webinar

7月 262017
 

“I do not like this modern technology,” said my father-in-law. “It is making people too lazy. Things are too easy now.” He was referring to my grocery order. I was sitting in his kitchen in Reykjavik, Iceland, the day before my return to the United States. I had just explained [...]

Icelandic in-laws and inventory management: digital supply chain innovations was published on SAS Voices by Marcia Walker

7月 062017
 

In an IoT world, everything is connected. But what does it mean to be connected? Does it mean being plugged in to your phone, car, home, TV, favorite apps and retailers? Does it mean knowing what’s happening all around you? And having the “things” you’re connected to acting as recommender [...]

Are you getting the most out of consumer IoT data? was published on SAS Voices by Norm Marks

9月 192014
 

Several weeks ago, I led a SAS Talks webinar on SAS/ETS emphasizing the many recent changes to the software. SAS/ETS, for those unfamiliar with the product, is SAS’s suite of econometrics, time series and forecasting tools and algorithms. While we covered a substantial amount of material in the talk, there is even more that I didn’t have time to share.

The first place to turn for information on the many recent enhancements to the product is the product documentation:

Those resources are great but may I suggest actually putting your hands on the software? As part of the new SAS Analytics U initiative, we have made our cloud version of SAS freely available to those wishing to use the tool for a learning or teaching purpose.

  • If you would like to access this tool, you can sign up for a free account. The next step is to actually submit code for yourself.
  • For those looking to get started with one of SAS’s newest procedures, try these PROC HPCDM code samples.
  • The SAS/ETS 13.2 User's Guide Sample library has fully self-contained examples of how to run all SAS/ETS procedures. Just copy and paste the information on the page into the SAS Studio browser and you are running SAS code in the cloud. Pretty cool!

There were several excellent questions which were asked during my SAS Talks webinar.  Here are some of the questions and responses.

Q: ­If one listens to the hype one might conclude that with "Big Data" tools, time series and explanatory econometrics are no longer needed. Please comment.

A: This is a great question and one that probably deserves a full post. If you would like to hear my take on the importance of econometric thinking and the dangers of simply worrying about prediction, feel free to watch Econometrics--The Question of "Why?".

Q: Are multiple frequency time series equivalent to multiple (multivariate) time series?

A: A time series with multiple frequencies are different from multivariate time series arising from the same system however the storage of these time series might make them look similar. In both cases, to store these values in one data set, additional columns must be created. In the case of multivariate time series it would not be anticipated that the resulting data set have missing values however, in the case of multiple frequency data, it would be expected.

Q: How do we know what version of SAS/ETS we have?

A: An easy way to do this is to look at the log file immediately after your SAS session begins. The versions are listed. An alternative way is to run this code.

proc product_status;
run;

It will list all your currently licensed products and their corresponding versions.

Q: Can you share the code to estimate a count data regression model with household specific fixed effects from the doctor visit example?

A. Sure.  Notice that the only difference in syntax is the groupid= option on the proc statement.

proc countreg data=a groupid=panelid;
   model visits = x1 x2 x3 / dist= poisson;
run;

Thanks so much and I look forward to sharing highlights from future releases with you.

Ken

tags: SAS Analytics U, sas talks, SAS/ETS software, webinar
7月 022011
 
Last week, I had the pleasure to attend a great session with noted speaking authority Bart Queen. The session was titled, “The Power of Many” and it included 4 communication goals and tons of other great tips on how to drive your message through the use of panel discussions. Here are my favorite highlights:

When to use a panel discussion
Panel discussions are excellent for addressing topic areas that are too complex for one individual to cover, and they can provide a rich experience for the audience because each panelist brings their own perspective to the topic at hand. Ideally, the moderator can highlight those perspectives and stay focused on the agenda, enable each panelist to shine and keep it all compelling for the audience.

Know the Audience and Plan Well
Like most things, the ability to be compelling is dependent on good planning and on knowing the audience, so be sure to think through the objective in advance and plan accordingly. Key questions to keep in mind include:
Use The 4 Strategic Communicator Goals

  1. Build trust
    People buy trust first. If you gain someone’s trust, they listen to you. It’s that simple. But it’s easier said than done, of course. So figure out how the moderator and the panel will earn the audience’s trust, and once gained, safeguard it because that’s the first and most important goal.

  2. Build relationship
    Also, people buy from people they like. The key here is to establish a relationship between the panel and the audience. A great way is to get the panel to share stories and personal experiences that enable the audience to start thinking “me too,” so they can relate to the panel and to the topic at hand.

