4月 122010
 
SAS Global Forum 2010 kicked off in Seattle with an Opening Session that showcased award-winning customers, an update on high performance computing , a pretty cool demo of SAS’ new solution, Social Media Analytics, and phenomenal results from LA County. If you missed the 90-minute extravaganza, here are the highlights:

Asking: "What if?"
Conference Chair Lauren Haworth from Genentech welcomed the more than 3,000 participants saying, “We are the ones in our organizations who know how to crunch the data and turn the ‘What ifs?' into meaningful outcomes.”

Award-winning customers
The Enterprise Excellence Award, given annually to customers who are using SAS in new ways to excel in their business, was presented to GE Rail Services, which operates in the US, Canada and Mexico; Canada Post, the primary postal operator in Canada; Lloyd’s, the largest retail bank in the UK; and Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications services company.

In presenting the User Feedback Award to Monika Nauroth from Santander Consumer Bank, Vice President of Technical Support Annette Harris said Nauroth’s suggestions and feedback about SAS Credit Scoring provided “reliability and expanded functionality to the solution. “Monika is a shining example of someone who doesn’t complacently accept what is, but asks ‘What if?’” Harris said.

Breakthroughs in high performance computing
SAS CEO Jim Goodnight turned the discussion to high performance computing. Last June in Singapore, a customer mentioned to Goodnight how long it took – in some cases 18 hours – to compute certain risk calculations. In the past year, SAS has worked on that problem in its Advanced Computing Lab. The results? Those same computations can now be done in minutes -- two minutes and 15 seconds as Goodnight demonstrated on stage.

A new solution: SAS Social Media Analytics
Only 5 percent of data today is structured and there are now more Twitter and Facebook users than e-mail users. Businesses need a way to harness the data from social media networks like blogs, discussion forums, Twitter and YouTube. Jim Davis unveiled a brand-new SAS solution that meets this need: SAS Social Media Analytics.

Mike Keppler, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Systems for Marriott International, and Mark Chaves, Customer Intelligence Support Product Manager, demoed the new SAS solution, showing how Marriott was able to determine brand sentiment over time, drilling down on specific attributes of Marriott. The company was also able to identify major influencers and found some surprising results in influencers who they'd never heard of, but who were having a powerful effect on the conversation about Marriott.

"Social media is obviously the next revolution in the customer experience," said Keppler. "You have to have social media connected to your marketing plan."

Fraud detection results from LA County
Manuel Moreno, Director of Research for the Chief Executive Office of Los Angeles (Calif.) County took the stage to share how SAS Social Network Analysis gives them his team the ability to detect fraud rings. ”With SAS Social Network Analysis, we anticipate annual savings of $21 million. This is a huge cost savings for county and taxpayers,” Moreno said.
4月 112010
 
It’s the last day before the biggest SAS users gathering of the year. I’ve already gotten my registration packet (registration opened about 3 hours ago) and even mapped out a couple of great spots to eat. Now, that I have time to settle in, I thought I’d send you a roundup of some of the most recent blog posts about SAS Global Forum. This roundup might even introduce you to someone new.

Here you go:

  • IT-Sideways: Tech Blog Malaysia posted Multimedia University Student is SAS Malaysian ‘Student Ambassador’. Brandon Teoh writes that 26-year old Somaye Gharibvan, a Ph.D student from Malaysia, was chosen to represent Malaysia as one of the ten Student Ambassadors at SAS Global Forum.


  • See You at SAS Global Forum – In many companies, being selected to go to a trade show or conference means that another chore has been added to your already overloaded day. How do SAS or JMP employees view a long weekend at SAS Global Forum?


  • Talking about analytics – Alison Bolen lists analytics experts who will be at the conference who are interested in talking with users about analytics. A great part of the format of SAS user conferences is that users, developers and product managers can talk face-to-face and share experiences. Many of the people whose white papers and research you read, solutions and programs you use will be at the conference. Talk with them and share your story.


  • Expecting to be Sleepless in Seattle – This guy is no dummy. He knows that the best time to spend time with you, our software experts, is while you are at the conference. He also wants to learn as much from the presentations as you do. We all pack our schedules as full as we can and hope for the best. Read this great post.


