Anniversaries Can Be Better Than Birthdays!
While you may or may not get excited about an upcoming birthday, I’m willing to place 10:1 odds that you still get pretty pumped up about anniversaries. After all, turning 20 is great fun, 30, a little less so, 40 and upwards—not so much. As SAS Canada celebrates our 25th anniversary and our 10th anniversary of the formal user group program in Canada this year, I’m pleased to report that we’re having more fun than ever with more than 2,500 attendees annually at our cross-country user groups. The fun is proving to be infectious as well: we’ll be launching a local user group in Regina this spring to keep the good times rolling!
At the same time, the birth of the most revolutionary piece of SAS software in several years—Visual Analytics—is also generating a lot of excitement. I use the term ‘revolutionary’ because the implications of being able to analyze ‘big data’ in seconds will impact all of us before long—anyone interested in creating plots & charts on 1.1B rows of data, and 50 variables, in a couple of seconds? Time will be saved, results will be more accurate and that ‘rainy day data’ you’ve been saving will finally have a chance to shine. Try it yourself online, and I challenge you to not be impressed! You’ll certainly be seeing a lot more around this through presentations and demonstrations at user groups this spring.
While not all of the happenings at SAS these days are as revolutionary as Visual Analytics, they can still be pretty important. SAS Canada has always been committed to ensuring our customers get the most out of their relationship with us. Over the last 10 years we’ve introduced regional user groups, our online community, an Academic program, this e-newsletter and more for individual SAS users. I’m very pleased to announce that our larger Canadian customers are now benefitting from an extra level of support through our Customer Loyalty & Retention (CLR) team. With the growth of CLR, organizations with significant SAS usage will benefit from more in-house user group and related activities, assistance with difficult technical issues or usage challenges and more. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to reach out to us to see how we can help your organization today.
Finally, the biggest user group of them all, SAS Global Forum, is set to take place in San Francisco April 28 to May 1. Highlights this year include Billy Beane of Moneyball fame, Tim Patrick of the US Olympic Committee and Roger Craig, Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner. As with previous conferences, there will be tons of workshops, demos and presentations. As always, you’ll probably have the most fun catching up with fellow Canadian attendees at the SAS Canada Night Out party on Monday, April 29. Keep an eye on your email following registration for further details.
Matt and I look forward to seeing you at SAS Global Forum or one of the regional user groups near you this spring!
Wally Thiessen, Manager, Customer Loyalty & Retention
Matt Malczewski, Communities Manager