Tech

9月 282016
 

open_source_models_using_sasWith my first open source software (OSS) experience over a decade ago, I was ecstatic. It was amazing to learn how easy it was to download the latest version on my personal computer, with no initial license fee. I was quickly able to analyse datasets using various statistical methods.

Organisations might feel similar excitement when they first employ people with predominantly open source programming skills. . However, it becomes tricky to organize an enterprise-wide approach based solely on open source software. . However, it becomes tricky to organize an enterprise-wide approach based solely on open source software. Decision makers within many organisations are now coming to realize the value of investing in both OSS and vendor provided, proprietary software. Very often, open source has been utilized widely to prototype models, whilst proprietary software, such as SAS, provides a stable platform to deploy models in real time or for batch processing, monitor  changes and update - directly in any database or on a Hadoop platform.

Industries such as pharma and finance have realised the advantages of complementing open source software usage with enterprise solutions such as SAS.

A classic example is when pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials, which must follow international good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines. Some pharma organisations use SAS for operational analytics, taking advantage of standardized macros and automated statistical reporting, whilst R is used for the  planning phase (i.e. simulations), for the peer-validation of the results (i.e. double programming) and for certain specific analyses.

In finance, transparency is required by ever demanding regulators, intensified after the recent financial crisis. Changing regulations, security and compliance are mitigating factors to using open source technology exclusively. Basel’s metrics such as PD, LGD and EADs computation must be properly performed. A very well-known bank in the Nordics, for example, uses open source technology to build all type of models including ensemble models, but relies on SAS’ ability to co-exist and extend open source on its platform to deploy and operationalise open source models.

Open source software and SAS working together – An example

The appetite of deriving actionable insight from data is very crucial. It is often believed that when data is thoroughly tortured, the required insight will become obvious to drive business growth. SAS and open source technology is used by various organisations to achieve maximum business opportunities and ROI on all analytics investment made.

Using the flexibility of prototyping predictive model in R and the power and stable platform of SAS to handle massive dataset, parallelize analytic workload processing, a well-known financial institution is combining both to deliver instant results from analytics and take quick actions.

How does this work?

SAS embraces and extends open source in different ways, following the complete analytics lifecycle of Data, Discovery and Deployment.

open-source-models-using-sas

An ensemble model, built in R is used within SAS for objective comparison within SAS Enterprise Miner (Enterprise Miner is a drag and drop, workflow modelling application which is easy to use without the need to code) – including an R model within the ‘open source integration node.’

open-source-models-using-sas1

Once this model has been compared and the best model identified from automatically generated fit statistics, the model can be registered into the metadata repository making it available for usage on all SAS platform.

We used SAS Model Manager to monitor Probability of Default(PD) and Loss Given Default(LGD) model. All models are also visible to everyone within the organization depending on system rights and privileges and can be used to score and retrain new dataset when necessary. Alerts can also be set to monitor model degradation and automated message sent for real time intervention.

open-source-models-using-sas2

Once champion model was set and published, it was used in Real Time Decision Manager(RTDM) flow to score new customers coming in for loan. RTDM is a web application which allows instant assessment of new applications without the need to score the entire database.

As a result of this flexibility the bank was able to manage their workload and modernize their platform in order to make better hedging decisions and cost saving investments. Complex algorithms can now be integrated into SAS to make better predictions and manage exploding data volumes.

open-source-models-using-sas3

tags: open source, SAS Enterprise Miner

Operationalising Open Source Models Using SAS was published on SAS Users.

9月 262016
 

mwsug-2016-logoOver the past 37 years I've had the good fortune to be able to attend and present at hundreds of in-house, local, regional, special-interest and international SAS events. I am a conference junkie. I've not only attended thousands of presentations, Hands-On Workshops, tutorials, breakout sessions, quick tips, posters, breakfasts, luncheons, mixers and more, but have had the privilege of hearing, seeing and networking with thousands of like-minded SAS users and presenters as they share valuable tips, techniques, advice, and suggestions on how to best use the SAS software.

For me, attending, volunteering and participating at SAS conferences and events has not only brought personal satisfaction like nothing else, it has allowed me to grow myself professionally and make many life-long friends. One of my objectives while attending a conference is to identify and learn at least three new things I didn't already know about SAS software. These three new things could consist of "cool" programming tips, unique coding techniques, "best" practice conventions, or countless other SAS-related nuggets.