  • It's Time for Inside SAS Global Forum – Each year, we try to capture key moments from SAS Global Forum and send them to you in quick video snapshots and interviews. This year, your hosts are David Thomas, SAS’ Social Media Manager, and me. Let’s see how much fun we can have. Do you have ideas of people you’d like for us to talk to? Send me an e-mail.


Do you know of other bloggers we should be following?
4月 112010
 
Is SAS Global Forum all work and no fun?
Definitely not! You could go to Seattle and easily spend 24 hours a day soaking in all that great SAS knowledge and networking with your peers. Papers, demos, mixers and tweetups are all great, but don’t forget you’re in Seattle. Carve out an hour or two on the weekend or one evening and get out to see the city.

What makes you a special Seattle “tour guide?”
Though I’m now based in San Francisco, I grew up in Seattle! So I do know the place, and I wanted to share a few ideas for things to do. There are the obvious attractions: the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the Experience Music Project. Those are all great, and if you haven’t seen them, you should.

Got any off-beat recommendations?
If you’d like to take a closer look at a real Seattle neighborhood, let me introduce a friend of mine, the Fremont Troll. He lives in a fun neighborhood called Fremont, with eclectic shops, great affordable restaurants, and friendly pubs.

How do we get there?
From the Convention Center:
• Driving: it’s about 10 minutes from downtown. Street parking and pay lots are available in the Fremont neighborhood.
• Transit: Metro buses 5, 16, and 26 all go from downtown to this area

Keep walking through Fremont to another fun bit of art: Waiting for the Interurban, to see how people have decorated the sculptures this week. And there’s one more piece of public art that you may find dressed up for some occasion: Vladimir Lenin.

Sounds cool, but is that all there is?
There’s more! In between these art works, you’ll find great food (Thai, sushi, or pizza are all good bets). And for pubs, try a:
• Northwest favorite, McMenamins’ Dad Watson
• Great English pub (but not very "Seattle"): the George & Dragon
• Dive bar: The Buckaroo Tavern
4月 112010
 


SAS can do many things which most of us don’t have a clue. Here is one example…. Writing a letter: filename formltr 'C:\Documents and Settings\sreddy\Desktop\formltr.rtf'; data address; infile datalines; input @ 1 stno  @ 6 lane $12. @19 aptno $7. @27 city $9. @37 state $2. @40 zip ; datalines; 2550 Augusta Blvd Apt#203 Fairfield OH 45014 ; run; data _null_; retain lm 5; set address; file formltr;* print notitles; put _page_; adr1 = trim(stno) ' ' trim(lane); put @lm adr1; adr2 = trim(aptno); put @lm adr2; adr3 = trim(city) ||', '|| trim(state) ||' '|| trim(zip); put @lm adr3; adr4 = trim('Dear')|| ' ' ||trim('SAS') || ' ' || trim('Users,'); put / @lm adr4; put / @lm 'StudySAS Blog offers a lot of information regarding tips and tutorials on various topics ' ; put @lm 'in SAS. It covers basics to get started to more in-depth topics like Macros and Proc SQL.'; put @lm 'It is a great site to browse to help broaden and deepen your SAS knowledge...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 Posted by at 1:08 上午
4月 112010
 


SAS can do many things which most of us don’t have a clue. Here is one example…. Writing a letter: filename formltr 'C:\Documents and Settings\sreddy\Desktop\formltr.rtf'; data address; infile datalines; input @ 1 stno  @ 6 lane $12. @19 aptno $7. @27 city $9. @37 state $2. @40 zip ; datalines; 2550 Augusta Blvd Apt#203 Fairfield OH 45014 ; run; data _null_; retain lm 5; set address; file formltr;* print notitles; put _page_; adr1 = trim(stno) ' ' trim(lane); put @lm adr1; adr2 = trim(aptno); put @lm adr2; adr3 = trim(city) ||', '|| trim(state) ||' '|| trim(zip); put @lm adr3; adr4 = trim('Dear')|| ' ' ||trim('SAS') || ' ' || trim('Users,'); put / @lm adr4; put / @lm 'StudySAS Blog offers a lot of information regarding tips and tutorials on various topics ' ; put @lm 'in SAS. It covers basics to get started to more in-depth topics like Macros and Proc SQL.'; put @lm 'It is a great site to browse to help broaden and deepen your SAS knowledge...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 Posted by at 1:08 上午
4月 092010
 
