SAS Customer Recognition — Arthur Tabachneck
Arthur Tabachneck is President of myQNA Inc. in Toronto. He's spent his entire career designing and overseeing the development of unique database and analytical applications, including computing systems for managing statewide academic programs, major industry outplacement, employee training and tuition assistance efforts, and setting national automobile insurance rates.
How long have you been using SAS®?
What SAS products have you used in the past, and what products and solutions are you currently using?
SAS/STAT®, Base SAS, SAS/GRAPH®, SAS® Enterprise Miner™, SAS Text Miner, SAS/IntrNet®, SAS Integration Technologies, SAS/AF®, DataFlux®, numerous SAS/ACCESS® modules, SAS Content Categorization and SAS Ontology Management.
Tell us about a problem you have solved using SAS?
Too many to choose just one – I first used SAS to analyze studies for West Virginia's Vocational Rehabilitation Center in 1974. I also used SAS to set Canada's automobile insurance rates since 1999, and am currently using it to build a Web application that I can't say anything else about due to a nondisclosure agreement.
What's the most innovative way you have used SAS?
Again, too many to select from. Setting insurance rates was definitely innovative, as all Canadian insurers use our ratings since they are based on continual analyses of all claims data and ensure that there is a direct relationship between insurance cost and vehicle safety.
However, all of my SAS Global Forum papers have involved innovative uses of SAS, and this year that includes four additional entries – using SAS to create and solve Sudoku problems; building calendars to be able to analyze and send emails for all Chinese, Islamic and Jewish holidays (as well as annual corporate and giving-type events); building Web pages containing one's pictures (with clickable links to Google Earth); and using SAS to copy and paste data from Web pages, PDF files, Word and Excel. I'm hoping my latest venture will result in my most innovative use of SAS.
Tell us about your most memorable SAS moment.
I have many! My first-ever publication was a "how to use SAS" pamphlet, published by the West Virginia Vocational Rehabilitation Center. Also, winning the SAS Customer Value Award in 2009, and being inducted into the SAS-L Hall of Fame last year.
But, really, my most memorable moments would have to be those times when we were able to achieve results that we couldn't have if we hadn't been using SAS.
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
I've been trying to learn SAS for more than 38 years now, and each year there's more to learn – and more I can accomplish. Since I started using SAS, so much has changed! When I started, the only way we could use it was to bring a deck of cards or a roll of paper tape to the computing center. I thought we had reached the pinnacle of technology when that improved to being able to access SAS via a 110 baud modem. I'd have to write a book to really explain how much it has changed since I first started using it.
Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
I'm president of the Toronto Area SAS Society and have been attending our local users group meetings (four each year) since 1999. Interestingly, I never knew about users group and online users group meetings and venues until I moved to Canada in 1999. This year will be my sixth global meeting, including SAS Users Group International 29, SAS Users Group International 30 and SAS Global Forum from 2009-2012. I've also been very active with the online forums, including SAS-L, sasCommunity.org, the SAS discussion forums and the SAS Canada community.
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?
Too many people to mention, including the who's who list of all the SAS online venues and many SAS employees.
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?