At the upcoming 2016 MidWest SAS Users Group (MWSUG) Educational Forum and Conference, I'll be presenting several topics near and dear to my heart including "Top Ten SAS Performance Tuning Techniques." This 50-minutes presentation highlights my personal top ten list of performance tuning techniques for SAS users to apply in their programs and applications. If you are unable to attend, here are a couple programming tips and techniques from each performance area to consider.

CPU Techniques

1. Use IF-THEN / ELSE or SELECT-WHEN / OTHERWISE in the DATA step, or a Case expression in PROC SQL to conditionally process data.

2. CPU time and elapsed time can be reduced by using the SASFILE statement to process the same data set multiple times.

I/O Techniques

1. Consider using data compression for large data sets.

2. Build and use indexed data sets to improve access to data subsets.

Data Storage Techniques

1. Use data compression strategies to reduce the amount of storage used to store data sets.

2. Use KEEP= or DROP= data set options to retain desired variables.

Memory Techniques

1. Use memory-resident DATA step constructs like Hash objects to take advantage of available memory and memory speeds.

2. Use the MEMSIZE= system option to control memory usage with the SUMMARY procedure.

Want to learn more SAS tips, techniques and shortcuts like these? Please join me at the MidWest SAS Users Group Conference October 9 – 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Register now for three days of great educational opportunities, 100+ presentations, training, workshops, networking and more.

I look forward to meeting and seeing you there!

tags: MWSUG, SAS Programmers, US Regional Conferences

SAS performance tuning - A little bit goes a long way was published on SAS Users.

9月 242016
 

Every day, more than one hundred thousand SAS users visit our website looking for SAS information and resources. Given its importance to our user base, we’re constantly looking for ways to evolve the site.  Over the next few months, you’ll notice changes to the support website, changes we believe will provide you with a better user experience.

Today, we launch a beta version of six top-level support pages – accessible via your computer, smartphone or tablet by clicking on the banner on support.sas.com. The beta pages may look different from what you’re used to, but they are fully functional, and you can use them to fulfill your support needs. During the beta period, all current support.sas.com pages will still be available for your use, but we hope you’ll give the new beta pages a try.

As a company with more than 40 years of experience delivering business analytics software, we focus on making sure that you – our customers – are the beginning point for all of our work – whether we’re developing a new product or designing a new website.

Jim Goodnight, our CEO, put it best when he said, “For the past four decades, we’ve used a simple approach with our customers. We ask them what they want, and then we develop it for them.”

And that’s what’s at the heart of our support site evolution.

We’ve listened to your comments and suggestions. We’ve heard what’s most important to you.  And we’ve designed the new support pages with you in mind, focusing on your key tasks so you can access information, find answers and get help quickly and easily. Important information is now front and center and new, simplified navigation will enable you to get what you need with fewer clicks.  We believe the new pages deliver the experience you’ve asked us for, but we’ll let you be the judge.

During the beta period, we’d really love to hear what you think of the new pages. You’ll find a “give feedback” button at the top of each new page.  Please let us know what’s working well, and what isn’t; what you like, and what you don’t. And remember to give us feedback each time you use the beta pages.

Once the beta period is over and the new pages move into production, we’ll continue to evolve the site, working on lower level pages in an ongoing effort to give you a better support experience. We hope you like the changes we’re making and that you find the new support pages useful.

tags: SAS support site

The evolution of support.sas.com was published on SAS Users.

9月 212016
 

In a previous blog post I explained how end users should code and use shared locations for SAS artifacts, to avoid issues in a SAS Grid Manager environment. Still, they could still fall in some sharing issues, which could have very obscure manifestations. For example, users opening SAS studio might notice that it automatically opens to the last program that they were working on in a previous session… sometimes. Other times, they may logon and find that SAS Studio opens to a blank screen. What causes SAS Studio to “sometimes” remember a previous program and other times not? And why should this matter, when all I am looking for, are my preferences?

Where are my preferences?

