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.
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.
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.
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.
Mukhopadhyay: Right. San Antonio in 2008.
Little: My first conference was in Orlando in 1981. That was a few years before I joined SAS.
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!
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.
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.