Featured Speakers:

photo of Stephen Few

photo of Joseph C. Gardiner
photo of Bob Hirschfeld

photo of Michael Raithel

Featured Presentations

Stephen Few

Reporting and Information Visualization Section Keynote and
Post Conference Seminar* Presenter

Keynote Presentation
Data Visualization — Opening Our Minds by Opening Our Eyes

Vision is by far our most powerful sense. It is so intimately tied to thinking that, when we suddenly understand something, we say "I see." Because this is so, through graphical representations of data we can coax the meanings that lurk therein from the shadows into the light. Based on what we now know about visual perception and cognition, we can learn to shift much of the work involved in data analysis and presentation from difficult, time-consuming conscious thinking processes to simple, rapid visual processes. Once we learn the rules, with the help of good software tools designed to support our perceptual abilities and augment our thinking, we can bring numbers alive and tell their stories in compelling ways.

Post-Conference Seminar*
Now You See It

Ninety percent of all data analysis can be done using relatively simple graphing techniques to discern meaningful patterns in data that rely as much on our eyes as our brains. Even though these skills are easy to learn and apply with proper guidance, few of those involved in analyzing business data know them. In this seminar Stephen Few will introduce simple and practical visual analysis techniques for quantitative data exploration and analysis.
* Extra-fee item - see information under Registration

Stephen Few is on a mission to help organizations squeeze real value from the mounds of data that surround and threaten to bury them. Through his consultancy Perceptual Edge, Stephen teaches simple, clear, and practical data visualization techniques for analyzing and presenting quantitative information. He speaks internationally, teaches in the MBA program at the University of California in Berkeley, and writes the Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter. He is also the author of three popular books: Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data, and Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis.

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Joseph C. Gardiner

Statistics and Data Analysis Section Keynote

Survival Analysis: Overview of Parametric, Nonparametric and Semiparametric approaches and New Developments

Time to event data arise in several fields including biostatistics, demography, economics, engineering and sociology. The terms duration analysis, event-history analysis, failure-time analysis, reliability analysis, and transition analysis refer essentially to the same group of techniques although the emphases in certain modeling aspects could differ across disciplines. SAS procedures LIFETEST, LIFEREG, PHREG, RELIABILITY, and QLIM have different capabilities for analyzing duration data. Methods include Kaplan-Meier estimation, accelerated life-testing models, and the ubiquitous Cox model. Recent developments in SAS extend their reach to include analyses of multiple failure times, recurrent events, frailty models, Markov models and use of Bayesian methods. We present an overview of these methods with examples illustrating their application in the appropriate context.

Joseph Gardiner, PhD is Interim Chairperson and Director of the Division of Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University (MSU). Dr. Gardiner has been a faculty member at MSU since 1978 where his primary research interests are in outcomes research and cost-effectiveness analysis in the area of cardiovascular disease. He has published widely on both methodological aspects of statistics, as well as in many applied areas. He has been a SAS user for over 25 years, using SAS software both in research and teaching.

Dr. Gardiner is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute and recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award from MSU in 2002.

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Bob Hirschfeld

Technology Connection Keynote

As a "cybersatirist," Bob Hirschfeld has lampooned business and technology for more than 10 years. Now Bob adds the title "ecosatirist" to focus on the challenges and opportunities of going green. Join us for his keynote presentation for his own brand of "stand-up with a laptop" satire that includes parodies, visual punch lines, witty business satire and audience participation.

Hirschfeld initially made his mark with a popular humor Web site that earned him a prestigious Top 100 Award by PC Magazine before spending several years as a contributing writer for Jay Leno and The Tonight Show. His humor has appeared in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and The Washington Post.

Don't miss this presentation by a man Jay Leno calls "one of the top satirists in the country."

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Michael Raithel

Tuesday Lunch* Speaker
It's Not Easy Being a SAS Programmer

It's not easy being a SAS programmer! Your family, friends, and neighbors do not understand what you do for a living. At work, management is mystified by your programming prowess and doesn't quite know where you actually belong in the organization. Other types of programmers patiently regard you as a niche programmer while envying your productivity. The computer press rarely mentions "SAS programmer", though publications often cover successful applications where SAS is involved and the many awards that SAS software routinely wins. And, it is challenging for you to keep up with the ever evolving landscape of SAS releases, products, solutions, and features. But, year-after-year, in project-after-project, you continue to be successful at turning your organization's diverse collections of data into understandable, actionable information using SAS software.

This presentation takes a light-hearted look at what it is like to be a SAS programmer. It discusses the many societal, work-place, and industry issues that SAS programmers routinely face. The presentation highlights the one event that brings SAS programmers together in a friendly, cooperative setting with others that can truly understand them - the yearly SAS Users Group conference. That is where SAS programmers meet to socialize, to share information, to learn new programming techniques, and to reenergize so that they can continue doing great things for their organizations with SAS software.

Michael A. Raithel is a Senior Systems Analyst for Westat, a leading research firm headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. He has been using SAS software for over 24 years and is an internationally recognized expert on using SAS in mainframe and UNIX environments. Michael has authored over twenty-five SAS technical papers and is a popular lecturer at SAS Global Forum, regional SAS conferences, and at local SAS User Group meetings. He has taught SAS classes at Westat, at American University, at SAS Global Forum meetings, and at SAS UK headquarters, Marlow, England.

Michael has been a section chair at SUGI, SESUG, and NESUG, and he co-chaired NESUG in 1995. He is a frequent poster to the SAS-L listserv and a contributor to SASCommunity.org. Michael has written three books on SAS software; the most current one being The Complete Guide to SAS Indexes. A copy of his first SAS book, Tuning SAS Applications in the MVS Environment, resides in the Smithsonian Institution of American History's Permanent Research Collection of Information Technology.
* Extra-fee item - see information under Registration

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