SAS Studio has a Preferences window that enables end users to customize several options that change the behavior of different features of the software. By default, these preferences are stored under the end-user home directory on the server where the workspace server session is running (%AppData%/SAS/SASStudio/preferences in Windows or ~/.sasstudio/preferences in UNIX). Does this sentence ring any alarm bells? With SAS Studio Enterprise Edition running in a grid environment, there is no such thing as “the server where the workspace server session is running!” One invocation of SAS Studio could run on one grid node and the next invocation of SAS Studio could run on a different grid node.  For this reason, it might happen that a preference that we just set to a custom value reverts to its default value on the next sign-in. This issue can become worse because SAS Studio follows the same approach to store code snippets, tasks, autosave files, the WEBWORK library, and more.

Until SAS Studio 3.4, the only solution to this uncertainty was to have end users’ home directories shared across all the grid nodes. SAS Studio 3.5 removes this requirement by providing administrators with a new configuration option: webdms.studioDataParentDirectory. This option specifies the location of SAS Studio preferences, snippets, my tasks, and more. The default value is blank, which means that the behavior is the same as in previous releases. An administrator can point it to any shared location to access all of this common data from any workspace server session.

Tip #1

This option sounds cool, how can I change its value?

SAS Studio 3.5: Administrator’s Guide provides information on this topic, but the specific page contains a couple of errors – not to worry, they have been flagged and are in the process of being amended. The property is specified in the config.properties file in the configuration directory for SAS Studio. Remember that when you deploy using multiple Web Application Servers (which is common with many SAS solutions, and mandatory in modern clustered environments), SAS Studio is deployed in SASServer2_1, not in SASServer1_1. It is also worth noting that, in case of clustered middle tiers, this change should be applied to every deployed instance of SAS Studio web application.

The documentation page also incorrectly states how to enforce this change. The correct procedure is to restart the Web Application Server hosting SAS Studio, i.e. SASSerrver2_1.

Tip #2

I do not want that all my users to share a common directory, they would override each other’s settings!

This is a fair request, but, unfortunately, the official documentation can be confusing.

The correct syntax, to have a per-user directory, is to append <userid> at the end of the path. SAS Studio will substitute this token with the actual userid of the user currently logged on. For example, given the following configuration:

sas-studio-tips-for-sas-grid-manager-administrators

will lead to this directory structure:

sas-studio-tips-for-sas-grid-manager-administrators02

Tip #3

You – or your SAS Administrator – changed the value of the webdms.studioDataParentDirectory option. How can you know if the change has been correctly applied? This is the same as asking, how can I know where this option is currently pointing to? Here is a quick tip. This property influences the location of the WEBWORK directory. Simply open the Libraries pane, right click on WEBWORK to select “Properties”, and here you are. The highlighted path in the following screenshot shows the current value of the option:
sas-studio-tips-for-sas-grid-manager-administrators03

Conclusion

As you may have understood, the daily duties of SAS Administrators include ghost hunting as well as debugging weird issues. I hope that the tips contained in this post will make your lives a little easier, leaving more time for all the other paranormal activities. And I promise, more tips will follow!

tags: SAS Administrators, SAS Grid Manager, SAS Professional Services, sas studio

SAS Studio tips for SAS Grid Manager Administrators: Where are my preferences? was published on SAS Users.

9月 212016
 

mwsug-2016-logoI started out as a Psychology major. During my third year as an undergraduate, I was hired on as a research assistant for my advisor in her cognitive psychology lab. Through this and progressively more complicated psychological research experience, I quickly grew to love statistics. By the end of that year, I decided to declare it as a second major. My first introduction to SAS was as a fourth-year undergraduate psychology student - still new to my statistics degree curriculum and working on a large-scale meta-analysis project spanning years of data. I had never programmed before seeing my first SAS procedure. I broke down in tears, terrified at what I had gotten myself into. I toughed it out (with help from my statistics professor), finished my psychology honors thesis with top grades and went on later to use SAS in my statistics thesis for good measure.

About a year later, in 2011, that same statistics professor encouraged us to submit our work for presentation at MWSUG, sweetening the deal with a promise of extra credit if we did. I hopped on that opportunity and submitted both my psychology thesis as well as my statistics thesis that night. A couple of months later, I received an email…they accepted both of my papers and awarded me a FULL student scholarship to attend!

I have come a long way from presenting my first thesis projects (I just arrived home from my 27th conference last weekend). I have learned to love not only SAS, but the statistics behind each procedure. This year, at MWSUG 2016 in Cincinnati, OH. I will be presenting 3 projects. One project will be in ePoster format. As the chair of this section (yes, this is correct. I’ve gone from terrified student to a section chair!), I felt the need to support it with my own research as well. This project is dedicated to the common and very pesky concept of Multicollinearity.

