Becky Graebe

11月 212017

Fifth annual STEM Showcase draws 350 students Temple Grandin, a prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behavior, and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, was shocked this past August to see how many students on her college campus seemed oblivious to the solar eclipse – despite [...]

The post Temple Grandin: 'We need different kinds of minds working together' appeared first on SAS Analytics U Blog.

4月 072017

“This conference has been one of my best because I’ve learned about GatherIQ, a social, good cause initiative that’s made me think about the bigger picture, and how I can help people who need help,” said a SAS Global Forum attendee who heard about SAS’ new data-for-good crowdsourcing app at [...]

Using data for good with GatherIQ was published on SAS Voices by Becky Graebe

4月 072017

“This conference has been one of my best because I’ve learned about GatherIQ, a social, good cause initiative that’s made me think about the bigger picture, and how I can help people who need help,” said a SAS Global Forum attendee who heard about SAS’ new data-for-good crowdsourcing app at [...]

Using data for good with GatherIQ was published on SAS Voices by Becky Graebe

4月 052017

Emma Warrillow, President of Data Insight Group, Inc., believes analysts add business value when they ask questions of the business, the data and the approach. “Don’t be an order taker,” she said.

Emma Warrillow at SAS Global Forum.

Warrillow held to her promise that attendees wouldn’t see a stitch of SAS programming code in her session Monday, April 3, at SAS Global Forum.

Not that she doesn’t believe programming skills and SAS Certifications aren’t important. She does.

Why you need communication skills

But Warrillow believes that as technology takes on more of the heavy lifting from the analysis side, communication skills, interpretation skills and storytelling skills are quickly becoming the data analyst’s magic wand.

Warrillow likened it to the centuries-old question: If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound? “If you have a great analysis, but no one gets it or takes action, was it really a great analysis?” she asked.

If you have a great analysis, but no one gets it or takes action, was it really a great analysis?
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To create real business value and be the unicorn – that rare breed of marketing technologist who understands both marketing and marketing technology – analysts have to understand the business and its goals and operations.

She offered several actionable tips to help make the transition, including:

1. Never just send the spreadsheet.

Or the PowerPoint or the email. “The recipient might ignore it, get frustrated or, worse yet, misinterpret it,” she said. “Instead, communicate what you’ve seen in the analysis.”

2. Be a POET.

Warrillow is a huge fan of the work of Laura Warren of who recommends an acronym approach to data-based storytelling and making sure every presentation offers:

  • Purpose: The purpose of this chart is to …
  • Observation: To illustrate that …
  • Explanation: What this means to us is …
  • Take-away or Transition: As a next step, we recommend …

3. Brand your work.

“Many of us suffer from a lack of profile in our organizations,” she said. “Take a lesson from public relations and brand yourselves. Just make sure you’re a brand people can trust. Have checks and balances in place to make sure your data is accurate.”

4. Don’t be an order taker.

Be consultative and remember that you are the expert when it comes to knowing how to structure the campaign modeling. It can be tough in some organizations, Warrillow admitted, but asking some questions and offering suggestions can be a great way to begin.

5. Tell the truth.

“Storytelling can be associated with big, tall tales,” she said. “You have to have stories that are compelling but also have truth and resonance.” One of her best resources is The Four Truths of the Storyteller” by Peter Gruber, which first appeared in Harvard Business Review December 2007.

6. Go higher.

Knowledge and comprehension are important, “but we need to start moving further up the chain,” Warrillow said. She used Bloom’s Taxonomy to describe the importance of making data move at the speed of business – getting people to take action by moving into application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation phases.

7. Prepare for the future.

“Don’t become the person who says, ‘I’m this kind of analyst,’” she said. “We need to explore new environments, prepare ourselves with great skills. In the short term, we’re going to need more programming skills. Over time, however, we’re going to need interpretation, communication and storytelling skills.” She encouraged attendees to answer the SAS Global Forum challenge of becoming a #LifeLearner.

For more from Warrillow, read the post, Making data personal: big data made small.

7 tips for becoming a data science unicorn was published on SAS Users.

4月 052017

In an industry full of word people, it's not uncommon to hear journalists lament, “Data, what are you doing here!?” But today, data is a tool in the newsroom, and reporters need to know how to analyze and present data to readers as part of their role in communicating information to the public. Amanda [...]

