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Business Intelligence and Reporting
Data Analysis as an Operational Resource Advances in Business Intelligence Software Apache Hadoop and SAS Platform
Hadoop Distributed Processing from within SAS SAS Training by SYS-ED Industry Standard SAS Training Service
Grow Your Own SAS Programmers Professional Distance-learning Service Specialized Training Services

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SAS is a registered trademark of SAS Institute.
Access, Visual FoxPro, and SQL Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Apache Hadoop is a project of the Apache Software Foundation.
Db2, DB2, and z/OS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.
Oracle database is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation.
Sybase SQL is a registered trademark of Sybase, Inc. and SAP.

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Data Mining, Big Data, and Mobile Devices

Data Analysis as an Operational Resource

Over the past decade, there has been a huge increase in collected data by organizational enterprise. The information has been generated both from traditional sources such as computerized systems for tracking operations, customers, and sales and new data sources such as website visits, social network chatter, and public records accessible over the Internet in digital form. This data explosion is an untapped asset at most organizations which lack the tools and skills to exploit it. The challenge is to use data for fine-grained analysis of markets, customer behavior and operations, and transform business operations more toward evidence-based decision making. This market is a huge opportunity for software companies.

SAS Business Analytics

Data Management   Analytics
Data Quality
Enterprise Data Access
Data Integration
Master Data Management
Operation Research Data Visualization
Statistics   Model Management
Text Analytics   Monitoring
Forecasting   Analytics / Data Modeling
Integrate Data Management and Analytics

For the better part of 40 years, SAS Institute software has been the leader in the business intelligence software. Historically, this has been a niche market where SAS software is used to analyze huge datasets and generate predictive statistical models for large corporations and government agencies. According to leading market research firms, over ninety percent of the largest companies 100 worldwide use SAS software. Developed in response to industry specific operational requirements, SAS has a significant advantage in its software technology, programming language, and tools. SAS has always invested heavily in research and development. The SAS stronghold is advanced analytics and predictive modeling software which uses historical and current data to model and predict future outcomes. However, SAS comparative advantage has been for the most part derived from the legacy world of statisticians and programmers. Developed in the 1970's for the mainframe platform, SAS EIP: Enterprise Intelligence Platform is comprised of the business intelligence and analytic/data mining toolset and data integration stack analytics. There are also versions available on other platforms: MS Windows and Linux-variants.

The challenge facing SAS is to transition and develop software for deployment to be used by information technology and business professionals in a global market. Towards that end, SAS has been moving toward the Internet model of software delivery as a service that customers access into over the web; some initial products have been launched.

Advances in Business Intelligence Software

Business intelligence software has become increasingly mainstream; there are now both free open source and commercial software alternatives to SAS emerging in the market. Until recently SAS has been slow to recognize the challenge from free, open source alternatives to some of its products. The R programming language is a free programming language and set of software tools for statistical computing; it has become increasingly popular at universities and labs. Programs written with R work integrate with SAS technology and there is a long-term commitment from management at SAS to work with the open source community. Red Hat is working with SAS Institute to optimize performance and I/O throughput for SAS software and applications running on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based operating system. The preliminary results have been excellent scalability in tests up to 64 cores on a single system.

In response to the growth and success of SAS software, new competition is emerging from major software companies to gain market share with lower prices and substitute technology. Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and especially, IBM have invested considerable resources in bringing competitive business intelligence software to market. Oracle bought Hyperion and SAP bought Business Objects. In the summer of 2009, IBM bought SPSS, a maker of predictive modeling software, and prior to that purchased Cognos. IBM has placed SPSS and Cognos into a new business analytics and optimization group. That business will be supported by 200 scientists, and the company has said it will retrain or hire 4,000 consultants and analysts to work in the group. IBM has stated that business intelligence software is part of its strategy for growth.

Apache Hadoop and SAS Platform

The SAS platform software can be used to work with Hadoop. SAS combines analytics with Hadoopís ability to use commodity-based storage and perform distributed processing. Hadoop data can be accessed with the SAS language. SAS abstracts the complexity of Hadoop by making it function as a data source. Data stored in Hadoop can be consumed across the SAS software stack. SAS support for Hadoop provides a framework to the information management life cycle with metadata, lineage, monitoring, federation and security capabilities. Data stored in Hadoop can be integrated with other sources. There is SAS text mining and predictive analytics and business intelligence which can be applied to Hadoop data. There is a SAS Metadata Server which creates and manages metadata. SAS/ACCESS makes Hive-based tables appear native to SAS. Development of analytics or data processes can be performed using SAS tools and run-time execution within either Hadoop or the SAS environment.

The advantages associated with SAS/ACCESS Interface to Hadoop includes:

  • Integrating data stored in Hadoop with data from other sources.
  • Directly accessing data with native interfaces.
  • LIBNAME statement makes Hive tables look like SAS datasets.
  • PROC SQL for performing explicit HiveQL commands into Hadoop.
  • Leverage Hadoop data for existing SAS capabilities.
  • Improve performance by minimizing data movement.

