SAS extends innovation through global hackathons

Curious? Registration open now for first #HackinSAS event this March

When diverse groups of people get together in a creative and competitive environment, innovation happens. That’s the idea behind a new series of global hackathons from SAS, the leader in analytics. The hackathons are focused on using advanced analytics and other technologies to solve big problems.

SAS continually seeks to help more people use powerful analytics every day, shorten the path from data to insights, and inspire bold new discoveries that drive progress. The hackathons support this mission.

The initial #HackinSAS hackathon competition will take place this March. Individuals and teams must register by Feb. 14.

“SAS’ global hackathons support people in finding new and innovative ways to use technology,” said Dr. Iain Brown, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland. “Participating teams will be experimenting with the latest analytic technologies and cloud software, on the look-out for solutions to the world’s big business and humanitarian challenges. SAS believes curiosity and innovation are fundamental pillars of human progress, both of which can be found in abundance at SAS’ global hackathons.”

SAS global hackathons

Hackathons are well-known in the tech industry. During a hackathon, teams of participants collaborate and compete to find the best solutions to a business or humanitarian challenge using technology.

SAS has previously supported regional hackathons. The new global hackathons will gather people from different regions, backgrounds and skill levels to collaborate and develop applications and solutions using SAS® analytics, AI, cloud and open-source technology. The vision is to empower everyone to be involved in solving business and society’s most compelling challenges.

These applications will aim to solve big problems, from global humanitarian issues such as fighting the pandemic and addressing climate change to business-focused challenges such as helping a bank reduce fraud or a retailer improve its online customer experience.

Through hackathons, participants can explore entrepreneurial approaches, network with fellow innovators, and try out new and emerging technologies like SAS Viya®.

And in the process, hackathon teams can create potentially viable applications and products for the marketplace that SAS will assist in developing and commercialising.

How to join the global hackathon

The SAS hackathon events are a great way for all people interested in analytics, including SAS customers and technology partners, independent developers, students and start-up businesses, to use the SAS Viya analytics platform running on Microsoft Azure to address business and global challenges.

Hackathon teams can be made up of people within an organisation, an organisation and a technology partner, or an individual looking to join a group.

For the initial hackathon, register your team by Feb. 14. You’ll need to provide a description of the real-world challenge – a business or humanitarian issue – that your team is going to tackle. Once your registration is confirmed, you’ll receive emails with further instructions.

The hackathon itself will run throughout March. Finalists will be selected in April and connected with SAS experts for further application development. Winners will be announced at Virtual SAS Global Forum 2021 in May.

Register today for the first of the new SAS global hackathons at

Hackathon 101

On the hackathon website, SAS has created a 50-minute kickoff that includes:

  • SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Bryan Harris sharing more on this global hackathon and how analytics, AI and open source can be used creatively for social good.
  • A conversation between Angela Bee Chan, CEO of Hackathons International; and Marinela Profi, SAS AI, Innovation & Data Science Marketing Manager, about the scope of collaboration.
  • Helpful tips from #HackinSAS producers Einar Halvorsen and Peter Lundqvist of SAS, whose insights from past events will give participants an edge.
  • An opportunity to meet SAS hackathon mentors, a team of experienced data scientists from across the globe ready to help guide your hackathon journey.

Key SAS technology partners Intel and Microsoft are sponsors of SAS global hackathons. And SAS is also partnering with several organisations to create more diverse and inclusive events; read more on the Hacker’s Hub community site.

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