5月 232009
SAS campus has this great art installation titled Frightened Deer by Richard Rothschild. (That's it in the picture below.) As you can see, this is a large art installation. I run or drive by these deer almost every day. Most days I am oblivious to their existence, but some mornings, I find myself pulling up short and sucking in my breath startled by what is about to attack me. How can I forget that these deer are there? It's easy really. They are a part of the background of my life.

Sometimes the things we are the most blind to are the things that we look at everyday. I haven't found a trick that helps me open my eyes and mind and take in my everyday surroundings. But I'm trying.

What fades into the background on support.sas.com

My team monitors the comments that come from visitors to the Website and actively solicits input from you. From your comments, I have created a list of support.sas.com elements that have faded into the background for many site visitors. The remainder of this post will introduce you to a few of the features that you might be missing.
Continue reading "What you don't see is right in front of you"
5月 212009
We're on a roll with discussion forums. We launched yet another customer-requested forum this week; it focuses on data mining and text mining. Mining is all about digging through vast amounts of data to find trends that enable creating predictive and descriptive models. The SAS Data Mining and Text Mining forum will be most helpful to those who have SAS Enterprise Miner, SAS Text Miner, and SAS Credit Scoring. However, you don't have to have these products to explore large data sets. Note: If you are unfamiliar with the data and text mining offerings from SAS, review the material provided in the Products & Solutions section of the SAS Web site.

As always, we hope that you will use this forum to share experiences, post questions and suggestions, offer solutions, and interact with other SAS data miners. Remember that you can follow the conversation in e-mail by setting a watch or in an RSS feed by subscribing to items that interest you. Instructions for both of these tasks are provided in Watching a forum.
5月 192009
I wrote a piece for eWeek about the Voice of the Customer. In it, I talk about how conversational data collected in call centers is growing faster than our ability to deal with it. Those who don't want to miss insights buried in their data, can now turn to predictive modeling (data mining and text mining) to help them perform voice analytics. Armed with these emerging technologies you can decipher key messages from all the noise and really listen to what customers are saying. Those who learn quickly can respond first (before competitors do) and can deliver better service, better products resulting in happier customers!

Component No. 3: Voice mining your own business

The best way to overcome this obstacle is to secure access to analytic experts at the same time you address any voice mining software purchases. A trained analytical expert will ensure you not only "see" insights, but actually move on them and get the value out of predictive analytic workbenches.

Where have you seen these technologies implemented? do share!
5月 102009
If you are applying these technologies today - or are considering implementing Text Analytic into your organization in the near future - we invite you to take a few moments and take a survey here.

As Manya and others have stated , interest in this field is indeed growing, however there remain many unanswered challenges for our R&D groups to pursue. With your inputs here you can help craft the direction of the next enhancements and guide future application direction. This is an opportunity for all of you out there to share your Perceptions & Plans for text analytics.

Seth Grimes' text-analytics survey will close tommorrow - May 10. He'll write up his findings on how organizations are dealing with unstructured sources and the role text mining/analytics plays as a free report, available in early June.

The survey will take you 5-10 minutes. Thanks for responding!

PS - new members are welcome to the YAHOO group on text analytics.

read about and join us here http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TextAnalytics/
5月 042009
I was reading Alison's Friday Fast Links post in the sascom voices blog and was amazed at the growing list of blogs by SAS users. If you are interested in what other SAS users are doing with SAS, be sure to check out the running list of blogs that Alison maintains.

You will also find user blogs in the Bloggers Corner on sasCommunity.org.

Note: If you have a blog that includes SAS tips, ideas, and musings, leave a comment so that you can be added to the list.
5月 012009
Contributed by Richard Foley, Product Manager, SAS

Twitter, a microblogging platform, has become all the rage. Companies are using Twitter to inform and market to customers and the world. People use it as a way to keep in touch and let others quickly know what they are thinking and where they are. Visit Twitter at twitter.com.

Wouldn’t it be cool to use SAS as your Twitter information hub? Post twitter updates, called tweets, from SAS; have SAS query Twitter and then load the results into SAS datasets for further analysis.

Twitter’s API uses Web Services to allow clients, such as SAS, access to the Twitter functions. Typically you find two different types of Web Services, a SOAP style Web Service and a RESTful style Web Service. (I won’t go into the differences, but have provided links for reference.) SAS 9.2 has two new procedures to handle these services:

  • PROC SOAP for SOAP style Web Services
  • PROC HTTP for RESTful style Web Services.

