Winners of 2024 SAS Customer Recognition Awards exemplify innovation

In banking, insurance, government, life sciences, marketing and more, SAS customers use data and AI to change the world

The corporate vision for SAS, the leader in data and AI, is to be the most trustworthy analytics partner on the planet. SAS partners with its customers, and their use of SAS data and AI offerings helps change the world for the better.

Each year, through the SAS Customer Recognition Awards, SAS recognizes outstanding customers who have made exceptional contributions to AI and analytics knowledge, and who use SAS® software and services in exemplary ways.

See the SAS Customer Recognition Awards e-book for more information on all award recipients (including 2nd and 3rd place winners).

“A passion for our customers is at the core of everything we do at SAS. And each year, through the SAS Customer Recognition Awards, we honor some of the many SAS customers who share our passion for data, AI and analytics, and who are helping change the world with these technologies,” said Jennifer Chase, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “In banking, insurance, government, life sciences and many more industries and across nearly all business functions, SAS customers transform data into insights that deliver significant results. I salute this year’s winners. And I thank all SAS customers for their relentless innovation … and for continuing to ignite ours.”

2024 Winners

The 2024 awards and first-place winners are:

SAS Users Group MVP Award

  • Winner: Nancy Brucken, Senior Standards Engineer at IQVIA

This award is presented to a SAS Users Group leader demonstrating a dedicated passion for the success of their users group members. Nancy has been involved in planning and executing users group meetings since 1999. She is the webmaster for the Michigan SAS Users Group (MSUG) and a member of the Executive Committee for PharmaSUG (the software users group for life sciences and health research professionals). She is integral to the users group meetings of both organizations, ensuring attendees get the educational experience they’ve come to expect from a SAS users group. Her planning and attention to detail led to one of the most successful local users group meetings, MSUG, in 2023. SAS thanks Nancy for helping educate her peers for 25 years. IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and clinical research services to the life sciences industry.

Customer Impact Award – Public Sector

This award goes to the public sector customer who has had the most impact in that industry through a willingness to share information on their analytics journey, including successes and lessons learned. AGEA employees have participated in events, talks and interviews highlighting SAS’ role in their success. AGEA is one of the pillars sustaining Italian agriculture, which is a significant part of Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Customer Impact Award – Private Sector

  • Winner: Georgia-Pacific

This award goes to the private sector customer who has had the most impact on their industry in sharing information on their analytics journey, including successes and lessons learned. Georgia-Pacific (GP) – a $20 billion consumer-products company that manufactures wood products ranging from building materials, wallboard, pulp, packaging, Dixie plates, and towel and tissue products – has been a SAS advocate since March 2020 when it shared its experience at SAS Global Forum. In the last year, GP has partnered with SAS on multiple video testimonials on topics ranging from data strategy to computer vision and resiliency rules. GP employees have done interviews with media and analysts and spoken at SAS and third-party events to showcase their innovative use of data and AI. GP has also worked with SAS to publish multiple blog posts and articles on

SAS Support Community Hero Award

  • Winner: Mark Keintz, Senior Data Analyst at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

This award goes to the SAS customer who goes above and beyond to help other users on the SAS Support Community. Mark has been a member of the SAS Community since 2012. He has solved nearly 700 topics and posted more than 4,000 messages, mostly in the popular SAS Programming Community. He recently achieved PROC Star status, which celebrates active community members whose interactions on SAS Communities (the largest digital gathering of SAS practitioners) are exceptionally frequent and helpful. His years of wisdom from using SAS on the business side of academia enables him to dispense prompt, incisive assistance in the New SAS User Community.

User Feedback Award

This award is presented to the SAS customer who provides valuable feedback on SAS products and has been an essential reference for product improvements. Nick has provided insight into the performance statistics achieved at USAA and worked with SAS R&D to identify areas that could be tuned or optimized based on customer-specific scenarios. Nick’s feedback has been instrumental in scenarios that other banks and insurers face. His valuable suggestions helped SAS improve its risk-management solutions and offer more capabilities. The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is an American financial services company providing insurance and banking products exclusively to members of the military, veterans and their families.

SAS Analytics Explorers Advocate Award

  • Winner: Daniel Frank, Product Owner for Team Risk at DEG

This award honors the SAS customers who best leverage the SAS Analytics Explorers program to grow their skills, career and network. Daniel’s involvement with SAS Analytics Explorers – including insights gained through challenges and hands-on training – has made him a better product owner for his risk team. He particularly appreciates SAS tips and tricks, which include concrete examples and accompanying code. Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, or DEG, is a German development firm that finances private-sector investments in developing countries and emerging markets.

Community Uplift Award

  • Winner: Monali Shenolikar, Assistant Director of Analytics and Reporting at CPESN USA

This award honors SAS customers who have made an impact in their community using SAS products. CPESN USA, America’s first clinically integrated network of pharmacy providers, was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partners to administer COVID-19 vaccines via local pharmacies. The challenge for the CPESN team was to ingest vaccine administration data from 2,000 individual pharmacies, create reports in a specific template provided by the CDC, and upload those reports to the CDC portal daily. CPESN implemented a process in SAS® Enterprise Guide® that not only performed all these tasks but also implemented quality control checks to ensure accurate vaccine administration data was sent to the CDC.

Innovative Problem Solver Award

This award is given to SAS customers that use SAS in innovative ways to solve business problems. Shionogi & Company Ltd., a Japanese drug-discovery company, developed the AI SAS Programmer System (AISAS), the first system in the pharmaceutical industry to create SAS programs semiautomatically using AI technology. Shionogi views SAS as the gold standard for analysis tools, long trusted for the high accuracy of its analytical results. So the company turned to SAS® Viya® – SAS’ cloud-native, massively parallel data and AI platform – to develop AISAS. Shionogi was able to launch a groundbreaking new drug in just two years by operating AISAS. This significantly reduced the amount of work required to analyze clinical trials data and improved the efficiency of that work.

ROI Rockstar Award

  • Winner: American Electric Power

This award recognizes SAS customers demonstrating great business benefits and return on investment (ROI) using SAS products. American Electric Power, one of the largest electric energy companies in the US, powers millions of homes and businesses. It had a large project to replace the reference rate in its Interest Rate Derivative Analytics system. Instead of relying on third party tools or software, it developed SAS programs using its own resources. This saved the company at least $500K annually and reduced daily manual work.

Curious Thinker Award

This award is presented to SAS customers that embody curiosity, one of SAS' guiding principles. For the last three years, Pegasus Airlines – a leading low-cost airline in Turkey – has used SAS Customer Intelligence 360 effectively to improve campaigns and enhance personalization of customer communication. Its focus has been on analyzing the travel behavior of its passengers, enabling it to strategically deliver the most relevant campaigns to the right individuals at optimal times through the most effective channels.

Visit the Customer Recognition Awards Winners page on the SAS Support Communities for more on the awards and winners.

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SAS Customer Recognition Award winners have made exceptional contributions to AI and analytics knowledge.