Marje Fecht

Marje Fecht

Marje Fecht
Senior Partner
Prowerk Consulting

A SAS user since 1979, Marje specializes in building and teaching efficient, adaptable and reusable solutions. Marje began teaching SAS and statistics at the University of North Carolina in 1979. She then taught and wrote SAS courses from 1984 to 2000. Marje served as Education Manager for SAS in the Chicago office and then as National Education Manager for SAS Canada. As a Senior Partner for Prowerk Consulting since 2000, she now focuses on consulting and training in many industries, including financial services and education. Marje will serve as the Conference Chair for SAS Global Forum 2014.

How long have you been using SAS®?

33 years.

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

I have used Base SAS since 1979 including the macro facility and SQL. When SAS application development software was introduced in the early '80s, I began heavy usage, developing courses and teaching SAS/AF®, SAS/FSP®, SAS/EIS® and SAS/GRAPH®. I also used SAS/STAT® (GLM, Mixed, Reg, PrinComp), SAS/CONNECT®, SAS/SHARE®, SAS Business Intelligence tools, SAS® Enterprise Guide® 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 5.1 and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office. I have used (but haven't mastered) SAS/IntrNet® and SAS Web Report Studio.

What is a problem you have solved using SAS?

Since current clients are hungry for their information in Excel, I have taken advantage of the Microsoft Office add-ins to populate and refresh Excel Pivot Tables directly from SAS (via SAS Metadata Server). It's a fabulous solution since it enables you to use the power of SAS to extract, manipulate and summarize your data. No limits on rows!!

What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?

Many years ago, I helped a large financial consulting firm transform its "manual" fraud detection solution to an adaptable and scalable application using SAS/AF and SAS/GRAPH software. It was one of my first truly "reusable" production applications.

What is your most memorable SAS moment?

My most memorable SAS moments occur when I am training, mentoring or sharing knowledge. It is great to see the "light bulb" go on when a student or colleague understands a new approach or concept that can make their work life more effective.

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

In 1979, the SAS manual was about an inch thick. I "mastered" the SAS 79 software quickly. As new versions appeared, it was great that my old code would still run but that new features were available to improve my processing and approach. But it is very humbling to look at the breadth and depth of the software now, since I can't hope to master all of the solutions and products. The growth in functionality and applicability is amazing.

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

SAS users groups are an amazing way to learn and to network. I have been an invited speaker at: SUGI ‘84, ‘88 through 2006, SAS Global Forum 2007 through 2012 (also a section chair), SESUG 2002 through 2012 (Conference Chair for 2006 and 2011), SCSUG (2009, 2010), NESUG (2002, 2003, 2005), MWSUG, WUSS (2007), Canadian users Groups, (TASS, MonSug, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, CSug, ESug, Whitehorse, Victoria, Vancouver, RBC SAS UG) and US users groups – GASUG, VASUG, Westat UG, BUGS, MASUG, SOFLSUG, and RTPSUG. I also attended SEUGI in Prague. I look forward to serving as Conference Chair for SAS Global Forum 2014.

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

The SAS community is my second family. On a daily basis, I reach out to the wonderful folks who work at SAS (US, Canada, UK and Germany), and to users around the globe. It is amazing to have this network of friends who provide answers and advice in minutes. Of special note, since they so frequently provide help, are Vince DelGobbo (Excel XP expert), Paul Kent (SQL and processing expert), and the folks in SAS Education (Larry Stewart, Linda Mitterling and Michelle Buchecker).

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

A new user needs to start with some guided learning to solidify their foundation knowledge. SAS training can provide that via instructor-led, Web-based, or e-learning classes. Next, take advantage of all of the knowledge and business-based examples in the online conference proceedings.

SAS Circle of Excellence - 30 Years

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