What can a BBC data journalist teach you about data visualization? was published on SAS Voices by Becky Graebe

9月 192016

Wheat rust. You may have never heard of it, but in a matter of days, this fast-moving, silent-killing plant disease can completely annihilate a critical wheat farm in Ethiopia. Wheat rust’s newest nemeses? A legion of volunteer superheroes in the Data for Good movement. When Jake Porway, Founder and Executive […]

'Data for good is in the DNA of this organization' was published on SAS Voices.

4月 262016

SAS Global ForumWhen was the last time an informational graph or chart caught your eye? I mean, really caught your eye in a way that made you want to emblazon it on a greeting card or frame it for your office?

What’s that…never?

Me neither, until I had the opportunity to see some of the striking visuals and graphics by David McCandless and hear about the thought and passion that goes into his work as a data journalist. McCandless, the author of Knowledge is Beautiful, was a keynote speaker at SAS® Global Forum April 21, an event traditionally focused on the more technical and logistical aspects of analyzing data.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was moved by the informative digital images displayed across the conference venue jumbo screens the way some might be moved by a famous painting or sculpture. They revealed depth of understanding and presented analytical findings in such unexpected ways through story, shape, color and connection.

They were beautiful, indeed. But McCandless was quick to point out that it’s important that data visualization transcends aesthetic beauty and aids comprehension

That’s important when you’re faced with billions of numbers and facts. “Images allow us to see something important in a sea of data,” he said. “They tell a story.”

McCandless says the story often lies not in the data points themselves but in the gaps and modulations. “When you visualize data this way, you have a different relationship with it,” he said. “To be able to see it, see the data, helps us understand.”

Many in the analytics world have heard the phrase that data is the new oil, the new fuel to power and motivate business. But McCandless offered a twist on the modern day buzz phrase. “I like to think of data as the new soil,” he said. “Get in and get your hands dirty.” What is revealed could take root and flourish in ways you never imagined.

McCandless also encouraged attendees to give themselves the gift of time and spontaneity when digging into data. “Eject a little play and you may get unexpected results,” he said. He shared visuals created around his own areas of interest, images crafted just for fun, ranging from based-on-truth movies to more than 80 thousand horoscopes. Playing with data is a great way to learn techniques, stretch the imagination, and reveal more memorable ways of sharing business data.

The visual graphics you create may not find a spot above the living room couch, but if they hang in the minds of decision-makers and compel those who rely upon your analysis to change the way they see things, I think McCandless would agree: That is a beautiful thing.

View the full keynote presentation (and catch a glimpse of some of those stunning graphics) on the livestream archive.








tags: data visualization, SAS Global Forum

Data is the new soil; get your hands dirty was published on SAS Users.

4月 222016

SAS Global ForumWhen you attend SAS® Global Forum - a conference where you’re surrounded by data scientists, programmers and those who grew up as the smartest people in the room – you expect to hear talk about big data and advanced analytics.

What you don’t expect to hear are compelling messages about the importance of art, storytelling…and unicorns.

Ellen Warrillow, President of Data Insight Group, Inc., delivering her talk at SAS Global Forum

Ellen Warrillow, President of Data Insight Group, Inc., delivering her talk at SAS Global Forum

But Ellen Warrillow, President of Data Insight Group, Inc., couldn’t have been more convincing in her April 19 session highlighting the magic formula for becoming a well-sought-after marketing analyst. Her first hint: It requires much more than good programming skills.

She believes in the marriage of art and science. “When you put those two together, that’s where you get the wonder,” she said.

Wonder? Maybe that’s where unicorns come in.

In a sense, perhaps. Actually, unicorns – a rare breed of marketing technologists who understand both marketing and marketing technology (with a nod to John Ellett, contributor to Forbes) – are those who take the time to be curious and recognize that storytelling and imagery are like an analyst’s Trojan horse. Warrillow says they’re the way you get in.

For the data story to have real power, she believes, it needs to be memorable, impactful and personal. “Ask what the business will do with the results,” she said. “Think about what the listener might tell their boss or their coworker at the water cooler. That will be memorable.”

Today’s data visualization products make this easier than ever before. To build new skills in these seemingly foreign areas, she also suggested tapping into the power of user groups and creative teams in other parts of the organization.

Warrillow offered five tips to becoming that rare breed unicorn:

  1. Take time to align your analytic objectives with business objectives.
  2. Ask yourself what questions the business is asking. Insist on time to be curious and wonder.
  3. Tell stories to help your audience relate both rationally and emotionally to your message.
  4. Match the picture to the content and ensure it is telling the story.
  5. Look for ways that new technology may provide you with more efficient and effective ways to do your job.

