2月 222011
Find out how to get to your content faster. This comment was recently provided via the feedback link on
I wish I could navigate directly to the documentation without descending 3-4 levels in a tree. I'd like to just type RAND and go directly to the Base SAS documentation for the RAND function

I hope that the information below turns your wish into a reality.
  1. Go to

  2. Look for the search box that appears in the top right corner of every page. Type RAND function syntax and select Search.

  3. Review the results and notice that you have four excellent results in the top six search results. The results include

    Functions and CALL Routines: RAND Function
    Functions Syntax Sorted by Product
    Functions Syntax Sorted by Category
    Functions Syntax Sorted Alphabetically
The first link in your results takes you directly to the RAND function syntax. No drilling and no scrolling required.

Drilling through links is not required, but scrolling may be. If you select one of the other links, you will be required to scroll down the page a bit. But here's a trick to help with that. Bring focus to your browser window then press the Ctrl + f keys to display a Find box. This will search the contents of the page displayed in your browser. Type the text you want to find.

Why did this search work better than the search you conducted for RAND? Because I included the word syntax in my search query.

If you found this search tip helpful, watch my SAS TALKS presentation live on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM ET. If you miss the live version, don't worry. It will also be available as an on-demand presentation a few days later.
2月 222011
Find out how to get to your content faster. This comment was recently provided via the feedback link on I wish I could navigate directly to the documentation without descending 3-4 levels in a tree. I'd like to just type RAND and go directly to the Base SAS documentation [...]
1月 052011
My colleague, Cailyn Clark and I were talking recently about how many times we have seen organizations implement search and content management systems only to still find that their employees are spending about 30 percent of their time searching for content.

Cailyn summarized it best, as outlined, in the recent article, published by Dashboard Insight, "Text Analytics for Smarter Search." Here's an excerpt:
Many organizations have already implemented content management or search tools. So why is finding content so difficult and time consuming? Within content management repositories there are no organizational search capabilities. Without search, there is nothing to drill down on or refine, so ultimately, there is no additional contextual information provided with these tools. Enterprise content is thus separated in specialized silos that are scattered in most organizations, and seldom properly managed – even with content management tools. These silos of unshared information are waiting to be found.
Read the full article, where Cailyn shares how metadata generation solutions improve current systems and create more productive employees. Would you agree?

Find Documentation for Any Procedure

 Q and A, SAS Documentation, search  Find Documentation for Any Procedure已关闭评论
10月 182010
Q: I cannot readily reach data on specific procedures. What is the best way to find procedure documentation?

A: Try searching the SAS Procedures by Name and Product book. This document is available for SAS 9.2, but can be helpful for any SAS®9 user. The book provides SAS procedures listed by name and procedures grouped by product.

To get started
  1. Open SAS Procedures by Name and Product from the 9.2 Documentation page on

  2. Highlight the Search this document text in the search box for this book.

  3. Decide to locate the procedure by name or the product that you are using. For this example, let's go with SAS Procedures by Name.

  4. This is an alphabetic listing, so you can select the letter at the top of the page to jump down, or simply scroll down the page.

    Let's look for PROC CONTENTS. You'll notice that there are five entries for PROC CONTENTS. Each entry contains a link to the appropriate location within a book as well as the name of the book in which it appears.
    The following image displays the list for PROC CONTENTS.

Hint: When on a long listing page like the list of SAS Procedures, try using Ctrl+f to invoke a Find window. This tip can cut your page scrolling time considerably.

You may also be interested in the discussion forums that are dedicated to SAS procedures. Visit the forums at
7月 102010
You would think that a in discipline focused on information retrieval, where understanding the meaning of words and phrases is critical, everyone would know the difference between a taxonomy, an ontology, a thesauri and semantics. Oddly this is not always the case.

It's not that the terms are poorly defined; the terms are extremely well defined - with fun words like entity, hyponym, or zeugma. Now you have some new words for Scrabble. I think, could be wrong, the confusion comes from the fact that information retrieval relies on each term in the acronym TOTS.

Some asides:
  • The phrase “I think, could be wrong,” is a zeugma, the noun "I" is a noun that links "could be wrong" with "I think"—the I is implied in "could be wrong."