  3. Build engagement
    Once there’s a relationship and there’s trust, you’ve created an environment where the audience can start getting the feeling "I need you." Aim for that feeling, and be mindful to keep the content accessible to enable the engagement. Do that by keeping it organized in 5-minute segments - that duration correlates to typical adult attention spans. (Who knew??)

    My thought here as a marketer is that if getting to "I need you" is too tall an order for one panel discussion, then I need to think about how I prompt them for the next action so the engagement endures and the trust and relationship become "I need you" when it's right for the customer. It's all about the follow up.

  4. Educate / Entertain
    The ideal panel strikes a balance between educating and entertaining because a purely educational session with no entertainment (in most business situations) will inhibit the relationship and engagement that creates the memorable experience you’re after.

You can learn more about this and other speaking topics by visiting Bart's Site. As always, thanks for your time and attention. Let me know what you think.
7月 022011
 
Last week, I had the pleasure to attend a great session with noted speaking authority Bart Queen. The session was titled, “The Power of Many” and it included 4 communication goals and tons of other great tips on how to drive your message through the use of panel discussions. Here are my favorite highlights:
When to use a panel discussion
Panel discussions are excellent for addressing topic areas that are too complex for one individual to cover, and they can provide a rich experience for the audience because each panelist brings their own perspective to the topic at hand. Ideally, the moderator can highlight those perspectives and stay focused on the agenda, enable each panelist to shine and keep it all compelling for the audience.
Know the Audience and Plan Well
Like most things, the ability to be compelling is dependent on good planning and on knowing the audience, so be sure to think through the objective in advance and plan accordingly. Key questions to keep in mind include:
Use The 4 Strategic Communicator Goals
  1. Build trust
    People buy trust first. If you gain someone’s trust, they listen to you. It’s that simple. But it’s easier said than done, of course. So figure out how the moderator and the panel will earn the audience’s trust, and once gained, safeguard it because that’s the first and most important goal.
  2. Build relationship
    Also, people buy from people they like. The key here is to establish a relationship between the panel and the audience. A great way is to get the panel to share stories and personal experiences that enable the audience to start thinking “me too,” so they can relate to the panel and to the topic at hand.
  3. Build engagement
    Once there’s a relationship and there’s trust, you’ve created an environment where the audience can start getting the feeling "I need you." Aim for that feeling, and be mindful to keep the content accessible to enable the engagement. Do that by keeping it organized in 5-minute segments - that duration correlates to typical adult attention spans. (Who knew??)

    My thought here as a marketer is that if getting to "I need you" is too tall an order for one panel discussion, then I need to think about how I prompt them for the next action so the engagement endures and the trust and relationship become "I need you" when it's right for the customer. It's all about the follow up.
  4. Educate / Entertain
    The ideal panel strikes a balance between educating and entertaining because a purely educational session with no entertainment (in most business situations) will inhibit the relationship and engagement that creates the memorable experience you’re after.
You can learn more about this and other speaking topics by visiting Bart's Site. As always, thanks for your time and attention. Let me know what you think.
5月 022011
 
SAS is very pleased to co-host a Webinar with HealthScape Advisors on May 4, 2011 at 1:00pm ET, produced by AHIP. This Webinar will highlight the role that customer intelligence can play in helping health insurance plans manage the challenges of healthcare reform, and is titled: Manage the Challenges of Healthcare Reform with Advanced Customer Intelligence and Engagement Strategies. It promises to be a fascinating discussion as the three panelists bring their broad perspectives to bear on the interesting crossroads the industry faces: dramatic regulatory change coupled with an imminent transition to a consumer-driven marketplace.

Health Insurance is one of those industries about which it seems everyone has an opinion, and emotions can run high whenever it comes up in conversation. I’ll never forget going to the movies to see “As Good As It Gets,” with Helen Hunt, Jack Nicholson and Greg Kinnear back in the late ‘90s. The story line includes injuries, illnesses, treatments and the like, and at one point someone gets denied coverage and the Helen Hunt character yells “[expletive] HMOs!” in frustration. At that moment, everyone in the audience with me erupted in applause. Would that same audience have cheered if the same character praised the access to care made possible by the HMO that might not otherwise have been possible? I'm just wondering.

