Board member and SAS Vice President of Publications Kathy Council has similar advice. “Don’t try to do everything in the first year. Settle on one or two areas that interest you and focus on hearing those presentations.”

Tip #4: Buddy up.

Council also advises you to try to find a friend. “Try to buddy up with a friend. Whether that person has been to a past SAS Global Forum or not, you’ll find the experience less overwhelming with a friend. And, finding someone to hang around with and attend papers with can make the experience more fun.” Last year’s SAS Global Forum chair Tyler Smith was even more prescriptive: “Attach to someone wearing a lot of badge ribbons and follow them around!”

Tip#5: Get involved.

While it can be overwhelming, Smith advises first timers to dive right in. “Get involved. Go to everything.”  Art Carpenter, 2003 conference chair, suggests volunteering as a great way to get involved. Even though you haven’t attended, you can still volunteer. “The conference is run by volunteers, so volunteer to help at the conference. You will be surprised by how much helping at the conference will increase your conference experience. It will give you easy non-threatening opportunities to meet conference leaders and other SAS users, and will give you additional insight about the conference.”

This year’s Global Forum Chair and Executive Board member Jennifer Waller shares her thoughts on volunteering in her blog Can you help?” Volunteer opportunities aplenty at SAS Global Forum 2016.

Tip #6: Network.

Finally, members of the board encourage first time attendees to network. “Network with people,” says 2013 chair Rick Mitchell. “While it’s great to focus on the content of the conference, try to attend/participate in as many non-presentation activities as you can. There are so many people there with similar backgrounds to talk with, and there are so many others with different backgrounds that give you new perspectives and learning experiences that may change your life.”

So there’s a bit of advice for first timers from the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board. If you’ve attended past SAS Global Forums, do you have any additional tips for first time attendees? If so, feel free to contribute them in the comments below or begin a discussion in the SAS Global Forum 2016 community group.


tags: SAS Global Forum

Expert tips for first time attendees of SAS Global Forum 2016 was published on SAS Users.

2月 112016

You know when you visit Las Vegas you’ll have an experience you can only find in this one of a kind city. Where else can you gamble around the clock, get married in a drive-through, or see the Eiffel Tower without visiting Paris? So in the spirit of Vegas, SAS […]

The post Unique learning experience at SAS Global Forum appeared first on SAS Learning Post.

2月 042016

We’re a little less than three months away from SAS Global Forum 2016. While conference organizers are making final plans and SAS users are busy registering and reviewing the agenda, a group of SAS experts are diligently judging a very special contest for this year’s conference. The SAS Student Symposium […]

The post Behind the scenes of the SAS Global Forum Student Symposium appeared first on Generation SAS.

2月 022016

SAS Global ForumSAS Global Forum is the premier worldwide event for SAS professionals. It brings nearly 5,000 users and executives from across the world together to share new techniques and technologies to help expand users’ SAS skills. But an event of this size (hundreds of presentations, dozens of workshops and several networking opportunities) doesn’t just happen.  While SAS Global Forum is supported by SAS, the event is entirely planned and run by volunteers of the SAS Global Users Group and governed by an Executive Board charged with shaping the conference experience for fellow SAS users.

A Little History

Volunteers have been running the event since, well, before it was an event. It can be argued that the first event of SAS users occurred in 1974, when a two-hour “birds-of-a-feather” session of SAS software users was held at the annual IBM Share meeting. The following summer, SAS users met again for two days at Abbott Labs. These two gatherings were so successful that the attendees decided to plan an annual, international meeting of SAS users and the first annual International SAS Users Conference was held in Kissimmee, Florida, in January 1976.

After this initial experience, this group of volunteers realized that they simply didn’t have the resources to completely execute a large conference. They asked SAS to help with mailings and print collateral and formed the original SAS Global Forum Executive Board to handle planning and execution. The board would select a chair from its members. Eventually, every member of the original board served as chair, so the board began selecting new chairs from among users who were actively using SAS and regularly attending the annual conference. These new chairs became Executive Board members as well.

Today the Executive Board consists of 30 members and five SAS employees. These SAS experts have decades of technical and SAS expertise and are recognized as leaders in their chosen fields. Most importantly, though, they are fiercely dedicated to SAS and the user community.

The Role of the Executive Board

The goals of the Executive Board haven’t changed from those early days. They are charged with providing the SAS user community opportunities to:

  • Enhance skills with SAS content and professional development.
  • Increase understanding of all products and services provided by SAS.
  • Gain access to a network of peers for collaboration and information exchange.
  • Provide opportunities for feedback to SAS about their products, services, and policies.