What is Multicollinearity? Why, it is precisely the statistical phenomenon wherin there exists a perfect or exact relationship between the identified predictor variables and the interested outcome variable. Simply put, it is the existence of predictor co-dependence. Coincidently, it is quite easy to detect. You can do so with three very simple to utilize options and one procedure, such as those given in the below example:

/* Examination of the Correlation Matrix */
Proc corr data=temp;
Var hypertension aspirin hicholesterol anginachd smokingstatus obese_BMI exercise _AGE_G sex alcoholbinge; Run;
 
/* Multicollinearity Investigation: VIF TOL COLLIN */
Proc reg data=temp;
Model stroke = hypertension aspirin hicholesterol anginachd smokingstatus obese_BMI exercise _AGE_G sex alcoholbinge / vif tol collin;    
Run;     Quit;

Through the CORR procedure, we can examine the correlation matrix and manually check for any predictor variables that show high correlation with other variables. In our REG procedure, we can indicate the VIF, TOL, and COLLIN options in the MODEL statement to pull information measuring the variance inflation factor, tolerance, and collinearity.

Would you like to learn more about how to interpret the results produced by these procedures? Would you like to learn ways to control for multicollinearity after it has been detected? Come check out my poster at MWSUG 2016, October 9-11 in Cincinnati! I would love to chat about your multicollinearity issues, interest, or just other curious questions.

tags: MWSUG, papers & presentations, US Regional Conferences

Multicollinearity and MWSUG – a beautiful match was published on SAS Users.

9月 162016
 

ProblemSolversIf you use SAS® software to create a report that contains multiple graphs, you know that each graph appears on a separate page by default. But now you want to really impress your audience by putting multiple graphs on a page. Keep reading because this blog post describes how to achieve that goal.

With newer versions of SAS, there are many different options for putting multiple graphs on a single page. This blog post details these different options based on the following ODS destinations: ODS PDF, ODS RTF, and ODS HTML destinations.

To put multiple graphs on a page (whether you are using ODS or not), the SAS/GRAPH® procedure PROC GREPLAY is typically a good option and is mentioned several times in this blog post. For detailed information about using PROC GREPLAY, see SAS Note 48183: “Using PROC GREPLAY to put multiple graphs on the same page.”

The ODS PDF Destination

The ODS PDF destination is the most commonly used ODS destination for putting multiple graphs on a single page and it also offers the most options, which are described below.

STARTPAGE=NO Option

One way to put multiple graphs on a single PDF page is to use the STARTPAGE=NO option in the ODS PDF statement. Here is sample SAS code that demonstrates how to stack two SGPLOT graphs vertically on the same PDF page using the STARTPAGE=NO option in the ODS PDF statement:


title1; 
ods _all_ close; 
ods pdf file='c:tempsastest.pdf' startpage=no notoc dpi=300;

ods graphics / reset=all height=4in width=7in;  
proc sgplot data=sashelp.cars; 
  bubble x=horsepower y=mpg_city size=cylinders;
  where make="Audi";
run;
proc sgplot data=sashelp.cars; 
  bubble x=horsepower y=mpg_city size=cylinders;
  where make="BMW";
run;

ods pdf close;
ods preferences;  

Note that in the code above, the vertical height of the graphics output is reduced to 4 inches using the HEIGHT option in the ODS GRAPHICS statement. When using a traditional SAS/GRAPH procedure (such as GPLOT), you must specify the vertical height of your graph output using the VSIZE option in a GOPTIONS statement, as shown here:

goptions vsize=4in;

For sample code that demonstrates how to use the STARTPAGE=NO option in the ODS PDF statement to put four graphs on the same PDF page (two across and two down), see SAS Note 48569: “Use the STARTPAGE option in the ODS PDF statement to put multiple graphs on a single page in a PDF document.”

ODS LAYOUT

Another option for putting multiple graphs (and tables) on the same PDF page is ODS LAYOUT. With ODS PDF, absolute layout allows you to define specific regions on the page for your graph and table output. For sample code that demonstrates how to put multiple graphs and tables on the same PDF page using ODS LAYOUT, see SAS Note 55808: “ODS LAYOUT: Placing text, graphs, and images on the same PDF page.”

