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With SAS® Analytics, Castle Worldwide boosts confidence in testing results

SAS® Office Analytics earns high marks analyzing, reporting on certification and license exams

CARY, NC  (30 juli 2012)  – Leading certification and licensure testing company, Castle Worldwide, relies on SAS Analytics in its work with businesses, nonprofit associations and governments. Using SAS® Office Analytics for Midsize Business from the leader in business analytics, Castle applies analytic rigor to help meet the moral and legal burdens of proof and the measurement accuracy required for standardized tests. Testing accuracy and fairness must be indisputable when tests determine who gets or keeps a job and who gets promoted or when public safety is at stake. When Castle engages in testing of medical and nursing specialties, for example, Castle's psychometric work prevents unqualified individuals from performing medical procedures.

SAS streamlined the company's analytics process and reduced its test development timeline by two to three weeks. This helped Castle expand to be able to serve industries that have rapid rates of change such as information technology and medical specialties where accuracy and speed are required to win contracts. One Castle client offers a certification test for those specializing in the field of HIV medicine. As the specialty rapidly advances, certification tests must, as well, to stay current.

"Before SAS, our analytics process was more operationally fragmented," said Andrew C. Dwyer, PhD, Senior Psychometrician at Castle Worldwide. "Pulling data from our databases, cleaning and restructuring it, analyzing it, and creating presentable reports were accomplished using multiple software programs, and it was a source of inefficiency for us. In addition, detailed documentation of our statistical processes, a legal imperative for us, was time consuming – and time is money. Now, SAS documents our workflow so we can more quickly replicate the process. That supports our excellent reputation in psychometrics and test delivery while providing us time and money-saving efficiencies."

Using open-source R was out of the question

Castle uses SAS to collect and analyze test information, improve the measurement fidelity of tests, and demonstrate the validity and reliability of examinations.

"Using open-source software such as R was out of the question – we couldn't guarantee a perfectly repeatable outcome," said Robert Pedigo, Vice President for Client Services at Castle. "SAS for Small and Midsize Business includes everything from analytical capabilities for innovating to highly visual reports that our clients expect. SAS helps us speed the best possible test development and analysis to our clients."

For ease of use, Castle users can work within the familiar Microsoft Office environment (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) as they manipulate analytical results and produce reports. Castle also uses SAS Analytics Pro for Midsize Business to access data from any source, analyze the data, and present information in business maps, charts, plots and 3-D relationship graphs. A recent video on the SAS YouTube channel highlights these SAS Business Analytics solutions keyed to small and midsize businesses.

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