Institute for Veterans and Military Families uses SAS® Analytics to transition veterans to successful civilian lives

Opportunities include careers in analytics and big data; SAS provides free training and certification

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University supports 200,000 military service members as they make the often-challenging transition to civilian life each year. The IVMF is using SAS® Analytics to accomplish its mission by analyzing vast amounts of data on veterans, career opportunities, communities and non-profits.

“We have a sacred responsibility to those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country, and the families that support them,” said Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and Executive Director of the IVMF. “SAS gives us the analytical tools and support to improve programs, advance research and deliver services that create the post-service lives our veterans deserve.”

Since its founding in 2011, IVMF programs have expanded rapidly to include civilian career training, entrepreneurship education, professional certifications and job-placement support to transitioning service members, members of the Reserves or National Guard, veterans and military spouses. It also provides national research, policy analysis and program evaluation, and works with communities and non-profits across the nation to enhance service delivery for 22.5 million veterans and their families.

As IVMF programs evolved and grew, so did its research and evaluation portfolio. It became clear the IVMF needed an overarching data strategy and a unified approach to integrating its data as a whole. SAS provided services, mentoring, training, and access to the SAS Platform. New data management, visualization and SAS® Viya® advanced analytics enable the IVMF to integrate disparate data sources and tell more compelling stories with data.

Previously, disparate data scattered throughout the organization led to questionable data integrity, as reports often showed conflicting values. The SAS Platform provides an automated data-management process with data governance and data quality to help the IVMF create an analytics reporting environment. SAS Visual Analytics offers self-service reporting for stakeholders, freeing up time for staff to conduct more sophisticated analyses.

Advanced analytics helps the IVMF analyze outcomes and key performance drivers within programs and across the institute to know which services are leading to veterans establishing stable, successful civilian lives. The same analytics provides accurate forecasts to funders and other key stakeholders who want to ensure the programs are performing effectively and are adequately funded and staffed.

“We would not be in a position to tackle our information management challenges were it not for our relationship with SAS,” said Haynie. “Working with SAS has evolved our thinking to embrace the need for a data strategy and to align resources to manage our data as the asset we know it to be.”

These capabilities are critical to the IVMF reaching its aggressive goal of placing 30,000 veterans and family members in civilian jobs by 2022. Many of those jobs may be in the high-demand areas of big data and analytics. Employers from every industry are clamoring for people with analytics skills to help them turn data into meaningful information to make better decisions.

“We are honored to not only support the IVMF’s data and analytics goals, but also to provide training and certification opportunities that will set up veterans in rewarding technology careers,” said Sean O’Brien, Vice President of SAS Education.

In January, through its Onward to Opportunity-Veterans Career Transition Program, the IVMF began offering two free SAS programming courses at 14 military installations around the US and online. Participants can receive vouchers to sit for SAS certification exams for free at any Pearson Vue testing center.

Learn more about the IVMF’s data and analytics journey in this success story and video. Today at the SAS Global Forum Executive Program, Haynie and IVMF COO Maureen Casey will share the IVMF story in the presentation, “Using Data to Innovate, Inform, and Inspire: Data Disruption and Transformation in a Nonprofit World.”

Today's announcement was made at SAS Global Forum, the world's largest analytics conference, with more than 30,000 business and IT users of SAS software participating on-site and online.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About SAS

SAS is a global leader in AI and analytics software, including industry-specific solutions. SAS helps organizations transform data into trusted decisions faster by providing knowledge in the moments that matter. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.  

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IVMF leadership can visualize the Research & Evaluation project portfolio to track the progress of dozens of projects and more than 100 deliverables as well as drill down into specific categories including: projects by type, employee, and funder, etc.