PROC GREPLAY

You can also put multiple graphs on the same page in a PDF document using the SAS/GRAPH procedure PROC GREPLAY. While the GREPLAY procedure has been around a long time, it is still a very useful option in many situations.

However, note that PROC GREPLAY can only replay graphics output that has previously been written to a SAS/GRAPH catalog, so it has the following limitations:

  • It cannot directly replay graphics output created with the SG procedures and ODS Graphics.
  • It cannot directly replay text-based output such as that created with Base® SAS procedures like PROC PRINT and PROC REPORT.

For sample SAS code that demonstrates how to put four GCHART graphs on the same PDF page using PROC GREPLAY, see SAS Note 44955: “Use PROC GREPLAY with the ODS PDF statement to place four graphs on the same page.”

For sample SAS code that demonstrates how to put six GCHART graphs on the same PDF page using PROC GREPLAY, see SAS Note 44973: “Use PROC GREPLAY to place size graphs on a single page in a PDF document.”

Although you can use PROC GREPLAY with graphics output created with the SG procedures and ODS Graphics, you must use the three-step process demonstrated in SAS Note 41461: “Put multiple PROC SGPLOT outputs on the same PDF page using PROC GREPLAY.”

The ODS RTF Destination

The following sample code demonstrates how to stack multiple graphs vertically on the same page using the SGPLOT procedure in combination with the STARTPAGE=NO option in the ODS RTF statement:

options nodate nonumber; 
 
ods _all_ close; 
ods rtf file='sastest.rtf' startpage=no image_dpi=300; 
 
ods graphics / reset=all outputfmt=png height=3in width=7in; 
 
title1 'Graph for Audi'; 
proc sgplot data=sashelp.cars; 
  bubble x=horsepower y=mpg_city size=cylinders;
  where make="Audi";
run;
 
title1 'Graph for BMW'; 
proc sgplot data=sashelp.cars; 
  bubble x=horsepower y=mpg_city size=cylinders;
  where make="BMW";
run;
 
title1 'Graph for Volvo'; 
proc sgplot data=sashelp.cars; 
  bubble x=horsepower y=mpg_city size=cylinders;
  where make="Volvo";
run;
 
ods _all_ close; 
ods preferences;

Because ODS LAYOUT is not fully supported with the ODS RTF destination, I recommend using PROC GREPLAY if you want to arrange multiple graphs on the same RTF page in a grid. For sample SAS code that demonstrates how to put four graphs on a single page in an RTF document, see SAS Note 45147: “Use PROC GREPLAY to place four graphs on a single page in an RTF document.”

For sample SAS code that demonstrates how to put six graphs on a single page in a RTF document, see SAS Note 45150: “Use PROC GREPLAY to place six graphs on a single page in an RTF document.”

The ODS HTML Destination

When you create multiple graphs with the ODS HTML destination, they are stacked vertically on the same web page by default. You can scroll up and down through the graphics output using your web browser’s scroll bar. In most situations, using PROC GREPLAY is a good option for displaying multiple graphs on a single web page.

Another option is to use the HTMLPANEL ODS tagset to display a panel of graphs via the web. For documentation about using the HTMLPANEL tagset, see “The htmlpanel Tagset Controls Paneling.” For sample code that demonstrates how to use the HTMLPANEL ODS tagset to display multiple graphs and tables via the web in a two-by-two grid, see SAS Note 38066: “Use the HTMLPANEL ODS tagset to put multiple graphs and tables on the same web page.”

In conclusion, this blog post covers just a few of the methods you can use to put multiple graphs on a page. There are more options available than those discussed above. For example, for sample code that puts multiple graphs on the same page using PROC SGPANEL, see SAS Note 35049: “Risk panel graph.” For sample code that puts two graphs side-by-side using Graph Template Language and PROC SGRENDER, see SAS Note 49696: “Generate side-by-side graphs with Y and Y2 axes with the Graph Template Language (GTL).”

tags: ods, Problem Solvers, SAS ODS, SAS Programmers

Do you need multiple graphs on a page? We have got you covered! was published on SAS Users.

