In the 16 years I have been at SAS, I have been fortunate to wear many hats: technical pre-sales, product management, product marketing and even doing a five-month assignment at a large bank in the UK. When you think about what it takes to make discoveries from data and create value, you sometimes have to wear different hats or assume different personas. Most generally, you might think of being a detective, but other scenarios arise. You might think of yourself as an architect to construct an analysis-ready data set. There are times when you might think of yourself as Perry Mason if you have to confirm a point, creating evidence crucial to prove your case.
It has been said before, in this era of big data and competing on analytics, we all have to be data analysts at some level. We all have different skills and abilities—and preferences based on how we have learned to do things as well as how curious we are to learn new things. I love coming to SAS Global Forum, because the people who attend are generally very curious lifelong learners who are always seeking to improve, to be more efficient and effective in creating value from data.
More than half of our brains are dedicated to supporting seeing. People remember compelling data visualizations. Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer of Teradata, has blogged on the International Institute of Analytics site about wanting data artists over data scientists. We have long held that the role of creativity in problem solving is critical to innovation and competing on analytics. Analytics is both art and science, with more recent attention focused on the importance of the art part.
On the last day of SAS Global Forum today, I conducted a roundtable discussion on JMP and SAS. We had a mix of longtime SAS and JMP users and users brand new to both. Generally, all were pleased to hear about the future directions to leverage JMP and SAS together, to bring the power of data visualization to doing analysis as well as the power of information visualization when sharing results. As we wind down SAS Global Forum, I encourage you to don another hat — put on a "creative cap" like a chef's or artist's hat — to have fun with your data and experience analytics at the speed of sight.