Tuesday 5 April 2011

NOTE: SAS Global Forum 2011 - Update #1

There's a lot for the 3,000+ attendees of SAS Global Forum 2011 here in Las Vegas to see and do. The opening session and this morning's Technology Connection session offered plenty of snippets of information. I'm now attending papers and cruising the demo area in order to get more detail on what I already heard. The conference centre is huge, so the cruising is pretty tiring!

Here are some snippets of what I heard so far:

  • The SASware ballot resulted in commitment from SAS to provide the ability to run stored processes from Base SAS code and to provide vector graphics from ODS (thereby permitting resizing and scaling of the output images). No release date was offered for these features
  • SAS are really pumped about their announcements made yesterday morning regarding high-performance in-database analytics for Teradata and Greenplum. Examples of turnaround time being reduced from 20 hours to 80 seconds were offered, based upon massively parallel processing. Billions of rows, with thousands of columns. Use of smart techniques instead of brute force, i.e. minimising distance travelled by your data and maximising communication between processes
  • Good, old-fashioned display manager is still receiving updates. ODS will be switched on by default in 9.3, so you don't need to code so many ODS statements; graphics output will be displayed in the in-built browser rather than the old graphics display tool, hence providing greater flexibility and proper response to drill-downs
  • ODS Graphics will be part of Base SAS in 9.3
  • Enterprise Guide 5.1 offers type-ahead for column names in addition to the existing ability for library names and table names
  • SAS Conversation Centre (available May 2011) will offer the ability to manage and take control of Twitter interactions based upon sentiment analysis
Videos of the key sessions are all available on the SAS web site. One of the highlights for me was listening to Gary Loveman, chairman of Caesars Entertainment. Gary spoke most eloquently and entertainingly about his company's success in using customer intelligence.

[See all of my posts regarding SAS Global Forum]