Twitter has a developer API Wiki that describes the various operations available to the public along with the parameters required when invoking these methods. To follow along with this example, you'll need a Twitter username and SAS 9.2.

According to the Twitter API documentation, we see that many of the API methods require authentication using HTTP Basic Authentication and are REST style services. Therefore, we use PROC HTTP, which supports HTTP Basic Authentication via the two procedure options webusername and webpassword. (HTTP basic authentication passes your username and password. If you're overly concerned about securing your account you shouldn’t use HTTP basic authentication; HTTP basic authentication can be intercepted and reused or broken, giving someone else access to your account.)

Refer to the Twitter API to find out how to update our status. We see that we need to call the URL http://twitter.com/statuses/update.format where format is either xml or json. We want XML in this case, so we'll use the URL http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml. The method or HTTP verb that's required for this particular operation is POST because we're updating data (many other Twitter API functions only retrieve data and therefore use a GET operation). The one parameter we really need is the status parameter that contains our update. So let's look at our SAS code to see how this is done.

A SAS developer Zach Marshall was the first to use the Twitter API and here is the code he developed for tweeting on Twitter.

filename twtIn "\\sas\status_update.txt";
filename twtOut temp;
%let proxyhst="myproxy host"
%let twUser="mytwitterusername";
%let twPass="mytwitterpassword";
proc http

where \\sas\status_update.txt is the text you will be sending to Twitter.

Let’s use Zach’s code as a template and go one step further; query Twitter and put the information into SAS.
Continue reading "Using SAS to call Twitter"
4月 302009
Social media and community experts write tomes full of advice for how to foster conversations with and between your customers. The best advice is "be where they are." In other words, have the conversation in a place where your audience already hangs out. Sometimes that means participating in a community where your customers are already engaged. Sometimes that means creating an environment for them where they can share ideas and problem solutions. And in many cases, it means doing both.

We created forums on support.sas.com because we know that many customers visit the site to learn about SAS or to solve problems with their applications. We started with five forums that addressed hot topics at the time. Since then, you have requested forum topics and we've done our best to launch them. We also launched forums that we thought would address topics on the horizon. (See the graph at the end of this post for a glimpse of forum usage in March and April.)

Forums that are arriving

At your suggestion, we launched a general SAS Procedures forum in February 2008. This forum has been very active; generating 900+ threads in just under a year. We took a look at what was posted and decided to split this forum into two. The new forum, SAS Statistical Procedures was launched at the beginning of April 2009. It focuses on questions, experiences, and best practices for using SAS statistical procedures. We hope that the new forum enables you to use your forum time wisely and to target your posts to the right audience.

Because the existing procedures forum contained many posts that focused on the statistical procs, we moved 13 posts into the new forum to get it started. One of the great new posts comes from a SAS user plf515. He offers four quick steps for writing a good post, which in turn gets you a better answer. These guidelines apply for all posts, so take a look at How to ask a statistics question.

In addition to the SAS Statistical Procedures forum, we also launched the SAS/IML and SAS/IML Studio forum. Hutch@sas says that the forum is "designed to serve users of SAS/IML and SAS/IML Studio (formerly known as Stat Studio). We hope you will use this forum to interact with other users, posing questions and contributing your opinions about programming features and best programming practices." His two introductory posts provide some overview information about SAS/IML and SAS/IML Studio. These are great posts to read even if you don't use the IML language to perform advanced analytics.
Continue reading "Forums Come and Forums Go"
4月 282009

SAS V9.2 釋出已經有一段時間,雖然仍舊有很多學校機關沒有升級到最新的版本,而仍舊沿用 V9.1.3,不過我已經用新版差不多快四個月的時間,所以之後會慢慢來介紹 V9.2 的新功能。這篇技術文件首先是來介紹新版的 proc power 以及 proc glmpower 所帶來的新的功能。

Continue reading »
 Posted by at 4:44 上午
4月 282009

SAS V9.2 釋出已經有一段時間,雖然仍舊有很多學校機關沒有升級到最新的版本,而仍舊沿用 V9.1.3,不過我已經用新版差不多快四個月的時間,所以之後會慢慢來介紹 V9.2 的新功能。這篇技術文件首先是來介紹新版的 proc power 以及 proc glmpower 所帶來的新的功能。

Continue reading »
 Posted by at 4:44 上午