Business Development Manager, Consultant and Trainer
How long have you been using SAS®?
I have been using SAS since 1996 and have had a number of roles over the years.
My current roles are:
- Co-Founder and Business Development Manager for Metacoda, a SAS Silver Alliance member that specializes in the development of plug-ins to help users get even more out of their SAS software investment.
- SAS consulting and mentoring for various SAS sites in Australia.
- SAS Education trainer for SAS Australia to SAS programmers, business analysts, statistical analysts, data managers and information consumers throughout Australia.
- Chairperson for SAS Queensland User Group (QUEST).
What SAS products have you used in the past? What products and solutions are you currently using?
I have used many SAS products and solutions over the years, including Base SAS, SAS/ACCESS®, SAS/AF®, SAS/ASSIST®, SAS/CONNECT®, SAS/EIS®, SAS/ETS®, SAS/FSP®, SAS/GRAPH®, SAS/INSIGHT®, SAS/OR®, SAS/STAT®, SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, SAS Anti-Money Laundering, SAS® AppDev StudioTM, SAS BI Dashboard, SAS BI Server, SAS Data Integration Studio, SAS® Enterprise Guide®, SAS® Enterprise MinerTM, SAS Forecast Studio, SAS Information Delivery Portal, SAS Information Map Studio, SAS/IntrNet®, JMP®, SAS Management Console, and SAS Web Report Studio.
Currently I do consulting work for organizations and primarily use SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Data Integration Studio and the business intelligence clients. I teach courses for SAS Australia around these products and solutions, and statistics.
What is a problem you have solved using SAS?
There have been many over the years. However one that stands out was changing an extremely manual process for operational reports to an automated one by using SAS software. The operational statistical reports would need to be produced for different regions every two weeks and could take four days to generate (or longer if the operator forgot to make a change to the SAS code). By automating it, it now takes two hours to run! This was achieved by simplifying the code and automating it with the SAS macro language, with a plan to convert these to stored processes for self-service delivery in the future.
What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?
I have used SAS often to improve productivity and provide automation for regular reporting, which allows more time to fill ad hoc requests.
What is your most memorable SAS moment?
My most memorable moment was during my first consulting job for a statistical reporting project using SAS on the mainframe. I had never used the mainframe before so it was an eye-opener.
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
Fantastically! SAS has kept up with new technology and algorithms which provides organizations many productive ways to resolve business problems. I think the best thing SAS did was to change the underlying architecture in SAS®9 and provide tools for non-programmers – opening up the power of SAS to be leveraged by everyone in the organization.
Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
Yes, I have attended many of both. I am currently the chairperson for my local SAS Users Group, QUEST. I attend other Australian users group meetings (SNUG, SMUG and SAUSAG) and have been to four SAS Global Forums (or SUGIs). I have also presented and attended many SAS Australia Forums (previously SUGA).
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?
Yes, my husband Paul Homes, and Mike Long who was my manager in SAS Australia in 1997 both influenced me. Mike is great in motivating a team and providing support to individuals. He championed my desire to learn and guided me on my SAS career path. Paul has been a remarkable mentor and business partner. His depth of experience, vast skill level and understanding of many technologies, operating systems and architectures is inspiring. We have worked together on many SAS consulting projects over the years and now with our Metacoda business.
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?
There are so many resources for new SAS users that it can become quite overwhelming. I have noticed this in the courses I teach and SAS users I meet. That’s why I put together a blog post which lists the resources I find useful.