“It’s a tall order,” she said. “Unicorns are rare and they’re hard to find. But the more you can take the time to understand all the pieces, the better analyst you’re going to be.”

Let the magic begin.

View the full paper
View the full presentation

tags: SAS Global Forum

Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn was published on SAS Users.

4月 222016

SAS Global ForumEditor's Note: In addition to the summary included in this blog, you can view videos of the following product demonstrations from the Technology Connection at SAS Global Forum 2016 by clicking on the links below:


Executive VP and CTO Armistead Sapp delivers opening remarks at the Technology Connection

“For over 40 years, we’ve seen it, solved it,” said SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Armistead Sapp in his opening remarks at the SAS® Global Forum Technology Connection. If his explanation of SAS differentiators and the road ahead serve as any indication, SAS is just getting started.

So what does set SAS apart? Sapp believes it’s:

  • 40 years of analytics in action.
  • Technology that meets users’ skill sets.
  • Innovation driven by strategy.
  • Analytics that impact the world.

Since last year’s conference alone, he said, a total of 326 products have released, including 88 deployment tools and utilities. That’s a lot of code, but Sapp reiterated that SAS’ first priority to solve for quality, then performance and then new features remains unchanged.

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight and other presenters announced several new offerings during Opening Session the night before, but an impressive crew of Technical Connection speakers and demonstrations gave attendees a look under the hood.

Senior Product Manager Mike Frost, SAS Global Forum Technology Connection

Senior Product Manager Mike Frost speaks at SAS Global Forum Technology Connection

SAS Senior Product Manager Mike Frost served as the on-stage ringmaster, guiding attendees through real organizational scenarios and dilemmas presented via video.

“Whether you’re a data scientist, statistician, IT analyst, business analyst or even someone who employs or manages folks in these roles, you will be able to see how what we’re doing in SAS® Viya™ will deliver value,” he said.

Technical presenters (in order of appearance), the product offering they demonstrated, and key takeaways included:

SAS® Cloud Analytics – Juthika Khargharia, Senior Solutions Architect, Products, Marketing and Enablement:

  • Access analytic applications from a web browser to quickly build predictive models.
  • Access to SAS’ API for embedded analytics from any client language and incorporate them into current business applications and processes.
  • Zero set-up, with no worries about spinning up a cluster or installing any software. Users get a secure, cloud-based location to store data to analyze and save results of those analyses.

SAS® Visual Analytics – Jeff Diamond, Director, Research and Development

  • SAS Visual Analytics is running on SAS Viya.
  • Users can move seamlessly between data exploration, report design and modeling, as three offerings have merged into this new single user experience: SAS® Visual Analytics Designer, SAS® Visual Analytics Explorer and SAS® Visual Statistics.
  • The interface has been rewritten as an HTML5 application.

SAS® Customer Intelligence 360 – Michele Eggers, Senior Customer Intelligence Product Line Director, Products, Marketing and Enablement

  • Analytics “the way you need it.”
  • Software as a Service cloud offering with volumized pricing.
  • Omni-channel, offering the most comprehensive customer intelligence hub.

SAS® Visual Investigator – Gordon Robinson; R&D Director, Products, Marketing and Enablement

  • Detection of threats can now be automated. The offering can pull information from websites, social media and various databases, drawing associations between disparate datasets.
  • Can be used by analysts to perform efficient investigations.
  • Can be configured to meet the needs of many types of solutions, including fraud, public security and more.

SAS® Environment Manager – Evan Guarnaccia, Solutions Architect, Products, Marketing and Enablement

  • Web-based window into a seamless administrative experience.
  • Can process simple alerts and it can use machine learning to identify problematic conditions that have not yet been modeled.
  • SAS Viya architected to make maximum use of the capabilities in these technologies.

Vice President of Product Management Ryan Schmiedl offered closing remarks, talking more about the journey SAS and its customers have been on over the years.

“We are continuing to deliver on our promise to solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s problems,” he said. “It’s powerful stuff, revolutionary things. It’s going to change the market.”

tags: SAS Global Forum

Highlights from SAS Global Forum: Technology Connection was published on SAS Users.

7月 292015

Summer break is in full swing for most students, but many parents and those who volunteer in the classroom continue to be interested in ways to keep the momentum going. That desire brought together a panel of SAS Curriculum Pathways staff at an education-based event last month at SAS world […]

The post School’s out, but STEM's in appeared first on Generation SAS.