  • The game Scrabble is an example of an entity, a separate and distinct object or concept.

  • Information Retrieval is a hyponym of the more general term Search.

Now, I will use one of my favorite guilty pleasures, tater tots, to help explain the differences between, a taxonomy, an ontology, a thesauri and semantics: aka TOTS.

I recently read an article about new, trendy gourmet tots: everything from blue cheese tots to truffle tots. Another trendy thing is foraging for wild food. Depending on where you live this might include: clams, wild mushrooms, herbs, thistle, blueberries and much more. In order to understand the definitions contained in the acronym TOTS, I will try to discover a recipe for the ultimate trendy food "Gourmet forage tater tots," and define what I'm doing as I go.

To start, how do search engines and text analytics products know what I am talking about when I type the word “tots?" Am I talking about the Tater Tots? Or an 8th grade class? What are the semantics of what I am talking about in the document?
Continue reading "TOTS: Taxonomy, Ontology, Thesauri and Semantics"
6月 252010
As a member of the Triangle Chapter of the American Marketing Association, I enjoy a monthly opportunity to hear local CEO’s and CMO’s discuss their Marketing strategies. The June event, focused on Search Engine Marketing (SEM), was a lively panel discussion moderated by the hilarious Neal Lancia; and ably staffed by three local business leaders. The line up looked like this:

The wide ranging discussion narrowed in on how to compete as a Small/Medium Business (SMB), and also touched on the impact of Social Media on Search.

Reacting to a question about competing, as a SMB, against the big guys in SEM, Michael Hubbard responded that “search has become the great equalizer.” Local businesses he said, should learn to leverage the unique knowledge they have and develop a customized message. Maximize your results by using the tools within the Search Engines to your advantage.

Sally Lowery, herself a small business executive, reminded us of the power, and flexibility, of great content. “Create content,” she said “and repurpose it in all of the methods you can.” A successful blog post becomes content for an email campaign. That great webcast becomes a whitepaper.

Mark Rockett urged us to “understand what is driving conversions on the back end.” Dig deep to understand how each of your tactics impact the other, and which are driving conversions. The other panelists agreed. Understand which paid search terms are working best for you, then make sure to integrate those terms into your website and other online content. Do this right and you can greatly improve your organic search rankings. And, we were reminded, there’s a strong correlation between paid and organic search results: if both show up on the same results page, you can expect up to 14% better results!

An interesting point of discussion for me concerned the common mistakes marketers make in Search Engine Marketing; there are three:

  1. Leaving your SEM campaign on autopilot. Sally urged the attendees to monitor and adjust DAILY.
  2. Trusting Google. Michael pointed out that the default settings from Google are set up to optimize Google’s profit, not yours.
  3. Lack of tracking what people do once they have interact with your advertisement. Back-end tracking is critical to understanding and improving your results.

The panelists did not agree on everything, however. Concerning the impact of Social Media, one called it “chasing the next shiny object” at the same time another praised Social’s dramatic ability (if done well) to improve search rankings.

Parting thoughts? Outside factors impact search. The panelists encouraged us to try our best to comprehend what triggered a persons’ thought to search, and to think about the full marketing-mix, as search is only one piece of the puzzle.

What do you think? Are there other common mistakes marketers make with search? Compared to the rest of your marketing-mix, how important is search for your organization?
6月 022010
We don't display dates on our Web pages. We used to do that. Some people felt that content was less useful if it was older. That isn't always true. contains some great samples that show language usage best practices. These samples are as valuable today as they were the day they were written. However, sometimes it does help to move the newest content to the top of the list. For these reason, each file is tagged with a creation date and a date for the last significant update.

You can use this date to sort your search results from newest to oldest. (By default, search results are displayed based on their ranking in relation to words submitted to the search engine and the other content returned.) Sorting by date is really easy. Simply select the Date column to the left of your search results.

Below are two images. The first shows the relevance ranking for a search of websphere. The second shows those results sorted by date.

