SAS Global Forum 2012: Here’s the Wrap Up!
SAS Global Forum 2012 was a success! After a whirlwind week of activities followed by a vacation and week of rest – I’m ready to give you some highlights. It was a lot of fun! Tip: Click on any picture to enlarge it.
Day 1 – Saturday Ready for the Tweet-Up
The biggest drama was at the airport – our flight was delayed due to mechanical failure so I decided it might be better to take a later flight. Met @Steve0verton at the airport and @PhilipB who were both headed to Orlando. As a result of the later flight we were late to the Tweet-Up so we missed the first round of drinks. It was sunset when we landed and the weather was mild – very nice for Florida.
We had a lot of fun. @WaynetteTubbs hosted the even and she had a trivia contest. I won a LED key chain and some SAS Post-It notes. I love Post-It notes. Plus I got to meet Anna Maria who writes the sassy Julia Group blog – she’s such a sweetie. And Andrea Wainwright Zimmerman told me that she was the academic chair for SESUG in St. Pete, FL next year. I may have to volunteer – sounds like a conference I don’t want to miss. Plus if I’m not mistaken she also won one of the best contributed paper awards. [Check out: Quick and Dirty Excel® Workbooks Without DDE or ODS – a little birdie told me it was one of the most popular papers in the session!]
Day 2 – Sunday Opening Session
Definitely had too much fun on Saturday night – just some helpful advise – never forget to bring aspirin! It didn’t matter I was still ready to get registered. @AngelaHall1, @Steve0verton, and I had a good time hanging at breakfast and walking around the beautiful Disney property. Angela and I were discussing a new book about Dashboards. We would like to include videos this time around – what do you think?
@GordonCox and Greg Nelson taught an 8 AM class about SAS BI System Administration, which I only heard good things about. @saspublishing might have new book authors![Hey – if you have a book idea tweet @SSessoms about it!]
After a great lunch with Andrew Karp, who runs the Sierra Information Systems site (he has some free SAS presentation offers after you sign up), it was back to the beautiful resort to wait for the Demo Hall to open! At 4pm we were finally able to enter the Demo Hall so I could find the winner of the 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes book – which was Michelle Homes. She was working the Metacoda booth. So she gave me a demonstration of the Metacode Security Plug-in – it is AWESOME! It makes managing your SAS BI users a snap. Look for a later post about this SAS Management Console Plug-In, which her wonderful husband Paul Homes coded all by himself.
At the evening party I finally got to meet Chris Swenson and talk about blogging for an hour or so. Also had not seen Ben Zenick in a month of Sundays – so it was awesome catching up with him. [SAS BI developers looking for a job … check out Zencos.]
The opening ceremony was something else. It was huge room so you can get an idea of how large the screens were. The graphics were beautiful – the follow :30 second clip gives you an idea of how amazing the entire presentation was. I really enjoyed watching Dr. G get behind the computer to drive the new High Performance Analytics software – turn an 18 hour job into 14 minute one. Wow – that’s intense. Here’s the Livestream of the Opening Ceremony.
Day 3 – Conference Begins!
Attended @Steve0verton award-winning presentation, “Lost in Wonderland? Methodology for a Guided Drill-Through Analysis Out of the Rabbit Hole?“. After his presentation he was mobbed by folks wanting to ask questions about BI. I caught up with Greg Nelson later in the day as he was being interviewed by AllAnalytics.com for their man on the street at SAS Global Forum. In the evening there was a huge party in the demo hall, lots of people milling about checking out all the new toys from SAS and other vendors. Oooh … got to see Don Henderson‘s super cool new book SAS Server Pages: Generating Dynamic Content – it’s an online book with videos. It’s such a super cool idea!!
The highlight of the day was attending the Authors’ Dinner. I sat with Chris H (a real SAS Dummy) and Julie Pratt (my favorite editor at SAS Press). It was a great combination of fun, food, and friends. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt.
Day 4 – Presentation Day
Tuesday was our big presentation day for “Get Your Fast Pass to Building Business Intelligence with SAS and Google Analytics“. It was a great turnout – over 125 people and standing room only. SAS Press gave away a free copy of the book, which a lovely lady from Western Kentucky won. Special thanks to Nancy Brucken for section chair for hiding the post-it note under a chair at the last minute!! You rock!!! We were so pleased that everyone enjoyed our presentation and had so many nice things to say about it. [We love praise! And hey … we wrote a book!!!!] Charlie Huang attended the presentation and we chatted more about using Google Analytics.
Angela told me that she ran into a group of users who had 5 copies of the Building Business Intelligence Book at their office … Wow! Sounds like that team is going to be SAS BI Driven!
Later I attended Kirk Paul Lafler’s talk about Top Ten SAS Performance Tuning Techniques. Picked up some thoughts about how the I/O may be causing more issues than I had considered before. He also gave me a SAS Nerd ribbon to wear – first I had to proclaim my undying loyalty to SAS. Easy! Afterwards, Angela and Brent Whitesel talking about changing your metadata – very enlightening. I volunteered to help with a few afternoon sessions – it was fun I encourage you to do it also!
In the evening I had dinner with a large group at Shula’s. Beth Schultz the AllAnalytics.Com editor joined us. Judging from her subsequent video blog, I think she caught the SAS bug and she’s not even a user! [Oops!]
Day 5 – Over so Quick?
Last day of the conference is sad but I was so tired I could hardly hold my head up. Guess I need more than 4 -5 hours of sleep a nite. While waiting to get our makeup put on, Andrew T. Kuligowksi dropped by to wish us good luck. We appreciated his thoughtfulness considering how busy he was!
Eric, Angela, and I presented a SAS Talk about business intelligence that really put us on the spot! It was fun but a little scary. Roxie put a lot of makeup on us! [Chris talks about the makeup of SAS Global Forum.] After we got all gussied-up, we were ready to talk to the users. The worse part is that it was hard to hear the audience questions. So I know for a few questions we just heard a keyword and just started talking about that subject. So if you think we gave you a goofy answer – we didn’t hear you. Thanks to all the audience members who asked questions and encouraged us – we could not have done it without you.
And just like that … it was time for the closing session. Chris closed the conference with some High Performance blah, blah, blah. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted or talk to everyone I wanted … guess I’ll see you in San Francisco! Here were my tips for surviving the conference.
Really needed a vacation after all of that excitement. We ran over to Tampa for a few days – sunsets over the bay and fancy Aussie wine! I miss all the SAS nerds — group hug!!!! xoxoxox
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Tags: User Conferences