It's Monday morning at SAS Global Forum; the conference gets into gear today. Yesterday evening the 4,000 attendees in San Fancisco attended the Opening Session and heard SAS senior staff describe the key topics for the event. All were centred around the phrase: strength in numbers.
It was the first Opening Session I've seen in many years that featured so much statistical capability of SAS software. Clearly, SAS see their strength as being able to take "big data" and not just do pretty graphs and animated pie charts but to do real industrial strength statistical analysis and predictive analytics and to help their customers influence their own future rather than simple draw graphs of the past.
There wasn't a great deal of novel technical content yesterday evening but Jim Goodnight did mention that v9.4 will be available n June 2013 and its architecture is geared towards the cloud (whether it be internal virtual machines, or true off-premise hosting). And, SAS will soon be making a web-based version of Display Manager available. The whole Opening Session was broadcast live on the internet and is now available to watch at http://www.livestream.com/sasglobalforum.
On a personal note, I enjoyed a cycle ride with friends yesterday. We hired bikes from Blazing Saddles near Fishermans' Wharf, cycled across the Golden Gate bridge , had a fantastic lunch in Salito's in Sausalito (http://www.salitoscrabhouse.com), and got the ferry back to Fishermans' Wharf. It was a terrific way to get to see San Francisco from may angles, and a terrific way to overcome any jet lag!
This morning, right now, I'm enjoying the keynote session with Billy Beane (ref: Moneyball, Oakland A's baseball team) and looking forward to the following Technology Connection that will reveal technical details that will influence my clients' decisions over the next year.