How long have you been using SAS®?
What SAS products have you used in the past? What products and solutions are you currently using?
1973-2008: Base SAS, SAS/GRAPH®, SAS/ETS®, SAS/INSIGHT®, SAS/AF®, SAS/FSP®, SAS/IML®, SAS/SHARE®, SAS/CONNECT®, SAS/STAT® and probably others that I cannot recall.
What is a problem you have solved using SAS?
When I was hired by American Express in 1997, I was tasked with automating call center data, as well as making call center information easily and quickly accessible throughout the US market. We turned to SAS for that need and developed a data warehouse with Web-based reporting, which updated every 30 minutes. The end result was that call center personnel had information readily available to make real-time decisions for management of the US call centers, plus analysts had easy access to historical data.
What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?
The development of a SAS based system that used ETL to move data from a myriad of resources and generated about 100 reports. The most challenging feature of this system was that every 30 minutes new input data went through the ETL process and each of the 100 reports was updated. The reports were published on the Web for viewing by about 250 call center personnel who were responsible for managing the call centers that served US card holders.
What is your most memorable SAS moment?
There are two memorable moments for me. The first was in 1974 when I was doing my master's work at NC State. I had an issue with a SAS program, and I had heard that there was a guy over in Cox Hall who could assist me. So I called him, and he asked me to bring my program over to him and I entered a windowless office with a big man sitting behind a desk. Much to my delight, he was able to identify my problem at once. The "guy" was Jim Goodnight.
The second was in 1993 when I co-chaired MWSUG. Not only did we set a record in attendance and sell more than $5,000 in manuals, but also I was told by one of our featured speakers that the content of MWSUG that year was on par with SUGI. For many years, the 1993 conference set the standard for MWSUG conferences.
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
When I first started using SAS it was merely a local product distributed to universities and a handful of companies by the NC State statistics department. Jim Goodnight, Joelyn Service and perhaps one or two others comprised the entire staff. Now SAS is recognized worldwide as a leader in IT, and is perennially recognized as one of the best places to work in the US.
Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
Yes. I have attended many SUGIs as well as regional SAS conferences. Unfortunately, the list is too long to recall completely ...
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?
The SAS community is my second family. On a daily basis, I reach out to the wonderful folks who work at SAS (US, Canada, UK and Germany), and to users around the globe. It is amazing to have this network of friends who provide answers and advice in minutes. Of special note, since they so frequently provide help, are Vince DelGobbo (Excel XP expert), Paul Kent (SQL and processing expert), and the folks in SAS Education (Larry Stewart, Linda Mitterling and Michelle Buchecker).
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?
I would say that collectively I've been influenced by the people who have presented at the SAS conferences. SAS conferences are a gold mine of information, and if a person avails her/himself of this resource, the returns on the invested time will surely pay off. LeRoy Bessler has been an important mentor for me. LeRoy gave me and my co-chair great advice and assistance for planning the 1993 MWSUG conference and was directly responsible for our success.