For those of you headed to Seattle next week for SAS Global Forum or SGF Executive Conference (#SGF10 and #SGFXC on Twitter), there are a number of great opportunities for you to learn new things and meet your peers. Here’s what you can expect related just to Customer Intelligence or Social Media Analytics:

[NOTE: All times are Pacific Time]

Sunday, April 11: 9:00 p.m.
SAS Seattle Tweetup! at Tap House Grill, 1506 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA
Register here (no cost to register, just a courtesy)

Monday, April 12: 8:00 a.m.
SAS Social Media Analytics Solution Launch at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center
If you can't be in Seattle, it will be streamed live here: www.sas.com/smalaunch (How cool is that?) and you can catch the buzz about the launch on Twitter by following #SASSMA.

Monday, April 12: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: Marketing Success in a World of Empowered Customers
Moderated by Deb Orton, this panel discussion includes executives from Staples, Cisco Systems, GE Capital and Lacek/OgilvyOne. Our panel of experts will tell you how they get, grow and keep their best customers. This takes place at the Sheraton Hotel in the Aspen Room.

Monday, April 12: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: The Social Media Roundtable
Discussion led by Dave Evans, Social Media enthusiast and author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. Includes executives from Starbucks Coffee Co. and The Wet Seal. This takes place in Grand Ballroom A on the 2d floor.

Monday, April 12 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Executive Conference Session: How Guest Intelligence Drives Marketing and Merchandising at Target
In this session, learn how Target uses guest intelligence to optimize marketing and merchandising processes from Eric Bibelnieks, Target's Group Manager, Guest Data and Analytical Services. Hear how guest intelligence addresses their goal of enhancing guests’ shopping experiences and driving store performance.

Monday, April 12 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Executive Conference Demos: Customer Intelligence, Marketing Automation, Marketing Optimization and Social Media Analytics. These take place in the Metropolitan Ballroom on the 3rd Floor during the Intelligence in Action Showcase reception. If needed, we have a dedicated quiet discussion area just outside the doors and a dedicated private meeting room set aside just for Customer Intelligence.

Monday, April 12 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The SAS Social Media Analytics Networking Reception
Come meet your peers from the Seattle online analytics community and others interested in Social Media Analytics. Refreshments will be served and it will include a brief overview of the new Social Media Analytics solution. This takes place in the Cedar Room on the 2d floor. Register here. (no cost to register - just a courtesy)

One additional happening that’s not a SAS Customer Intelligence event, but worth considering:

Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Social Media Breakfast Seattle: No More Excuses: Yes we CAN Measure Social Media
This takes place at Tribal DDB Worldwide, 1000 2nd Avenue, Suite 1000, Seattle, WA and features measurement guru Katie Paine. There’s a nominal fee, but will be well worth it. Register here. Justin and I will be there - come join the fun!

Please remember that with the exception of the tweetup, the networking reception and the breakfast with Katie Paine, you need to be registered to take part in the fun. Here's how to register:
SAS Users: Now On-Site Registration Only
SAS Executive Users: For Director-level and above only.

See you in Seattle!
JB
4月 092010
 
A little less than two years ago on the sascom voices blog, I argued that even social media enthusiasts should be listening more to social media curmudgeons like Tom Davenport. Tom is best known in SAS circles for co-authoring the books Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning and Analytics at Work. He also maintains a blog at Harvard Business Review, where he writes about IT, analytics and enterprise technology.

In his most recent post, Web 2.0 Versus Service 1.0, Tom argues that, in many cases, he'd prefer to see companies focus on good customer service via traditional channels before moving on to meet customer needs through social media channels like Twitter. He says:
I, for one, would rather work with a company that truly cares through a single communications channel — even snail mail — than one that shows its lack of caring through all the latest Web 2.0 tools.
It's a good point, but Frank Eliason from Comcast also makes a good counterpoint in the comments of Tom's post:
70% or more of the people we help via Twitter never contacted us before. Twitter is an early warning system and we see things there before other communications channels. This helps reduce overall costs and create better Customer experiences ... Since we started our social media work we have seen strong improvements in Customer Satisfaction, and we look to continue to improve them.