Hadoop Distributed Processing from within SAS

Hadoop functionality can be executed by enabling MapReduce programming, scripting, and the execution of HDFS commands from within the SAS environment. This complements SAS/ACCESS and Hive and extends support for Pig, MapReduce, and HDFS commands. By running a thin-layer SAS process on each Hadoop node, SAS commands have efficient throughput for large analytic workloads. Hadoop provides the distributing processing, memory management, and job flow control.

Base SAS integration with Hadoop includes support for external file reference to Hadoop files and parameters for file processing and procedures: PROC FREQ, PROC MEANS, PROC RANK, PROC REPORT, PROC SORT, PROC SUMMARY, and PROC TABULATE.

SAS Information Management provides:

  • An interface to Hadoop which uses Pig, Hive, MapReduce, and HDFS commands inline.
  • A visual editor and built-in syntax checker for Pig and MapReduce code.
  • Submissions of Hive queries through PROC SQL, Base SAS, and other SAS components.
  • The capability to create UDF: user-defined functions for deployment within HDFS.
  • Apply data quality capabilities to Hadoop data.
  • Data Integration Studio transformations to Hadoop data and building job flows.

SAS Training by SYS-ED

SYS-ED SAS courses teach industry standard subject matter in interrelated information technology required for efficient data management, data mining, and report generation such as:

  • Credit card companies for detecting unusual buying patterns in real time, and spotting potentially fraudulent charges.
  • Retail chains for tailoring pricing and product offerings down to the store level.
  • Telecommunications companies for identifying the few thousand customers, among millions, that are most likely to switch to another cellphone carrier.
  • Energy companies parsing sensor signals from oil rigs and combining that information with weather and structural data, to predict failure of parts.
  • Analysis SMF data to determine bottlenecks, I/O activity, CPU utilization, and contention issues.

SYS-ED's multi-platform SAS training teaches the Base SAS Procedures and the language enhancements.

CALLRFC Invoking RFC-Remote Function Call or RFC-compatible functions on an SAP System from a SAS program.
FCMP Creating, testing, and storing SAS functions and subroutines before using them in other SAS procedures.
JAVAINFO Provides diagnostic information to the user about the Java environment that SAS is using.
PROTO Registering in batch mode, external functions that are written in the C or C++ programming languages.
SCAPROC Specifying a filename or fileref that will contain the output of the SAS Code Analyzer and write output to the file.
SOAP Reads XML input from a file that has a fileref and writes XML output to another file that has a fileref. The procedure PROC SOAP can run on any platform.
HTTP Procedure The HTTP procedure invokes a web service that issues requests.

SYS-ED's system consultant instructors average 30 years experience in information technology. We provide insights required for effective maintenance coding and web-based utilization of SAS analytics with a variety of databases - IBM Db2, MS SQL Server, Oracle database platform, and operating system environments: IBM mainframe, MS Windows, and Red Hat Linux.

Few independent training companies have been providing SAS training longer or better than SYS-ED.

Qualifying a Request for SAS Training

A telephone consultation with our Director of Education is required prior to SYS-ED's accepting a SAS training assignment. As part of this process we will review the subject matter in relation to the system software installation standards and provide a training plan in writing. Client-specific sample data, examples, and exercises are used to address query and reporting requirements with SAS software in increasingly commercial and open source operating environments.

  • How to code and utilize SAS procedures for data manipulation, information storage, information retrieval, statistical analysis, and report writing.
  • How to utilize the Java client, XML Mapper, for importing and exporting XML documents to the SAS platform.
  • How to use ODS: Output Delivery System for reporting, report formatting, and report delivery for: 1- Capturing data output from a Base procedure into a SAS dataset for additional processing or reporting. 2- Creating and separating datasets for a subgroup.

It is our prerogative to ensure that the employee has the prerequisite background for the training. Not everyone is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED course.

Upon completion of a instructor-led course at the client location, it is standard policy to organize subject matter for future utilization in a web-based training infrastructure.

Courseware for Teaching

SYS-ED's courseware library consists of student handouts, training aids, documented walkthroughs, and industry-specific exercises. The course workbooks and training aids included in SYS-ED SAS instructor-led and distance-learning training services are highly respected; they extend the source vendor documentation with an examination of program logic, diagrams, and sample programs.

The Computer Education Techniques knowledge base is a service for answering questions, inclusive of the research and validation of the accuracy of information in the public domain. Content selectively is added to SYS-ED course handouts and training aids.

Open Source Software
Java Development Platform and Language
Red Hat Linux Operating System XML Platform
SAS - Distance-learning Service
IBM Database and System Software
Db2 Relational Database
IMS Hierarchical Database
Microsoft Database Software
MS Relational Databases
MS Development Platforms
SAS Software
SAS for Business Professionals
SAS Programming
Oracle Database and Development Platform
Oracle Relational Database
Oracle and WebLogic Development

Industry Standard SAS Training Service

SYS-EDís SAS curriculum has been developed based upon a foundation of adult learning theory and the standards of the New York State Department of Education.