Top five results sorted by relevance

Top five results sorted by date

The SGF Text Analytics Conversation — SAS Global Forum and Text Analytics

 search, sentiment analysis, sgf, text analytics, text mining, |t:  The SGF Text Analytics Conversation — SAS Global Forum and Text Analytics已关闭评论
4月 192010
WOW, just got back from the SAS Users Group meeting, SAS Global Forum 2010. What makes SAS Global Forum (SGF) so special are the people, the networking and the conversations. Because of the conversations I have with customers and the papers that are presented, SGF is very informative, and talking to customers, getting reacquainted with customers I’ve seen met previously and meeting new customers is always exciting to me. But SGF10 is going to be hard to beat.

Faisal Dosani in his Blog My Little Piece of the Internet said it best:

After 4 days of learning, listening and sharing knowledge SAS Global forum is over :-(
I have to say it was an awesome conference this time around and there were some really interesting topics.
Faisal goes on to discuss some papers he went to, thanks for the review Faisal, he also gives a good amount to coverage to SAS’ new offering, SAS Social Media Analytics.

SAS launched SAS Social Media Analytics; the new Customer Intelligence blog—Get, Grow, Keep—has great information about the launch of SAS Social Media Analytics and how it uses SAS Text Analytics, and a great amount of information on SAS Global Forum.

Social Media involves a lot of Text Analytics, one reason I was really busy talking to people, and I missed the presentations I was hoping to go see.

There is a lot to Text Analytics. For a great overview, sign up and attend Text Analytics 101 Webinar on Wednesday Apr 21st, by Kathy Lang and Fiona McNeil.

Oddly enough my paper “The Twitter Conversation – Analyzing Twitter” was a very appropriate and timely topic. In the paper I compare looking at topics on Twitter to attending a conference, like SGF. Why? Because everyone is talking about various things, from the latest paper to the best resteraunt in Seattle, but they all have one thing in common: they are mentioning things about SGF, even if it is reconnecting and meeting new people and talking about shared interests.

This year my paper really reflected what was going at the conference. I got to talk to some really great people. I am always amazed at how smart, and ingenious people are. I get to hear the problems customers are trying to solve; the things I hear that people want to do with Text Analytics, to quote Faisal again, is awesome. So just like Twitter, I am going to let you listen in on a little bit of the conversation:

Improve healthcare by looking at medical records: The analysis of what people are saying to their doctors, what the actual effects are, based on structured data. How does Sentiment Analysis play a role in medicine? What are other factors influencing healthcare and categorizing that information?

The use of search to find the proper information: How can ontology and search help my people improve their information retrieval? We have problems finding what we need and many times there is information out there that we miss, because we don’t know what to ask. Ontology to the rescue, I say.

Understanding collaborative networks within and outside the organization: The use of log files from IT systems, reports, help desk information and social media, both internal and external. It's an interesting twist and uses Content Categorization, Sentiment Analysis and Text Mining, not to mention other SAS products like Social Link Analysis.

Improving Collaboration:Discover topics of research from disjointed areas: “If I know what group of people are working on topics that could help from collaboration then bringing the people together can really help all parties...”
And this is only a fraction of what people are talking about when they refer to Text Analytics.

In my paper I talked about understanding influencers by how focused they are on the topic of interest. And these customers were not only focused on Text Analytics they were passionate about it.

I can’t wait to connect with them and have them be a part of the Text Analytics “re-tweet network”…OK, to understand that comment see the paper, The Twitter Conversation – Analyzing Twitter , my plug for Text Analytics everywhere.
2月 162010
Q: A customer wrote, "What, no stored process samples?"
A: We do have samples and notes about writing and using stored processes. We do not have a browse topic for stored processes. Therefore, to find samples about creating and maintaining stored processes, you will have to use the search feature.

  1. Go to

  2. Select Samples & SAS Notes from the left navigation. The sub-items for this section will be displayed.

  3. Select Search SAS Samples from the left navigation.

  4. Type stored processes in the search box next to contenttype:"Sample".
    The result is 98 items.

As you know, there is always more than one way to accomplish a task. A more efficient way to accomplish the same results is

  1. Go to

  2. Type stored processes in the search box and select Samples & SAS Notes from the drop list.

  3. Select Search
  4. .
  5. Select Samples from the Type drop list found in the Filter Results By: area of the page.

Hint: If you know exatly what you hope to find, you may want to give Advanced Search a try.

If you don't find the examples that you were hoping for, visit the SAS Stored Processes forum and ask for references or specific help.