SAS scores two Shorty Impact Awards recognizing projects with a purpose

Analytics leader was a winner in the Education category and ranked as Gold honoree in Environment

SAS’ commitment to social innovation and sustainability has been celebrated yet again with two honors from the 7th annual Shorty Impact Awards, which recognizes the very best of digital and social media by the most purposeful and influential organizations whose work makes the world a better place. SAS won the Education category for its project on empowering the next generation with data literacy skills through the SAS Batting Lab. The analytics leader was also selected as a Gold honoree for the Environment category for its work on combating deforestation in the Amazon through the power of crowdsourcing and AI.

“As a global leader in analytics, we feel a responsibility to use our technology and our resources to find answers to the world's most pressing needs.” said Susan Ellis, Brand Director and Head of Social Innovation Programs at SAS. “But it is our employees' passion and commitment to social innovation that makes it a powerful force for change.”

Batting, analytics and data literacy: a triple play

SAS is on a mission to empower the next generation with data literacy skills through the SAS Batting Lab. This is an interactive experience that combines AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings and their confidence in using data.

The tech-laden batting cage is packed with sensors and cameras to capture a batter’s stance, swing and ball-flight details. Through AI, computer vision and IoT analytics, stance and swing data are analyzed in real time, and feedback and suggestions for improvement are shared via in-cage charts, graphs and visual prompts on its floor and walls.

While The Batting Lab may improve kids’ hitting on the diamond, its most important outcome is to prepare them for the future by giving them the confidence to interact with the data and analytics that run the world around us. This introduction to data and analytics and to the concept of data literacy, is The Batting Lab’s true home run.

Bringing together humans and AI to detect deforestation

SAS’ mission is to empower and inspire with the most trusted analytics, helping uncover hidden insights that break down barriers, fuel ambitions and get results. Every year, the company finds innovative ways to use advanced analytic technology to solve pressing humanitarian issues and make a positive difference for people and the planet.

Rainforests continued to experience devastating forest loss as destruction and deforestation levels spiked while conservation and enforcements efforts lagged due to the pandemic’s ripple effect. The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and homes an impressive 10% of the world’s biodiversity. Unfortunately, deforestation is wreaking havoc on the Amazon; approximately 800 square kilometers of forest are destroyed every month.

SAS launched a global social innovation project with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis to use crowd-driven artificial intelligence to help track, and ultimately stop, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. An army of citizen data scientists reviewed satellite images of the Amazon in order to better train existing AI models detecting deforestation. Users classify if there are signs of human impact in the images, helping improve the AI algorithm and expedite the analyzation process. Ultimately, the project aimed to gain an improved view of deforestation to help support critical policies to quickly and effectively protect forests.

Shorty Impact Award winners and honorees are chosen by the Real Time Academy, prominent experts and leaders in digital and social media who have been hand-selected on the basis of their deep industry knowledge, professional reputation and outstanding achievements, including previous Shorty winners.

Learn how SAS is using data for good to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment.

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards (also known as “The Shortys”) honors the most innovative work in digital and social media by brands, agencies and organizations. Founded in 2008, the Shortys’ mission is to celebrate, inspire and push the boundaries of excellence in digital storytelling. Entries are judged on the merits of creativity, strategy, and engagement by the Real Time Academy, a body of hand-selected industry experts and leaders. The public can also weigh in and select their favorite Shorty Awards contenders during Audience Honor Voting.

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in data and AI. With SAS software and industry-specific solutions, organizations transform data into trusted decisions. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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