Name: Roy Finzel
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Company: Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation
SAS History (years using SAS, platforms, primary products, etc.): I started using SAS nearly 25 years ago, beginning with version 5.18. In those early years SAS was used primarily for the development of management information systems, which were mainframe based, and ‘menu’ driven. After selecting a report choice from the ‘glowing’ green screen, a report would usually arrive in the mailbox two days later. Things have changed dramatically since those early mainframe days.
The mainframe environment was replaced by the PC environment where I began using a range of products from Base SAS to SAS Graph, AF, FSP, STAT, Insight and EG to mention a few. All to satisfy a growing social science need. We are now venturing forth into the realm of data and text mining with aspirations to pursue our interest in social media analytics and customer intelligence while continuing to expand our overall business analytics capabilities. We have come a long way since the early mainframe days and with the help of SAS, the future looks extremely promising. The only sad part is my career is slowly winding down and my staff are going to have all the fun now.
Hobbies: If I am not golfing, mountain biking or dragon boating in the summer, you’ll probably find me landscaping away in the backyard. Some projects never seem to have closure. In the winter my curling skills are tested three or four times a week, however don’t expect to see me in the Brier any time soon.
Ideal weekend: An excursion to the mountains with best friend, my wife. As a young man I spent countless hours either hiking or camping in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. In the winter I would usually venture forth on my cross-country skis into the backcountry. Although I cannot convince my wife that there are no bears out there, we still get out into the mountains, even if the excursions are of a milder variety and usually involve some form of wine tasting, hot springs and cabins. Weekends are great!
Your thoughts on winning the Customer Value Award: Winning the Customer Value Award came as a very pleasant surprise to me. It was certainly not something I had expected. My gratitude goes first to my colleague, Jared Prins, who unknown to me, submitted the nomination. That initiative and thoughtfulness truly exemplifies his character. I can’t express my thanks enough to SAS Canada, and in particular the nomination committee for the award. I now display the award in my office with the utmost pride.
Most memorable SAS Global Forum moment: Aside from being presented with the Customer Value Award at the Presidents Dinner, with fellow SAS peers in attendance, my most memorable moment was more a feeling that I was truly part of a much bigger thing, the SAS family.
If I could be anything at all (besides a SAS programmer), I would be: A systems analyst.
One thing every SAS programmer should know: One thing every SAS programmer should know is there is usually more than one way to solve a problem and as a result one should always consider whether the means justifies the end when programming.