9月 162016
 

The SAS Quality Knowledge Base (QKB) is a collection of files which store data and logic that define data cleansing operations such as parsing, standardization, and generating match codes to facilitate fuzzy matching. Various SAS software products reference the QKB when performing data quality operations on your data. One of these products is SAS Event Stream Processing (ESP). SAS ESP enables programmers to build applications that quickly process and analyze streaming events. In this blog, we will look at combining the power of these two products – SAS ESP and the SAS QKB.

SAS Event Stream Processing (ESP) Studio can call definitions from the SAS Quality Knowledge Base (QKB) in its Compute window. The Compute window enables the transformation of input events into output events through computed manipulations of the input event stream fields. One of the computed manipulations that can be used is calling the QKB definitions by using the BlueFusion Expression Engine Language function.

Before QKB definitions can be used in ESP projects the QKB must be installed on the SAS ESP server. Also, two environment variables must be set: DFESP_QKB and DFESP_QKB_LIC. The environment variable DFESP_QKB should be set to the path where the QKB data was installed. The environment variable DFESP_QKB_LIC should be set to the path and filename that contains the license(s) for the QKB locale(s).

In this post, I will explore the example of calling the State/Province (Abbreviation) Standardization QKB definition from the English – United States locale in the ESP Compute window. The Source window is reading in events that contain US State data that may or may not be standardized in the 2-character US State abbreviation.

SASEventStreamProcessing

As part of the event stream analysis I want to perform, I need the US_State values to be in a standard format. To do this I will utilize the State/Province (Abbreviation) Standardization QKB definition from the English – United States locale.

First, I need to initialize the call to the BlueFusion Expression Engine Language function and load the ENUSA (English – United States) locale. Note: The license file that the DFESP_QKB_LIC environment variable points to must contain a license for this locale.

SASEventStreamProcessing02

Next, I need to call the QKB definition and return its result. In this case, I am calling the BlueFusion standardize function. This function expects the following inputs: Definition Name, Input Field to Standardize, Output Field for Standardized Value. In this case the Definition Name is State/Province (Abbreviation), the Input Field to Standardize is US_State, and the Output Field for the Standardized Value is result. Note: The field result was declared in the Initialize expression pictured above. This result value is returned in the output field named US_State_STND.

SASEventStreamProcessing03

I can review the output of the Compute window by testing the ESP Studio project and subscribing to the Compute window.

SASEventStreamProcessing04

Here is the XML code for the SAS ESP project reviewed in this blog:

SASEventStreamProcessing05

Now that the US_State values have been standardized for the event stream, I can add analyses to my ESP Studio project based on those standardized values.

For more information, please refer to the product documentation:
SAS Event Stream Processing
DataFlux Expression Engine Language
SAS Quality Knowledge Base

tags: DataFlux Data Management Studio, SAS Event Stream Processing, SAS Professional Services

Using SAS Quality Knowledge Base Definitions in a SAS Event Stream Processing Compute Window was published on SAS Users.

9月 132016
 

SAS releases regular updates to software products in the form of hot fixes and maintenance releases. Hot fixes are SAS' timely response to customer-reported problems, as well as a way to deliver occasional security-related updates that can affect any software product.

At SAS we call them "hot fixes." Other companies might call these "updates," "patches" or (the old-timey term) "zaps." I like the term "hot fix," because it connotes 1) a timely release of code, and 2) something that you apply to an established production system (while it's running "hot").

An important part of the hot fix process is learning when there is a new fix available. Beginning this month, we now have a new SAS Hot Fix Announcements board -- on SAS Support Communities -- where you can learn about newly available fixes. If you're a SAS administrator, these notices provide more complete and detailed information about available hot fixes. And if you are a business user, it behooves you to stay informed about fixes so you can pass information on to your IT department.

Find your fixes: by e-mail, RSS feeds or search

Subscribe optionBy using the community board to host hot fix notices, we've now provided you with many options to subscribe to this content. Like any community board, you can click Subscribe and have the notifications e-mailed to you as soon as they are posted. Or you can use your favorite RSS reader to peruse the latest entries when the timing is right for you. Finally, you can use the Search field on the hot fix board to find just the fixes you need. Simply type a SAS product name, a version number, or text from a SAS Note to find the matching hot fixes. Visit this topic on the SAS Support Communities to learn more about how to pull the information you need, or to have it pushed to you automatically.

