Thoughts on SAS Global Forum (SGF) 2018

Every year the SAS Global Forum attracts exceptional Keynote Speakers, and this year, Peyton Manning’s speech resonated with me a lot, especially in the topics relating to return on Investment (ROI) and leadership. He mentioned that when he played football he wanted to ensure that the club owner was receiving a ROI from his performance, and this is something that I’m going to be fully conscious of now when I’m performing my job. He also mentioned that leadership was the ability to influence people, and again this is something that I’m going to keep in the forefront of my mind as I advance my career.

Peyton Manning also brings up the importance of using data and his opinion is that you can’t get enough data. I’m intrigued in the amount of data that is captured these days – chips are put into Jersey’s to measure player’s steps whilst training, and the results from these measurements help to prevent overtraining. Smart helmets are used to measure collisions and in turn to help prevent head injuries. Scisports, one of the industry leaders in analysing “football” data, also presented and demonstrated the system that they built to analyse every movement on the pitch in 3D and stream it live to the audience. It’s so interesting to see how all this data is being captured and analysed!

It’s always good to meet the attendees at SAS Global Forum and I received some great advice from Stephen OvertonPeter Eberhardt and Jennifer Waller.

One of my aims is to be a better speaker and presenter, and so I reached out to Stephen because he has one many “Best Papers” before, and he mentioned that one trick is to tell a story around the method that you want to present. So simple but effective, so I will work on that this year. Another one of my aims in the future is to do a little more remote working so I can visit more countries, and Peter mentioned that volunteering and presenting at conferences does help you to indirectly get your name out there, which can help you get more remote working opportunities. Finally, another one of my aims is to be a SAS Global Forum Conference Chair, and Jennifer Waller shared her experience with me, and said “Don’t be afraid to reach out”. That simple statement reminded me that no one is an island, and that people are willing to help you out. 🙂

At the conference, Renae Rich’s presentation caught my eye. This showed, how you can perform cluster analysis and I liked the box plots that she produced in the end. I also gave two presentations at the conference. The first presentation was with my co-author Richann Watson and this presentation was a Hands-on Workshop which showed how you can animate your data! The second presentation showed how you can create Venn Diagrams in SAS 9.4.

The SAS Global Forum 2018 was held in Denver and it was a great event, almost 6,000 people attended. Denver is well known for hiking and the picture above was taken at Chautauqua Park in Boulder on the First-Second Flatiron Trail.

I look forward to going to next years event in Dallas! 🙂