Kirby Cossey

Al Barron

Kirby Cossey
Systems and Procedures Analyst
Veterans Administration

How long have you been using SAS®?

28 years.

What SAS products have you used in the past? What products and solutions are you currently using?

In the past I have used Base SAS, SAS on the mainframe and PC, SAS ODS, SAS/AF®, SAS/ETS®, SAS/ACCESS® Interface to ODBC, SAS/ACCESS® Interface to PC File Formats, SAS/ACCESS® Interface to Sybase®, SAS/SHARE®, SAS/CONNECT®, SAS/STAT®, SAS/GRAPH® and SAS/IntrNet®. Currently I am using Base SAS on the mainframe and PC, and SAS ODS.

What is a problem you have solved using SAS?

In 1986 I took a job where my predecessor had manually entered data from a 100-page printed report into Lotus each month. I automated that process and used SAS to read the same data from an electronic copy to generate the needed reports.

What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?

I was working with an auditor who had data on the movement of prisoners. She needed to know the last prison the individual was assigned to before being transferred to the designated prison for release. I used PROC TRANSPOSE to obtain the needed data.

What is your most memorable SAS moment?

I once got a SAS error message that said, "This error should never happen." I wondered then (and now) how one would program for an error that should never happen.

How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?

When I started using SAS in 1984 I think it was only available for the mainframe. It now runs on many platforms and includes products for just about every business sector.

Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.

I attended SUGI 29, SUGI 30, SAS Global Forums from 2008-2011, as well as the Austin SAS Users Group and SCSUG for many years.

Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?

I have learned so many things by attending local, regional and global SAS forums. For example, most SAS manuals show how to do one process at a time. The papers presented at these forums show how to use the processes together. That was wonderful.

The papers also showed ways to use SAS in ways I had never dreamed of, and I was able to implement those right away at my office. The ability to easily export data to Excel has been very helpful with the auditors I work with. They know Excel well. I now can automatedly export to multiple tabs in a few hours, something that used to take days. I also attend the "Traffic Lighting Your Multisheet Microsoft Excel Workbooks the Easy Way with SAS" every time I can. I learn something new and get new ideas each time!

If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?

Training and attendance at SAS Global Forum. I have learned so much by seeing what others are doing and how they do it. The trainers and presenters love helping others and are willing to share.

SAS Circle of Excellence - 20 Years

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