Here's a picture of the Hot Fix RSS feed in my instance of Microsoft Outlook:

Hot fix RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook

Hot fix RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook

TSNEWS-L: it has served us well

For decades, SAS Technical Support has used the TSNEWS-L mailing list to send brief, weekly summaries of the recent hot fixes. While this is good for raising awareness that "a fix is available" for a product you use, the information in the e-mail contains no details about what issues each hot fix addresses. Nor does it include a direct link to download the fix. For now, this information will still be delivered via TSNEWS-L -- but we hope that you find the community board to be more flexible.

A peek behind the hot fix curtain

It shouldn't surprise you that we use SAS software to help bring you the details about SAS fixes.

To build these improved notfications, the SAS Communities team and SAS Technical Support worked together to automate the publishing process for hot fix bulletins. All of the hot fix details were already tracked within internal-only operational databases and displayed on the Technical Support Hot Fix download site. Now, a SAS-based process assembles this data, creates a hot fix bulletin entry for each fix and publishes the entry automatically to SAS Support Communities. It's a wonderful mix of SAS data management, REST APIs, DATA step and more. It's a 300-line SAS program (including plenty of comments) that runs every weekday morning -- and it completes in about 15 seconds. It's time well-spent to keep SAS users in the know!

tags: SAS Administrators, sas communities, SAS Technical Support

How to stay informed about SAS hot fixes was published on SAS Users.

9月 092016
 

If you’re doing data processing in the cloud or using container-enabled infrastructures to deploy your software, you’ll want to learn more about SAS Analytics for Containers. This new solution puts SAS into your existing container-enabled environment – think Docker or Kubernetes – giving data scientists and analysts the ability to perform sophisticated analyses using SAS, and all from the cloud.

The product’s coming out party is the Analytics Experience 2016 conference, September 12-14, 2016 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In advance of that event, I sat down with Product Manager Donna DeCapite to learn a little more about SAS Analytics for Containers and find out why it’s such a big deal for organizations who use containers for their applications.

Larry LaRusso: Before we get into details around the solution, and with apologies for my ignorance, let me start out with a really basic question. What are containers?

Donna DeCapite: Cloud containers are all the rage in the IT world. They’re an alternative to virtual machines.  They allow applications and any of its dependencies to be deployed and run in isolated space. Organizations will build and deploy in the container environment because it allows you to build only the necessary system libraries and functions to run a given piece of software. IT prefer it because it’s easy to replicate, and it’s faster and easier to deploy.

LL: And SAS Analytics for Containers will allow organizations to run SAS’ analytics in this environment, the containers?

DD: In short, yes. SAS Analytics for Containers provides a powerful set of data access, analysis and graphical tools to organizations within a container-based infrastructure like Docker. This takes advantage of the build once, run anywhere flexibility of the container environment, making it easier and faster to use SAS Analytics in the cloud.

LL: Who, within an organization, will be the primary users?

DC: Really anyone working with containers in the cloud or anyone working with DevOps. Data scientists will embrace SAS Analytics for Containers because it allows them to access data from nearly any source and easily perform sophisticated analyses using SAS Studio, our browser-based interface, or Jupyter Notebook, an open source notebook-style interface. For SAS developers, the product allows them to quickly provision IT resource to sandbox development ideas. And as I mentioned earlier, IT will appreciate the ease with which applications can be deployed, distributed and managed.

LL: You mentioned data scientists, so now I’m curious; we’re talking complex analyses here, yes?

DC: Definitely. Regressions, decision trees, Bayesian analysis, spatial point pattern analysis, missing data analysis, and many additional statistical analysis techniques can be performed with SAS Analytics for Containers. And in addition to sophisticated statistical and predictive analytics, there are a ton of prebuilt SAS procedures included to handle common tasks like data manipulation, information storage, and report writing, all available via SAS Studio and its assistive nature.

LL: What about organizations that have massive amounts of data? Can they use SAS Analytics for Containers as well?

DC: Yes, SAS Analytics for Containers allows you to take advantage of the processing power of your Hadoop Cluster by leveraging the SAS Accelerators for Hadoop like Code and Scoring Accelerator.

LL: Thank you so much for your time Donna. I know you’ve educated me quite a deal! How about more information. Where can individuals learn more about SAS Analytics for Containers?