So - jeers or cheers? That’s a big question that executives in any business (including health insurance) should care about in our world of the empowered consumer. Why? Because it matters. It impacts both the top line and to the bottom line. It is not a marketing or customer service issue – it’s a business issue. Examples abound about what happens to companies described as somehow mistreating customers, but if you need convincing, type “breaks guitars” into your favorite Internet search engine and then click on the first 10 links it finds. You’ll learn about a musician who chose YouTube as his medium to express frustration with how an airline handled his baggage issue. Then you can also read about all the blog posts and articles written about how it affected that airline.

So, the issue is not so much that one person with one problem can grab a megaphone and tell the world about it and your stock price tanks. The issue is that one person sharing their experience with friends, having it strike a chord with others who’ve been treated similarly and before you know it, millions of people validated a customer issue that's not isolated and that you may or may not have known about. I propose you think of that example in terms of these two questions:

  1. Do airlines today comply with baggage handling regulations? They probably do. Did they in that case? They probably did.
  2. But do customers agree that airlines do what they should when addressing baggage handling problems? That’s another question that may be debated over and over again among your customers talking to each other very publicly in social media.

So, do both questions and how they are answered affect the airlines’ bottom lines? Without a doubt they do. And for heavily regulated industries, you can ask similar two-part questions for all sorts of issues, and both of them apply. So before the upcoming AHIP Webinar, ask yourself which are the analogous two-part questions for health insurance plans? And many health insurance plans have come up with innovative ways to engage with their members in ways that do not include forms or EOBs, yet reports are showing that patients are increasingly turning to their peers on social media as a resource for answers and advice. With that happening, are health insurance plans meeting customers on their own turf? Do they have a plan for social media analytics to keep apprised of the buzz and know what it means?

It might seem that social media will turn doing business into a chaotic mess of customers dictating the terms of engagement for everything they buy, but it probably won't play out to that extreme. What it means, however, is that efforts to understand customers and what they value, want and need are no longer simply those cool technologies that give savvy companies the competitive edge. They are quickly becoming essential to doing business, especially if the rules of the game are also changing with regulatory reform. And the value they create are already well established, as I mentioned previously in another blog post. Of particular note is the story for the heavily-regulated telecom giant Verizon, seeing triple-digit increases during the 2009 recession.

You already have a reason to use customer intelligence solutions if your corporate mission includes the word “member,” “patient,” “care,” “people,” “individual,” “customer,” or even “family.” And with regulatory reform also changing the rules of how healthcare is delivered, insured and paid for, customer centricity is not really optional any more. Tune in on Wednesday, or catch the archived version afterward at your convenience at this link. Let us know what you think.
4月 292011
 
There is a confluence of events happening this month that give us a great opportunity to spotlight one of the most complex and fascinating markets you can find anywhere: healthcare and life sciences (HLS for short).

HLS includes all the industries that relate to caring for the health of individuals, so think of hospitals, health insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, biomedical device manufacturers and the like. In this market, a “customer” could be a “patient” or a “member,” or customers could just as easily be employers, trade unions or other groups that purchase group plans on behalf of their own employees or members.

On top of that, HLS companies operate in a web of different regulations at the federal, state and sometimes county/municipal levels that perform functions such as protecting patient privacy, establishing quality standards, or even defining the funding for certain treatments or procedures. Of course, the complexity grows for any entity operating across borders, which might include similar national/state/local regulations, or even regional entities, such as the European Union.

You might ask - what happens to marketing with all that going on? At the risk of sounding biased, marketing can make a difference in enabling companies to flourish and fulfill their corporate missions, which all seem to include the word “patient,” “care” or some variation on the theme of “customer.” Look for more posts coming soon, where I will highlight:
Until then – be well and let me know what you think. Also, for an engaging illustration of just how complex the HLS market is, check out this post by my colleague, Sarah Rittman, titledManaging the Unmanageable
4月 212010
 

No more teachers, no more books!! Now in its second year, SAS' "Applying Business Analytics" Webinar series has proven to be a powerful resource for many people. In 2009, more than 4,500 customers and prospects participated in the nine live and on-demand webinars, representing more than 3,200 organizations around the world on topics including Analytics, Data Management & Reporting.

So, why should you pay attention to the series this year? Beginning April 21 with, Text Analytics 101, and running through November, the Applying Business Analytics Webinar series will enable you to learn from the best business, product marketing and tech experts as they highlight the value of a complete business analytics framework.

You are welcome to join the sessions live or view on demand at your leisure. The Webinars will each follow a "101" format, helping set a foundation around each of the Webinar topics, which include: Hope you can join us & I'll see you online soon!

@kristinevick