SASGlobalForumExecutiveBoardIt’s a role the Executive Board takes very seriously. “My favorite part of being an Executive Board member is having the chance to make a difference for our attendees,” says Lori Griffin, the 2009 conference chair.   “Listening to what users are looking for in their conference experience and working to make that experience the best it can be is very rewarding.”

Executive Board Member and 2003 chair Art Carpenter agrees. “Being a member of the Executive Board provides me an opportunity to influence the direction and content of the SAS Global Forum Conference.”

Help Shape Your Conference Experience

Because they have such an impact on the event, Executive Board members actively seek and welcome feedback from the user community. In fact, if you know any of the members, they encourage you to contact them directly with ideas for presentations or thoughts on how to make the conference even more valuable. (View the members of the SAS Global Forum Executive Board.) If you don’t know anyone on the board, please share your ideas with event organizers ( who will bring your suggestions forward.

In addition to requesting your feedback, the Executive Board also asks that you consider volunteering. All Executive Board members started out as volunteers, expanding their involvement over the years, and know how critical volunteers are to the success of the event. “I come from a big Catholic family and we were expected to share our time, talent, and treasure, and to always help and pitch in whenever possible,” said Executive Board Member Tony L. Oña, the 1990 conference chair. “There is great satisfaction knowing that you’ve made a difference and did your best in making things happen for the greater good. By getting involved, I’ve met with great success, have learned a lot and developed lasting friendships along the way.”

There are numerous volunteer opportunities and tons of reasons to volunteer. Jennifer Waller, This year’s Global Forum Chair and Executive Board member Jennifer Waller shares her thoughts on volunteering in her blog Can you help?” Volunteer opportunities aplenty at SAS Global Forum 2016. You can learn more about 2016 SAS Global Forum volunteer opportunities and sign up on our Volunteer page, or contact Global Forum’s Volunteer Coordinator at

If you plan to attend SAS Global Forum this year, make your conference experience one to remember. Help the SAS Global Forum Executive Board shape the perfect conference experience by sharing your feedback and volunteering. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll chair a conference and become a member of the SAS Global Forum Executive Board.

P.S. Nominations for the 2019 chair are open. Learn more.






tags: SAS Global Forum, SAS Global Forum Executive Board

SAS Global Forum Executive Board: Shaping the conference experience for SAS users was published on SAS Users.

1月 302016

SAS Global ForumSAS Global Forum is an all-volunteer event, with SAS users from around the globe serving in a variety of roles to make the event happen. Still, no position is more impactful to the success of the conference than the SAS Global Forum Conference Chair. Its importance is highlighted by the fact that the chair position is filled approximately three years in advance of the event. So if you do the math, and even I can do this math, it’s time to receive nominations and ultimately select the chair for SAS Global Forum 2019. Nominations are currently being accepted and will continue through Feb. 8.

This much lead time might seem like overkill, but the chair utilizes every bit of it. (BTW, the conference chair also has duties in the years following the conference, so it really is a multi-year appointment!) At three years out, the chair is shadowing other conference chairs and reviewing surveys and data to determine what’s working or might need more focus. At two years out, the chair develops and refines their conference plans, themes, goals, etc. The year of the conference is spent working with the Global Forum Conference Team on content planning, attracting speakers, encouraging submissions and executing the event. Through all this lead up, the chair is participating on the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board and attending conference planning meetings. After the conference and in future years the chair continues to be an active member of the Executive Board.

Clearly, it’s a special SAS professional who can successfully serve as conference chair and many, many hours go into vetting candidates, interviewing them and deciding on the best candidate to fill this role.

Chair of SAS Global Forum - Debbie BuckFormer chair and current Executive Board member Debbie Buck is serving as Chair of the Nominations Committee for the 2019 search. Debbie is currently a Senior Statistical Programmer/Analyst with Chiltern and was an independent statistical consultant and an instructor for SAS for many years. She was also previously with Theorem Clinical, the Washington University School of Medicine, and Louisiana State University. Over the past 30 years, she’s served in a number of volunteer roles for the SAS Users Groups at the local, in-house, regional and international levels. She served as chair for a number of events, including SCSUG 1997, SSU 2001 (the Joint Conference of the SouthEast and South Central SAS Users Groups) and SAS Global Forum 2011, held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV.

Recently, I asked Debbie to share a little more information about the nomination process.

Larry LaRusso: Who would you consider a good candidate for SAS Global Forum Conference Chair? What experience should this person have?

