3月 182009
By now even the “Secret” truck has left the SAS Worldwide headquarters in Cary, NC for the drive to Washington, DC. (The “non-Secret” truck began its six hour journey to the conference site last Friday, March 13.) As in previous years, we have more than one truck leaving from SAS for SAS Global Forum because 1) not everything will fit onto one truck, and 2) not every SAS employee can make the deadline for the non-secret truck.

The majority of what’s shipped on the truck is going into the SAS Demo Area. Set up of the Demo Area is already underway in the Prince George Level, Exhibit Halls C-D, whose combined size is the equivalent of 1.26 football fields. Don’t worry about getting lost though – there’s an Information Booth just as you walk in the door.

Be sure to make time for the Mixer hosted by SAS on Monday, March 22 from 6 to 7:30 pm. The mixer is held in the SAS Demo Area, and it’s an optimal time to explore and socialize.

And if you need to prove that you attended the conference, you can get an electronic postcard picture (see my friend Sara modeling below) taken in the User Community area between booths 99 and 100.

You can also pick up your official conference t-shirt (100% organic cotton) near the same area and take the SAS Global Users Group survey. The survey opens on Tuesday, March 24 at 10 am in the SAS Global Users Group booth. By taking the survey, your name will be entered into a drawing for some great prizes including a GPS, Nintendo Wii, Digital Camera or Apple iTouch. The winners will be announced at Closing Session on Wednesday, March 25 at noon.
3月 182009

Hi SAS Professionals -- I’m Anne-Lindsay Beall, one of the editors for the SAS Global Forum Daily News. Waynette Tubbs, who you all know from the SAS Tech Report, will be our other roving reporter.

This year, the Daily News will be delivered as an e-newsletter -- right to your inbox every morning -- full of the day’s highlights, tips for getting the most out of the conference, a daily message from SAS Global Forum 
Conference Chair Lori Griffin, interviews with presenters and attendees, and much more.

 During the conference, you’ll also be able to view the newsletter on the SAS Global Forum Web site. 

 If you have any questions, suggestions or conference tips to share, please let me know.  See you in DC!

3月 172009
If you’re local to the Washington, DC area, you may have heard some radio promotions about SAS Global Forum. It only takes 30 seconds to hear how SAS can help the new administration. Government employees can use the discount code GOVELBD09 to qualify for the special $700 registration rate to attend SAS Global Forum. Hurry - this special registration rate ends at 11:59 pm, Monday, March 16.
3月 122009
As we learned from SAS program manager Donna Daniels, in Episode 2 of Inside SAS Global Forum, there are lots of ways to get to SAS Global Forum this year. In addition to the usual modes of transportation, you can take the King Street Metro Station and shuttle from there, or you can take a water taxi from Alexandria to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. SPECIAL UPDATE: Because budgets are taking longer to get approved, and in recognition of today's difficult economic climate, SAS Global Forum has extended the early registration rate for all government employees. Just use the discount code GOVELBD09 and register by March 16 to qualify for the special $700 registration rate.
One last thing about Donna, would you like to know how she’s kept all of us from SAS engaged during hours and hours of meetings to prepare for SAS Global Forum? In addition to bribing us with doughnuts and bagels, she’s held weekly trivia contests for fun. There were no prizes involved - just bragging rights. What president had both the coldest and the warmest inaugurations in history? That would be Ronald Reagan.
3月 122009
Based on research published by Nielsen on Monday,"Social Networking’s New Global Footprint," social networks are now more popular than email. Plenty of customer feedback can be garnered from the Web with a lot more ease than less publicly available email. Yet not all of this information is tremendously useful (see my previous post on the Skittles social media experiment). But, really, who wants to wade through all of that information by hand!?! Discovering and categorizing valuable feedback is something that can be automated using SAS Text Miner and SAS Content Categorization.
3月 072009
Earlier last week, Skittles created a lot of buzz around the relaunching of their web site as part of a social media marketing campaign to direct Twitter comments containing the word "skittles" to the Skittles home page. For a little Friday afternoon frivolity, I decided to download some of the Twitter comments to analyze automatically using SAS Text Miner . Given my experience with analyzing web text, and having read the reports about the Skittles campaign, I was sure I would be subjected to colorful language and other less than savory comments - Web 2.0 at its best AND worst - I was right. Additional related opinion has also been posted by Dave Thomas on his Social Media at SAS blog.

I downloaded 1400 posts about Skittles from the Twitter social networking site. It was not enough to cover all of the campaign and the buzz it created, but it is a start.

Some of my initial results show topics about:click here for a bigger, better view

-- Vodka Skittles! [I'm hoping they'll make some Margarita ones];
-- Religion, Viagra, Rihanna, and taste the rainbow (although not all together);
-- the campaign itself.

This visual (click on it for a better look) gives you a glimpse at the breath of information contained in the postings (people really thought their postings were interesting!)... I spray painted over some bad language so as to avoid offending anyone.

I plan on exploring the data a little more with Text Miner, then maybe (given time) adding SAS Content Categorization to the mix allowing me to create a taxonomy using advanced linguistic techniques.
3月 072009

Donna Daniels, the SAS program manager for SAS Global Forum, talks about lessons learned from last year's conference and what's new for 2009. Learn more about the exciting new venue and location for this year's conference, the Gaylord National® Resort and Convention Center on the National Harbor outside Washington, DC.

Video Links



3月 042009
In just nineteen days, SAS users from around the world will be convening in Washington, DC. The countries from outside of the U.S. with the most registrants are Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Top industries include Government, Education, Consulting & Systems Integration, Pharmaceutical, and Insurance. You can use the social networking tool CrowdVine to find fellow attendees with common interests and to browse for people within your industry. First, add your profile, second, start networking. It’s pretty simple! You can find friends, be a fan or request to meet fellow attendees. The SAS Global Forum Conference Leaders are part of the vine, in case you want to introduce yourself and ask questions. CrowdVine is a also great tool for setting up meetings during the conference. Consider this an opportunity to start networking before, during and after SAS Global Forum and have fun!