Continue reading "The benefits of bellyaching online"
4月 092010
 
In thinking about the upcoming inaugural Sentiment Analysis Symposium, I did a bit of exploring. Some of the early notions of sentiment can be attributed to Scottish born Adam Smith (1723-1790), who is often referred to as the first modern economist. One item from his 1759, “Theory of Moral Sentiment” stood out to me (an excerpt from Section 1.1.24):
"The sentiment or affection of the heart from which any action proceeds, and upon which its whole virtue or vice must ultimately depend, may be considered under two different aspects, or in two different relations; first, in relation to the cause which excites it, or the motive which gives occasion to it; and secondly, in relation to the end which it proposes, or the effect which it tends to produce.”
Perhaps not surprisingly then, both behavioural psychologists and stock market economists have examined the notion of sentiment for some time – both its cause and effect – with Dow, of the modern day (Dow Jones) Index, being one of them.

Being pragmatic – and translating this to how (and when) organizations successfully analyze sentiment – I am heartened to see that this is consistent with how we examine this today.

Understanding the relationship giving rise to emotional expressions in our current, connected world – sentiment analysis is part of a business analytics process. The evaluation of existing knowledge (observation and measurement of the motive) with the assessment of accurately measured sentiment expression (analysis of the effect) – from whatever communication vehicle the text data is collected. As with all analytics, models are tested, validated, and then deployed. Once deployed into business operations, sentiment is evaluated in real-time – sending triggers and updates to parts of the business that need to be informed and act upon the results. This analytic cycle is expressed further in an Interactive Tour and cited recently in Text Analytics – Two Worlds Collide.

Over 250 years later – with all that has changed since – the theory, at least this context, still makes sense in practice. So whether you are attending SAS Global Forum or the Sentiment Symposium we look forward to hearing about what you are doing in the Text Frontier. See you at the conference.
4月 082010
 

上午八点半到的知春里的中科软,九点开考,九点半出来,接着赶回公司。上午就这么考了人生第一个除英语六级外的认证,SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 Credential,一共是70道题(要求时间是两个小时),错了一道,拿了99/100分回家。还好,我06年开始接触SAS,并以此为生,这个成绩不算丢脸。

为什么想到考这个证?美国那里有句话说,“如果你有个SAS认证,你将不愁找不到工作”云云。对有经验的SAS程序员,雇主一般不在乎你是否考过SAS认证,我推荐在校生没事可以整这么一个,可以增加些筹码,以示自己也算是有些投资,花过功夫。我现在不需要这个认证找工作,倒是想借这个机会,重温一些基本概念。SAS公司有一份Base的认证文档说这可以refresh your mind on some details you might have forgotter,就是这个。当然,还有一个很重要的原因,现在考证,可以找东家报销(150美元,很大的一块蚊子肉啊),——做学生时穷,虽然只要半价,还是舍不得考。

计划下半年再考一次SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9 Credential,这个拿高分还算是有些挑战性。为考试而考试是个很无聊的事,那就借着这个机会,温习下SAS Advance的东西,这些在日常工作中都要用到,相互促进了。

其实我最想考的是SAS Certified Predictive Modeler using SAS Enterprise Miner 5 Credential,数据挖掘相关的。读书时鼓捣得比较多,现在工作几乎都要忘掉这些了,考个证可以刺激下自个。啥时有机会去美国遛达,就乘机考了这厮。SAS Base和Advance都可以在国内考,唯有这DM需要在美国的SAS公司考。

附些材料,感兴趣的朋友可以参考。

1. 报名,SAS Base和Advance都可以网上预约,或者直接到考场报名,费用是150美元(或相应的人民币)。

预约或查询考点,上www.prometric.com/sas,有国际信用卡就可以支付。

又,考试时间也是可以预定的,从早上八点开始。我订的是早九点,早八点考场工作人员可能都在调试机器,拖后些比较好。

2.参考资料。对考Base来说,SAS公司的SAS OnlineTutor®: Basic and Intermediate SAS,止矣尽矣。这是我见到过的最好的入门材料。或者,同等有分量的入门材料,SAS Programming I: Essential和SAS Programming II: Data Manipulation Techniques。这些材料,既可以为准备考试用,更可以作为入门温习提高用。从准备考试来讲,它们比SAS Little Book实用。