This month we reflect on the fact that in a non-COVID-19 world, we would have been sponsoring and experiencing the Nordic SAS Forums in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark during May.
Of course, we’d hoped that these SAS community events could be held later in 2020 (as originally announced), but we’ve recently learned that all SAS face-to-face events will now understandably be delayed until March 2021.
This year, we’ll really miss catching up with our wonderful Nordic friends – and travelling to this beautiful part of the world, – however we’re excited that the SAS Nordic User Group Managers will still be offering plenty of great virtual events. Read more
It’s the Metacoda koalas here wanting to share some caring koala-ity news with you…
Firstly, we hope you are all safe and well during this tough time.
While we miss travelling, we feel extremely fortunate that Metacoda is easily able to work remotely, that we can still get outside for a morning run, and that we have the technology to stay in touch with our friends and family around the world.
Two of the many things we miss, from our koala perspective, are a) good news and b) nature, so we thought we’d bring you a bit of both in this message…
Although it seems like forever ago, it’s just five months since huge bushfires devastated lives, livelihoods, homes, bushland and wildlife in many parts of Australia. As you may have seen on the global news, our koala friends suffered terribly. Read more
With SAS Global Forum (SASGF) in Washington, DC, next month, it’s time to get excited and start counting down!
To help you prepare, we’ve put together some of our top tips to ensure you have a fun and productive SASGF experience…
1) Join the pre-conference activitives NOW in the SASGF 2020 community. Post questions, share ideas and connect with attendees before you arrive in Washington, DC. In the SASGF community an announcement will be made when the SASGF app is available for you to set up your agenda, connect and be social too.
As you’ve probably gathered, we love connecting with the SAS community, especially our Metacoda customers!
If you haven’t already, please take a few moments to fill in our survey about your plans with SAS® Viya® and how Metacoda can help meet your needs.
So far, common survey themes include securing the SAS platform, and the value that Metacoda provides. So if you haven’t yet experienced Metacoda software, consider giving yourself the gift of a free trial after the holiday season.
Greetings to all and happy new year from the Metacoda team! We look forward to helping to make sure that 2020 brings you the confidence of a secure SAS platform.
In any community things tend to run most smoothly when each of us finds a role that best suits our strengths and preferences.
For me – as someone who loves socializing and connecting – my role in the SAS community has evolved into what some have referred to as a ‘cheerleader’.
Fortunately this is a role I relish, and I’m so grateful to those who recognize and support me for doing what comes naturally!
I’m also grateful to SAS users around the world who are doing their bit to nurture our wonderfully connected SAS community. The gratitude and support that we give each other is part of the glue that keeps this community so robust.
Another important part of the glue is the many events that help us to meet, share and grow. We’re big fans of SAS events and SAS User Groups and encourage everyone to join in however you can. (Find a group here)
When it comes to the in-person events – which are still so important in this digital age – the recent SAS US Regional Conferences were a highlight on the US SAS calendar.
While I wasn’t able to attend, I was so glad to be able to support the events as a SAS community advocate and sponsor, and to be represented by our furry friends, the Metacoda Koalas. (Meeting people IRL – in real life – is certainly where human connections happen, but tweets like this are the next best thing for feeling connected!) Read more
This question was asked of Iain Adamson from ScottishPower following his presentation, “From cottage industry to critical system! How Metacoda software enables productivity as your SAS platform becomes business critical”, which he presented with Michelle Homes from Metacoda at SAS Forum UK on 25th June.
Iain’s response – “while the time varies, it can be a few hours a day” – certainly seemed to impress the audience. (Not such a surprise for us though, given that we’ve been helping SAS administrators to be more productive since 2007 🙂)
Many thanks to Iain and his manager, Duncan Bain, for enthusiastically sharing their Metacoda software journey, and highlighting a few of their favourite tools:
Metacoda Password Encoder – Easily creates encoded/encrypted passwords without requiring access to a SAS coding interface. This helps to ensure there are no plain text passwords in the production environment.
Metacoda ACT Reviewer – Allows admins to quickly see the Access Control Templates, how they’ve been defined, where they have been applied, and how they may have been protected. Warning indicators identify potential issues where deviations from recommended practices have occurred.
Metacoda Identity Sync – ScottishPower believe the Metacoda Identity Sync Plug-in was the only practical way for them to on-board their users to the SAS platform with their Active Directory profiles.
Metacoda User Reviewer – Provides a comprehensive, whole-of-server view of a selected user. Being able to see the identity hierarchy in a tree view is very helpful and saves time.
Metacoda Identity Permissions Explorer – With just a few clicks, generate a report of what a user has access to. ScottishPower was able to review its effective permissions across multiple objects (folders, libraries, stored processes, reports etc), and be confident that their SAS metadata security model was as expected.
To find out more about how Metacoda can help a growing business, you can see the full presentation here.
When more than 6,000 SAS users came together at SAS Global Forum 2019 in Dallas, it was clear that we are living in exciting times, full of potential!
Dr Jim Goodnight, SAS CEO, set the scene perfectly in the opening session: “We are witnessing a renewed focus on data and analytics, driven by the combination of increased computing power, a more connected world and more powerful technologies, like artificial intelligence, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning.”
To support his words, he blew us away with a live facial recognition demonstration, using an enthusiastic group of volunteers (including Metacoda’s Michelle Homes) and a model TinyYOLO v2. The model essentially converts each face into a vector of 512 floating point numbers, looks it up using nearest neighbour, and then returns a name. But obviously behind the scenes there’s a lot more going on: the facial recognition uses approximately 11 million parameters… with more than 22 million floating point operations that have to occur on a workstation with 2 GPUs… which sends the data to SAS Viya running ESP on 4 GPUs… which sends the pixels in the bounding box into a model that has 55 million parameters from FaceNet! If you’re intrigued, please see Dr Goodnight’s opening session presentation for yourself (and notice that even funny faces can’t fool that clever underlying algorithm!) 😉
As we’ve noted before, the SAS administrator’s role can be cherished, admired, forgotten, loathed or even ignored – sometimes all in the course of a single day!
However, there is one thing that remains constant: the success of SAS Analytics relies on how well the platform performs.
So, let’s be grateful to all the SAS admins out there – when our SAS analytics stop working, the SAS admins certainly don’t!
One of the things we love most about SAS Global Forum (SASGF) is the way it brings together the SAS admins and wider community to learn, share and connect so everyone can keep their SAS platforms running smoothly.
Thanks SAS Nordic Forums for sharing your inspiration, information, community and cool curiosity!
With too many highlights to mention, you certainly fulfilled the theme of ‘Be Curious’.
From the Nordic Hackathon competition in February, through to the jury and attendee voting at the forums, and the wonderful Data Science Escape Room at each event, it’s no surprise the SAS Nordic community is growing and thriving.
The keynote speakers, including Jacob Knobel and Stefan Hyttfors, particularly embraced curiosity in the way they shared their stories.
Beginning with an anecdote about what his son did for work during his university break, Stefan’s humorous and entrepreneurial tale used past advances in technology, to prompt us to think about the future.
He then left us pondering the question of ethics and technology with the suggestion that… rather than fearing artificial intelligence, we should fear human intelligence.
As Albert Einstein famously said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Note: The good news is that all the fabulous presentations from the SAS Nordic Forums are now available to download at the SAS Nordic Community site.
Community. Co-operation. Collaboration
Whenever we attend a SAS event, we like to connect as much as possible to make the most of the community, cooperation and collaboration.
In addition to sponsoring the events and meeting up with new and old friends, Metacoda enjoyed a few other fun roles… Read more