Leading SAS Development Platforms

IBM z/OS Mainframe   Red Hat Linux   MS Windows
  SAS EIP: Enterprise Intelligence Platform  
  SAS Server Specialization  
Workspace Server OLAP Server
  Pooled Workspace Stored Process Server

We provide an impartial interpretation of SAS software and hands-on experience which extends the source documentation.

  • Transitioning from older versions of the SAS software to the new web based model.
  • Migrating and upgrading applications to the emerging service oriented architecture standard.
  • Logical and physical design and performance optimization.
  • Design of the interface and presentation format.
  • Explanation of the protocols serving as the foundation of web services and its utilization with SAS.
  • Guidance on web development utilizing open source and proprietary frameworks.

SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum. It will be updated quarterly.

SAS Application Development and Cross Platform Experience

SAS Training Services SYS-ED Schedule and Content Delivery Selection
Instructor Training - NYS ED BPSS Standards
Web-based Training Services Content Delivery Selection Instructor Training

SYS-ED SAS Clients
Mainframe Platform MS Windows Platform UNIX and Linux Platform

Grow Your Own SAS Programmers

There have been inquiries regarding whether SYS-ED still offered SAS courses for business and IT professionals on a variety of development platforms.

The typical comments were that:

1.There is a scarcity of SAS courses geared to Fortune 1000 corporations, government municipalities and their employees.
2.That it is difficult to find tailored SAS training with the specialized skills requirements needed for querying and managing data.
3.That SAS ďeducational consultancyĒ was a key component in helping Fortune 1000 companies and government municipalities meet their informational technology operational requirements.
4.That travel costs and living expenses are a significant constraint when it comes to attending a mainframe course.
5.That it is important to have a resource for asking SAS questions after the training is complete.

In response to these questions:

SAS Training Services Yes, SYS-ED offers multiple levels of SAS training across a comprehensive range of operating environments and platforms.
SAS Training Services Yes, since the early 1980ís, SYS-EDís system consultant instructors have taught the SAS language and we offer a coordinated sequence of SAS courses.
SAS Training Services Yes, we have the flexibility and resources to conduct courses for small groups; with a minimum class size as few as three employees.
SAS Training Services SAS courses are available in multiple formats:classroom, distance-learning, and blended web-based delivery.
SAS Training Services Upon completion of a SYS-ED course, our staff is available to answer SAS questions.

Professional Distance-learning Service

SYS-ED's distance-learning training service is 65% lecture with pre and post course validation, review questions, examples, workshops, and website support services.


Enrollment requires a consultation with the manager sending the employee for the training. The prospective trainee needs to be qualified for the course and service transmission to the client location: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises. SYS-ED reserves the right to deny enrollment in its courses.

Specialized Training Services

SAS and software companies have partnered to integrate mobile applications with solution with SAS Enterprise Business Intelligence Server. This allows SAS business intelligence data to be ported onto the Apple iPhone and iPad.

    right arrow SAS Enterprise Business Intelligence Server            
          iPad/iPhone Applications      
    right-arrow Roambi ES3           Link Indicators Enable Data Brushing
          Native iPad Support      
    right arrow SAS Visual Analytics           Offline Reports

SAS Visual Analytics provides high performance in-memory facilities to examine data for identifying patterns and publishing reports to mobile devices and the Internet. SAS software and development platform can be taught in conjunction with an industry standard training program. A program can be augmented with sample programs, case studies, and subject matter from the course search engine. The client makes the final determination on the content and program duration. At the client's discretion, pre and post course assessment, checklists of completed assignments, grading system, and a final examination can be utilized.

SAS Training

SAS Courses
SYS-ED's SAS courses are tough, but they're worth it. They will provide the foundation and experience to design, develop, and update SAS applications. 1

SYS-ED courseware and training aids have been designed to compliment the class lecture and provide a framework for coding and debugging SAS programs. They also serve as a reference source after a course is over.

Teaching is Our Only Business
Most computer training companies are divisions of large software or consulting companies. Not SYS-ED. Our only goal is to provide SAS and programming training for motivated business and information technology professionals. This independence allows us to concentrate on teaching.

Our Teachers Know How to Teach
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with experience in application and enterprise database on mainframe, Linux, and Windows operating systems. After a course, they are available to ask questions.

Enrollment - SYS-ED SAS Courses are Not for Everyone
No one is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED SAS course without a consultation with our Director of Education. We review the operational objectives and project specifications for the organization evaluating whether to send its employee for the training. The employee only is allowed to enroll of they have the background corresponding to the course.

SAS Training - Distance-learning or at Your Office
SYS-ED SAS courses are provided over the Internet through a distance-learning delivery medium or classroom instruction. Client location courses can include the same workshops, examples, and case studies as through the SYS-ED schedule.

Technology Exchange Websites

SYS-ED's technology exchange websites compile, organize, and present software specific and established operational ategorizations of information technology. They provide a framework for assessing knowledge transfer: web-based training, classroom instruction, courseware, learning paths, and validation assessment.

Footnote 1:

SYS-EDís core SAS curriculum is being prepared for submission to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.

SYS-EDís core mainframe, UNIX, and Java curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.