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Roundtable with Advanced Analytics Staff on Upcoming SAS® Global Forum

Advanced Analytics

Members of the Advanced Analytics R & D Division recently met to discuss the upcoming SAS Global Forum conference in Seattle. They talked with Maura Stokes about previous experiences at the conference and their plans for this year. The group included Mark Little, Rick Wicklin, Bob Rodriguez, Manoj Chari, Pushpal Mukhopadhyay, and Billie Anderson, who represent both longtime SAS Global participants and relative newcomers.

Maura Stokes: Billie, you were the queen of the demo floor last year. You were always talking to someone.

Anderson: It was nonstop! I loved it! I really enjoyed the demo hours I had last year, which probably explains why I have something like 20 demo hours this year! I'm really looking forward to going back and talking with more customers.

Rick, you are one of our demo heroes, showing off SAS/IML® and SAS/IML® Studio constantly in the last few years.

Wicklin: I enjoy it. The customers fall into several categories at SAS Global Forum, so that means that I get ready for different types of users.

Can you explain that?

Wicklin: Some users wants a five-minute demo to determine whether they're interested or not. Other people know they want to use the software but aren't sure of everything it does. They want to see a comprehensive demo of the important features. And a third type are the power users who have a lot of experience and come up with feature requests. They want a high-level discussion about how to be more efficient with the product as well as some insight into its advanced features.

Mukhopadhyay: I had the same challenges as Rick in talking with different kinds of users. Some users were new to SAS, and others were much more experienced with SAS than I. I really liked talking with each kind of user.

You were at your first SAS Global Forum, right?

Mukhopadhyay: Right. San Antonio in 2008.

Mark and Bob, I think we go a little further back than 2008! My first conference was in New Orleans in 1983, when I worked at RTI. I gave a talk on a PROC MATRIX macro.

Little: My first conference was in Orlando in 1981. That was a few years before I joined SAS.

Was Disney World invented then?

Little: Yes, but that was before the resort hotels we use now were built.

Rodriguez: I win. My first SUGI was in 1980 in San Antonio . It was the year of the cowboy hat and I missed my chance for a collector's item by choosing a t-shirt as my conference souvenir!

So you shared San Antonio as your first SAS Global Forum location with Pushpal! Did you present?

Rodriguez: Yes, as an employee of GM Research. I did a talk on linking interactive graphics on a Tektronix terminal with SAS. It was an early example of interactive data analysis with a user-written procedures.

Wicklin: As interactive as you could be with a command line?

Rodriguez: (laughing) Yes. There was no mouse! But you could overlay curves and labels and so on.

Manoj, you are participating in SAS Global Forum on the other side of the fence by chairing a session.

Chari: That's right. We're holding the third SAS OR Presents session on SAS/OR® applications. It includes both SAS and customer presentations. The word is spreading, and both the number of submissions and the attendance is growing.

Continued: Preparing for SAS Global Forum