I'm always looking for ways to make my job sound more relevant to people who ask me, "so what does SAS do?" SAS does so much that I can't possibly list it all, so I need some umbrella terms that can capture the essence of it (and still keep the attention of the listener who thought this was just making polite conversation).
"Explaining SAS" is less of an issue than it once was, because SAS-the-company has become pretty famous as a great place to work. So while I don't have to explain who SAS is, I still often have to talk about what SAS does and why it should matter to you.
I was recently part of a delegation who took the message to some local 7th graders, as we went into the classroom and "taught" STEM-related course material for a day. For my part, I taught a lesson about how data integration is critical for law enforcement. We even had a hands-on activity where we "solved" a crime using data matching techniques (and good police work, of course).
But the lesson that really captured the imagination of these kids had to do with NBA basketball. The students learned not only about the role of analytics in improving player and team performance, but also how Customer Analytics are used to improve the experience of fans. They heard the story of how the Orlando Magic uses the science of numbers to make games even more fun for attendees (and more profitable for the team).
Customer Analytics is one of those useful umbrella terms that I can now use to talk about what SAS does. For example, I can tell my parents (who love Las Vegas) the role that SAS plays in the loyalty programs they use. And it's how banks and insurance companies work to get more customers, and offer more services to the customers they already have.
During this International Year of Statistics, it's great to remember our statistical roots. But analytics is how we use statistics, combined with business and industry knowledge, to make a difference.
I was honored by the invitation and enjoyed putting together a presentation titled the Value of SAS. It was about the value in learning SAS as a skill and the value that SAS Software offers in the products and solutions to organizations around the world. In my presentation, I spoke about my own experiences in learning SAS at university and the skills, projects and opportunities it has provided me over the years. I also referenced the recent findings that SAS skills will be the #1 job skill for a bigger paycheck, which seemed to raise some interest from the audience.
The Forensic and Business Intelligence class assists students in analyzing large data sources and reporting their findings to assist managerial decision making. This unit provides students with theoretical and practical skills in forensic and business intelligence through the use of SAS Software and other technologies, to investigate business related data resources to identify fraud, and to support corporate performance and decision making.
In the guest lecture, I discussed some of the projects that I had worked on over the years and how SAS solves real-world problems like combatting fraud through the combined strengths of SAS solutions and technologies, highlighting the value of SAS to businesses in making fact-based decisions. I also spoke about the SAS Work Placement Program, a unique initiative linking SAS customers with SAS skilled students in Australia and New Zealand and encouraged the audience to come along to our next QUEST meeting to learn more from Geordie Tait, SAS Academic Program Coordinator who will be presenting on the program 30 August 2012. I also told them that there will be many SAS users there who might also help them with their assignments. :-)
At the end of the lecture, attentive students were rewarded with SAS giveaways and left knowing about the Value of SAS to students today, tomorrow and in the future…
I’d be keen to hear your own experiences with the Value of SAS. Please leave your comments below.
Every summer, SAS hires interns from colleges across the US. Now, I've worked at other organizations, and I've worked with interns before. These guys are brilliant - the rising stars of industry. This year, one of the summer interns is Dylan Sweetwood. He'll be returning to Stanford in the fall, but for now one of the things that he is working on is a blog series called SAS Loves Math.
In his intro post, he says he'll be writing about SAS people who "specialize in many different kinds of math and use math in a variety of ways, both at work and at home." In his posts, he lets the SAS employees talk about what they do - from research and development to marketing and sales - their background in mathematics, how they use math in their jobs, who their favorite mathematicians are and why math is so irresistible.
If you haven't been following the series, now is the time to start. Recent interviews include:
By the way, Dylan is looking for nominations. Do you know someone at SAS who really loves math? Send Dylan an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with their name and he'll take it from there.