Debbie Buck: Good candidates should be current SAS users or managers who are active in the SAS community and other professional conferences and organizations. They should also have good presentation and leadership experience, yet know how to be a great collaborator. Also, good candidates should have ideas on how they might want to shape their conference content to attract and benefit the conference attendees and SAS user community in general. As a past chair, I can confidently say that everyone who has served in this role, and all of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board, wants to ‘give back’ to the SAS community. We have benefited from attending SAS User Group conferences and using SAS has played a significant role in our professional lives. A good chair will sincerely want the entire SAS user community to benefit from their input and expertise.

LL: What is the role of the Conference Chair prior to, during and after SAS Global Forum?

DB: Conference Chairs are really committing to multiple years of service. A newly selected conference chair immediately becomes an active member of the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board. Prior to, during, and continuing after their tenure as chair, they actively collaborate with SAS and the Executive Board for conference planning activities and outreach to the SAS user community. As conference chair, they focus on establishing conference content by working with the conference team to identify topics of interest, engage high profile speakers, encourage volunteer participation, and attract SAS users.

LL: What are the main benefits, and I’m thinking personally and professionally here, for someone who is selected as a conference chair?

DB: Chairing SAS Global Forum provides a number of benefits to the individual and his or her company. These benefits include increased visibility in the SAS Community; leadership development (you lead an international conference of nearly 5,000 attendees); technical development and additional knowledge using SAS; and exposing your company’s brand and increasing their standing as a leader in the technology space. Plus, you get to spend a great deal of time with and get to know SAS leaders and executives.

LL: This all sounds great. Can you tell me how someone might apply for the 2019 Conference Chair position?

DB:  Information on how to apply is available at the website. I really encourage anyone interested in applying, to submit an application. And, if you know of someone who would make a great chair, encourage them to apply as well. But you should hurry; applications are due by Feb. 8, 2016.

LL: Thanks for your time Debbie.

DB: My pleasure.

tags: SAS Global Forum

Nominations for Chair of SAS Global Forum 2019 being accepted through Feb. 8 was published on SAS Users.

1月 192016

SmallGraphicThis April, thousands of SAS users will converge on Las Vegas for the premier event for SAS professionals: SAS Global Forum. The event will attract users from across the globe; in every industry imaginable; and from countless government and academic institutions. It’s an excellent place to network with and learn from users of all skill levels, with professionals with 40 years of SAS experience to those just getting started in attendance. To help those relatively new to SAS experience the conference for the first time, the SAS Global Users Group Executive Board put together the Junior Professional Award program.

The program is designed exclusively for professionals who have used SAS on the job for three years or less, have never attended SAS Global Forum, and whose circumstances would otherwise keep them from attending. And, don’t let the word “junior” confuse you. The award is available for full-time SAS professionals, regardless of age. (In fact, it’s perfect for individuals making a mid-life career change or those who recently started using SAS in their job.) You also don’t have to be a SAS programmer. If you’re using SAS as a researcher, systems administrator, analyst or really any line of work, you would qualify.

The Junior Professional award provides user with free conference registration, free training, and a number of opportunities to learn from and network in the larger SAS community. While the program doesn’t cover all costs (travel and lodging are not included), it does remove some of the financial barriers newer SAS users may have in getting approval to attend.

To apply, users simply need to fill out the online application form. Award applications must be received by January 31, 2016. Questions can be directed to the Junior Professional Program Coordinator.

VirkudATo learn more about the award and its benefits, I recently sat down with one of last year’s winners, Arti Virkud.

Larry LaRusso: Hello Arti. First of all, congratulations on winning one of last year’s Junior Professional awards. Tell me how you first learned about the program?

Arti Virkud: I learned about the award from my manager and a colleague at the New York City Department of Health, both of whom were previous award recipients. We have tried really hard to spread the word about what an incredible opportunity this is for SAS professionals on our team.

LL:  What made you want to attend SAS Global Forum and why did you decide to apply?

AV: I’ve used SAS on a daily basis for over two years now, but have been using SAS in some capacity for much longer. My colleagues raved about SAS Global Forum and emphasized what an incredible opportunity it is to learn new techniques, network with incredibly talented SAS professionals, and learn about new research projects happening around the world. For me, applying was a no-brainer.

LL: What were your first impressions of SAS Global Forum?

AV: It’s huge! While that might sound intimidating at first, it was actually great to learn how SAS is being used outside of my field and expertise. I not only got to learn from people doing similar work as me, but I got to network with users from other fields who have built out fascinating skills or programs that I can apply to my work.

LL: What was the best part of your Global Forum experience?