DC: If you’re going to Analytics Experience 2016, consider coming to Michael Ames’ table talk, Cloud Computing: How Does It Work? It’s scheduled for Monday, September 12 from 4:30-5:00pm Vegas time. If you’re not going to the event, the SAS website is the best place for more information. Probably the best place to start is the SAS Analytics for Containers home page.

tags: analytics conference, analytics experience, cloud computing, SAS Analytics for Containers, sas studio

Analytics in the Cloud gets a whole lot easier with SAS Analytics for Containers was published on SAS Users.

9月 092016
 
How the SAS Global Forum Presenter Mentoring Program can help would-be presenters

Stephanie Thompson, Datamum, Presenter Mentoring Lead

For a SAS professional, presenting at SAS Global Forum 2017 can be a very rewarding. It can enhance your conference experience, help expand the knowledge of the broader SAS community, and advance your career by putting you on display as an expert SAS professional. It can also be a little scary, especially if you’ve never presented to an audience of SAS peers, or you have, but still get nervous thinking about the process of submitting an idea, preparing your talk and presenting it live.

Luckily, your SAS Global Forum Executive Board has created an incredible resource available to help would-be presenters: the SAS Global Forum Presenter Mentoring Program. I recently sat down with Stephanie Thompson and Cindy Wilson, the mentoring program leads, to learn a little more about this awesome service and how it can help presenters feel great about their upcoming presentation.

Cindy

Cindy Wilson, Eli Lilly, Presenter Mentoring International Focus

Larry LaRusso: I have an idea for a paper to submit for SAS Global Forum but I am not sure how to put this idea into a submission. Can the mentoring program help?

Cindy Wilson:  It sure can! You can get help in preparing your abstract submission through the Presenter Mentoring Program. But, that’s just the start of the service. Presenter Mentors can help with all aspects of your submission.

LL: And that means help developing an abstract concept right through putting together the final presentation?

CW: Yes. Presenter Mentors will help you develop your concept for consideration by the conference team. If your submission is accepted, they will help you right up through the conference. Help using the paper template, presentation tips, focusing your paper on conveying how you used SAS to solve your problem, and even tips for getting the most out of SAS Global Forum are all ways a Presenter Mentor can help.

LL: Can anyone, anywhere with an idea request a mentor?

Stephanie Thompson: Over the years, I have worked with potential presenters from all over the U.S. and the world. Everyone with an idea is welcome to request assistance.

LL: What types of SAS users serve as mentors?

CW: Presenter Mentors are seasoned SAS users and SAS Global Forum presenters who are willing to share their knowledge with those needing help. They come from many types of industries and have experience in all areas of SAS. Some focus on breakout sessions and others e-Posters, so all types of presentations are covered. Mentees are matched with the Presenter Mentor who best fits in terms of the topic of the paper, industry area, and communication preferences.

LL: Will mentors edit my paper?

ST: The purpose of the Presenter Mentoring Program is really to help potential presenters develop their ideas and bring out the SAS of their work. The paper is the work of the submitter and Presenter Mentors want the author’s voice to come through. Editing is not the focus of the program. However, there have been occasions where I have worked with authors whose first language is not English. If help editing is requested, I have helped as much as I could. This is something the mentor and mentee would discuss. Presenter Mentors are SAS experts and not professional editors, certainly something to keep in mind.

LL: Tell me a little about your experience as a Presenter Mentor for past SAS Global Forums.

ST: I have really enjoyed working with presenters across the world. So many people have some great ideas to share and sometimes they just need a little help putting it all together.   Several mentees that I have worked with have become regular presenters at SAS Global Forum and I have kept in touch with a few others over the years. I truly enjoy getting to meet them at the conference after working with them beforehand.

LL: Who do you think can benefit from a Presenter Mentor?

CW: Students who want to transform their research into a SAS Global Forum paper can benefit. Many times the research results are interesting but the focus of the conference paper needs to be how you used SAS to get those results. First-time attendees can also benefit by learning what the norms and expectations are for submissions. Once you have been through the process once, it is easier the next time. Mentors help make that first experience go smoothly. Lastly, anyone who just needs a second set of eyes or a little help getting their ideas across can benefit from the program. No one is turned away.

tags: SAS Global Forum, sas global forum presenter mentoring program

How the SAS Global Forum Presenter Mentoring Program can help would-be presenters was published on SAS Users.