“Join the Band” at SUNZ Auckland

SUNZ Metacoda Coffee Cart TweetLast week, we were a proud and enthusiastic coffee cart sponsor at the Data Science Delight SUNZ Auckland event. Michelle Homes from Metacoda was next to the coffee cart chatting to the ~200 attendees offering Tim Tams and Metacoda koalas. Incidentally, the limited edition salted caramel flavored Tim Tam seemed to be the favorite. :-)

The SUNZ committee organised a well-scheduled day. Well done Scott Wotring! Ronan Light kicked off the day with a receptive welcome, followed by keynote speaker Bonnie Law from Spark, who spoke about Agile Analytics. Bonnie, a self-proclaimed “Just-In-Time” person, spoke about the importance of being able to make decisions quickly and how Spark management and staff achieve this. She described how analysts tend to be perfectionists and at Spark they have created a culture where people are encouraged to be risk takers and challenged. A good blend of skills and use of SASĀ® software tools have helped them achieve some profitable returns to the business, including a measured 360% return on their analytics. That’s right… for each $1 invested, Bonnie said they achieve a $3.60 return. It was an insightful presentation on their approach and use of analytics.

Sharing a quintet of time-saving SAS platform administration tips

SUNZ Join The Band - Michelle TweetFollowing Bonnie, Michelle shared SAS Platform Administration Quintet, 5 time-saving tips. The tips were:

  1. Don’t get lost – using property buttons in dialogs
  2. Tune your search – changing the default view in the SAS Management Console User Manager from browse to search and being able to search for ACTs in SAS Environment Manager
  3. Secure Sensitive Data Sources – use metadata bound libraries
  4. Don’t Assume – check the effective permissions using the Explore Authorization tab for a single user on a single object or consider using Metacoda Object Permissions Explorer to see all users effective permissions. Similarly the Metacoda Identity Permissions Explorer can be used to see the reverse perspective; effective permissions and access levels for a single user over large collections of objects, including the entire metadata folder tree.
  5. Join the band – join the SAS Administration and Deployment community at communities.sas.com to share knowledge/tips with your peers and discover SAS administration related videos, webinars and other resources. Be sure to check out other communities of interest such as SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Enterprise Guide and SANZOC (SAS Australia & New Zealand Online Community).

Barry Stevens summarized this in his tweet…
SUNZ Barry Tweet

More tips & tricks

SUNZ Pieta TweetPieta Brown from Lab 360, shared some tips for Learning with SAS; outlining user stories for programmers and experienced scientists, conducting factor analysis on survey data including data preparation and kaggling with SAS – using SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler to battle out models. She said how easy it is using SAS software to get the data into shape and to do the analysis.

Further tips and demonstrations were given by SAS staff, including Phillip Higgins on SAS Data Loader for Hadoop and Wayne Bryant on SAS Visual Analytics. As mentioned on the day, for those interested in learning more, register to attend a free 90 minute interactive Hands-On Workshop.

Data science delight

SUNZ Patrick Hall TweetIn the afternoon Kevin Ross shared some interesting Advanced Analytics techniques and analysis he’s undertaking at Fonterra. With Patrick Hall closing the presentations with a deep dive on the Contemporary Analytical Ecosystem. Patrick provided a history lesson on where we are at today with data growth and computer specifications, setting the scene for today’s state-of-the-art distributed storage and analytical platforms. He covered some IoT, Cloud and Machine Learning related buzzwords then dived into what Machine Learning is with some valuable and interesting applications. The presentation closed with an overview of the power of data science in the service of humanity and the open source community.

During the day, book prizes were awarded to those who were first to correctly answer questions from the presentations. The day ended with lunch provided by Stellar Consulting.

Join The Band

It was clear from the atmosphere, interest and community energy SAS Users of New Zealand were keen to “Join The Band”.

You can view the collection of photos we took in our Facebook album: Metacoda at SUNZ Auckland. There are also lots of photos and tweets of the day on Twitter with the hashtag #SUNZ. The presentations are also now available on the SUNZ website.

If we didn’t get to talk to you on the day, you might be interested in some productivity tools we have for working with SAS metadata. Have a look at our free utilities to help SAS administrators and metadata specialists. We also have our Metacoda Security Plug-ins, point-and-click tools to enable you to manage, review, troubleshoot, document, audit and test SAS platform installations regularly and with confidence.


Thank you to the SUNZ committee and community for the opportunity to be a sponsor and present. We look forward to your next event, SUNZ national in February 2016!

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