AV: It’s probably a tie between the Quad and the networking opportunities. Actually, maybe it’s a combination of the two because I really enjoyed bonding with my fellow award winners and exploring the Quad with them to build out solutions to common obstacles we face in our projects and research. Another highlight was the Junior Professional Award lunch, where we got the opportunity to speak to expert SAS users. That was such a cool and unique experience.

LL: I understand you presented at the conference as well. Tell me a little about that experience.

AV: It was a really important step in my professional development. It was my first presentation to a global audience, so it taught me a lot of the differences in presenting to a diverse group of people. It was so cool that I was able to get feedback on my presentation through the conference app, and as a presenter, I was so wonderfully supported by SAS. It turned out my topic had a lot of interest, so I got incredible questions, recommendations, and contacts out of the experience. Presenting was certainly a highlight of my conference experience, so I would encourage future award winners to submit abstracts.

LL: What are doing now? Are you using SAS?

AV: Right now, I work as a data analyst focused in epidemiological research at the New York City Department of Health. I use SAS every day to pull data and complete statistical analyses to answer important population health research questions. I’m planning to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in epidemiology. In fact, at the lunch I just mentioned, I sat with an epidemiologist who made a really important impact on my planning and introduced me to some potential research collaboration opportunities.

LL: How were you able to apply the knowledge you gained from the experience to what you’re doing now?

AV: Honestly, the most direct application was the opportunity to talk with experts who can answer questions I had with my projects. For example, I was trying to figure out the appropriateness of the quasi-likelihood information criterion for PROC GENMOD in model selection for a study I was working on, and I was able to talk to the individuals responsible for crafting that output in SAS. It was crucial to my research.

LL: Any other comments about the award?

AV: I would really like to encourage anyone eligible to apply for the award. The attention to detail and quality of SAS Global Forum exceeded my expectations. Conference organizers, SAS, and other attendees really treated the Junior Professional award winners well. I found my fellow awardees to be incredibly talented and fun individuals, and I really treasured the opportunity to meet them. I left the conference with a tremendous built-in network of fellow SAS users that I use all the time.

LL: Thanks Arti. Sounds like it was an awesome experience. If you’d like to learn even more information on the program, read last year’s conversation with Junior Professional Program Coordinator, Sally Carson.


tags: Junior Professional, SAS Global Forum

Junior Professional Program brings the SAS Global Forum experience to new users was published on SAS Users.

12月 212015

SmallGraphic“What’s your major?” All of us recognize the cliché intro line from our years at university. It was the fail-safe, go-to remark to get a conversation started. The most difficult time when meeting someone socially is the first few moments. First impressions are important and the interactions we have during this time can have a lasting effect on our future relationship (or lack thereof!). Of course, the last few moments may be more difficult than the first, and some might argue that final impressions carry at least equal weight as first; but that is a topic beyond the intended scope of this blog.

Networking, or making professional connections, is not unlike meeting people socially. The first few moments can be uncomfortable; you want to make a good first impression, but worry that you will not. But networking can be one of the most rewarding activities in your professional life. It can help advance your career, introduce you to new ideas, and connect you to successful peers in your chosen field.

As a SAS user, there is no better place to network than SAS Global Forum. As you prepare to attend the event in April, here are few things to keep in mind while networking at SAS Global Forum.

  • Face-to-face introductions are far more rewarding than connecting digitally. Non-verbal communication, atmosphere, and instantaneous response are all aspects of face-to-face meetings that digital networking will never (ever!) replicate.
  • Two threads that connect all SAS Global Forum attendees are SAS and data; we are all “data people” using SAS to meet an analytical objective. This binds us together; use them as your “fail-safe, go-to” intro line. It will ease any stress of that initial meeting.
  • One of the great features of SAS Global Forum is the mix of structured and unstructured opportunities to meet colleagues and peers. Some of us thrive on the dynamic nature of unstructured events like the Kick Back Party, Meet-ups, and Quad Socials. Others (including yours truly) are more comfortable with the predictable nature of a breakout session, panel discussion, or table talk. The charity event is a bit of both; a social gathering with a planned agenda. Know your style and take advantage of it by networking where you are most comfortable.

Face-to-face networking with like-minded professionals is one of the top reasons to attend SAS Global Forum. Re-read Marje Fecht’s timeless “9 tips for better networking at SAS Global Forum” (numbers 6 and 9 are vital) and apply her advice to your style for a winning strategy to an enjoyable and fulfilling networking experience.

So, if you see me at SAS Global Forum 2016 in April, please say hello. And, when we are at the Kick Back Party, don’t be surprised if I ask: “What’s your PROC”?

tags: SAS Global Forum

"What's your major?" Thoughts about networking at SAS Global Forum was published on SAS Users.