I love exploring the possible intersections of technology and information, with the intent to improve or expedite knowledge sharing.
One of my recent epiphanies was related to the difficulty of efficiently reviewing resumes, especially technical resumes. Recruiters and managers spend huge amounts of time reviewing resumes (at least they used too) and automated tools have attempted to “mine” resumes to simplify the review process.
I have been involved in the creation, development, and maintenance of seven data warehouses through the years- one of them before I even knew about the term “data warehousing”! I have built them with SAS and Oracle, SAS alone, Informatica and Oracle, Oracle alone, and SQL Server.
I have also visited many companies as an adviser, consultant and user of their data warehouse. In these many visits, I have seen some successes and many failures. Often, the failures could have been prevented with some key guiding principles.
Data Warehousing or Enterprise Data Integration?
Data warehousing is now known by a new buzz word, Enterprise Data Integration. In fact, SAS recently renamed SAS ETL Studio as SAS Data Integration Studio (they also added some new features around the EDI area, one new feature was around continual data acquisition so that near real time data feeds are available in the data warehouse.) Another great part of SAS EDI is SAS Data Quality, this should be a consideration throughout the entire process, but I won’t directly comment about data quality in this post. Since most people still use the term data warehousing, so I will keep the popular terminology over the analysts and even SAS.
Effectively Communicating Survey Data: Beyond Text Tables and Pie Charts
A review of an article from Investor’s Business Daily and recommended improvements is covered in this presentation. The topic of the article is “Obama Terrorism Grade”, a summary of a survey conducted in early April, 2009 by Technometrica Market Intelligence.
The Results are summarized three ways in the article:
– Overall for all respondents
– By political party
– By ideology
Two presentation methods are used:
– Pie chart
– Two text tables
Weaknesses of the chosen presentation method are covered and recommended improvements are shown.
Whether you are a grad student, business analyst, statistician, or even a long time user of SAS software- SAS for Dummies (available at Amazon) offers quick access to a vast survey of practical knowledge using the new and exciting world of SAS 9. If you are using the latest version of SAS Learning Edition (version 4.1), this book also makes a perfect companion since it covers SAS Enterprise Guide and the same release of SAS 9.
Like many Dummies books, it is an introduction that will get you moving forward and make you productive in short order. SAS products covered include SAS 9, SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1, SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office 2.1, SAS Web Report Studio 3.1, data warehousing with SAS, statistical analysis with SAS, forecasting with SAS, and data mining with SAS. After using this book, you may be inspired to read further on areas of greater importance to you (see my Other Books page for great reviews and recommendations.)
SAS for Dummies is very different from most SAS books since it does not focus on just one topic, such as data management, survival analysis, or SAS programming. Instead, I offer you key points and capabilities for a broad range of areas needed to access your data, manage your data, create reports and summaries, make awesome graphs, and get you started on the path of analytics guru!
Adobe Acrobat PDF excerpts of the book are available here (note that they each open in a new browser window):
SAS for Dummies Sample Datasets, also included with SAS Enterprise Guide. I have them available here in case you can’t locate or simply don’t have these sample datasets. You will need to place them in a folder and SAS library accessible to your SAS server or in a folder where you can import them to your SAS Server with Enterprise Guide.
To all you long-time users of SAS out there, why are you continuing to write the arcane code required to make graphs with SAS programming? I remember the pain of scanning the nearly 1,000 pages of GRAPH manuals to locate just the right options to tweak my graphs for business presentations. Many days, I wanted to ditch it all and just fall back to Harvard Graphics for all of my graphs (yes, this was quite some time ago!) Consider using SAS Enterprise Guide and save yourself many sleepless nights and get the easy ability to export to Office seamlessly. Continue reading →
In my many visits to a wide array of companies, I have noticed a common theme amongst fellow programmers, analysts, and statisticians. After years of lengthy study and practice to become expert at their area, they often express frustration and consternation for those who are less focused on the effective and proper use of data in decision-making. Your potential customers in the various areas of the business often appear to make decisions with minimal use of analysis or even data points, sometimes appearing to ignore or misunderstand your work available to them. Many of these “gut” people in the business are managers, entrepreneurs, or MBA’s. They are frequently much more willing to take on the risk of using a very simple analysis to make big decisions. This doesn’t mean they like it that way, they are often forced to face the fact that time is money and lack of prompt action can be very costly versus staying the current course. This is where you can come in with just a few more skills and really become a star… Continue reading →