Inspiration and Learning at SAS Global Forum


Last week, I had the opportunity to attend SAS Global Forum, an event run by SAS Global Users Group in partnership with SAS, which brought together over 5,500 analytics enthusiasts, partners, SAS leaders, and industry experts.  Downtown Dallas was abuzz with attendees, and it seemed there were as many people at the conference as there were rental scooters on the streets and sidewalks.  Yes, I did ride one for hotel to conference transportation.

Analytics in Action

Oliver Schabenberger, SAS EVP, COO  &  CTO at SAS Global Forum

With the theme “Analytics in Action”, SAS did not disappoint.  They highlighted many inspirational examples of analytics, and related technologies, including computer vision, AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, being used to help solve complex problems.  Here are some fascinating examples from the keynote talks:

  • Radiologists can leverage computer vision and medical image processing in SAS Viya to improve estimates of lesion size and volume, helping to maximize the use of their time, and get cancer detecting results faster.
  • Localities using SAS Viya can help minimize child abuse in areas of high opioid addiction. Many children suffer from neglect and abuse in these areas.  With the help of automated machine learning, caseworkers can obtain real time alerts if a child’s risk level has increased, and take steps to address the risk.
  • IndiOmics, a biotechnology firm, is using analytics with AI to help determine the impact of synthetic chemicals from commonly used items that enter our body and interact with cells, to reduce cancer risk, and help get children off to a healthy start.


Masood Noori presents SUSE Tuning and Configuration for SAS

As a technology partner with SAS, it is inspiring to see that real life challenges are being addressed with SAS Viya and other SAS products. SUSE plays an important role by providing open infrastructure which is reliable, secure, high performing, available on all major architectures and public clouds, with SUSE’s world class global support. We work closely with SAS to ensure an excellent platform for their applications, and a great experience for our joint customers.  Masood Noori, solution architect at SUSE, worked closely with SAS R&D and SUSE’s performance experts to create a tuning guide for running SAS with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). This SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Tuning and Configuration for SAS guide was the basis of Masood’s session topic at the event.  Along with covering the tuning recommendations and methodology, Masood also provided background about SUSE, including news of becoming independent (see blog from CEO Nils Brauckmann), and our partnership with SAS.

SAS demonstrates computer vision capabilities with facial recognition.



It was a packed few days in Dallas, and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to speak with many SAS users, partners, academics, and members of the SAS team. Many of these conversations were just as inspiring as the formal presentations.  While it was a busy few days, the Forum organizers made sure there was entertainment and fun at the Kick Back party. With regards to the mechanical bull ride, I was risk adverse – riding a scooter to the event was enough excitement for me. However, I was impressed by the number of brave people who took advantage of this Urban Cowboy experience. Is there any data available about data scientists and risk taking?  It was a great week, full of amazing people, and an opportunity to be inspired, humbled, and educated, with some Texas fun mixed in.

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