SAS Customer Recognition — Walter Smith
Strategic Marketing Fellow
Walter Smith graduated from Brigham Young University with a master's degree in managerial economics. His first job used SAS for forecasting and quantitative market research. His first assignment was to use SAS to compute weighted means from a data sample. The problem was really simple from a FORTRAN perspective (what he already knew) but he struggled for days with SAS. His mentor finally showed him how to do it (with about three lines of SAS code). He's been building SAS programs and systems ever since. He has built forecasting systems at several Fortune Global 500® companies and along the way built systems to do statistical process control, linear programming projects, and direct marketing modeling. Currently, he works on forecasting systems, quantitative projects and Web content.
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?
Products I've used: Base SAS, SAS/STAT®, SAS/GRAPH®, SAS/ETS®, SAS/QC®, SAS/FSP®, SAS/AF®, SAS Forecast Server.
Products currently using: Base SAS, SAS/ETS, SAS/STAT, SAS/GRAPH.
What is a problem you have solved using SAS?
Problems solved: just about everything. I haven't found an analytic problem I have not been able to solve with SAS one way or another.
What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?
Some time ago, I built an application that used SAS as an analytic server – SAS would wait for analytic requests from the GUI co-process (written in Tcl/Tk), perform the analytics, and serve up the results: graphs, reports, etc.
What is your most memorable SAS moment?
My first memorable SAS moment came while building the system we currently use for forecasting FedEx Ground business. I was struggling with the architecture of the system and had taken my car in for service. As I waited, ideas just started flooding in and I couldn't write fast enough; I was writing SAS pseudo-code longhand on paper and filled many pages. Another memorable moment was when I was learning to use the ODS graphics and discovered how easy it was. Getting such quality results made me say, "Wow!"
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
SAS has always been adding new features, so even though SAS is the analytics leader, the software becomes increasingly more capable and feature-rich. Examples: PROC SQL, the ODS system, ODS graphics, added features in most (if not all) PROCS – PROC ARIMA, PROC AUTOREG, etc. There are added features even in the macro language.
Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
I've attended (and hosted) our local SAS users group (MASUG) but never attended a SUGI or SAS Global Forum.
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?
Yes, Art Carpenter and various others, and those who write the samples and SAS Notes.
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?
support.sas.com. A close second would be Google, which draws in information on SAS questions from other sources.