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Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Career Opportunities in Statistical Computing Robert N. Rodriguez Director, Statistical Research & Development Workshop for Chairs of Programs in Statistics and Biostatistics August 2, 2008
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Two Perspectives on Careers in Statistical Computing 1.Software development opportunities at SAS 2.Emerging opportunities in business SAS Cary Campus Advanced Analytics R&D ~100 Ph.D. developers in statistics, forecasting, data mining, operations research, and numerical analysis
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. SAS Global Reach & Local Presence Connecting with Customers More than 400 offices globally in 51 countries 10,110 employees 4.5 million users worldwide Approx. 40,000 sites 109 countries Hundreds of local user groups globally
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Services 11% Financial Services 42% Retail 4% Other 2% Manufacturing 6% Healthcare & Life Sciences 8% Government 14% Energy & Utilities 2% Education 3% Communications 8% 2007 Worldwide Results By Industry
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Whats Involved in Producing Statistical Software? 1.Listening to customers 2.Keeping up with advances in statistical methodology 3.Designing, writing, testing code 4.Writing user documentation 5.Providing technical support 6.Consulting with customers 7.Presenting to customers Statistical software testers Cheryl LeSaint and Yu Liang
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Where Do Statisticians Contribute at SAS? Software development 30 developers (Ph.D.) Software testing 20+ testers (M.S. and Ph.D.) Documentation Technical support 15+ statisticians (M.S. and Ph.D.) Education 12 statisticians (M.S. and Ph.D.) Marketing and consulting Statistical software developers Randy Tobias and Pushpal Mukhopadhyay
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. What Drives Statistical Software Development? Customer ProblemsExamples of Development Directions Complex data Highly flexible models, Bayesian models, methods for model selection and validation Missing dataMultiple imputation Messy dataOutlier detection, robust methods Planned data Survey methods, sample size computation, design of experiments Unexplored dataGraphical methods Large data Scalable algorithms, parallel processing, distributed computing
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Where Are We Growing? Mixed modelingNonparametric regression Bayesian modelingReliability data analysis Bayesian econometricsStatistical graphics Statistical process controlSurvey data analysis Marketing research methodsSurvival data analysis Data mining, machine learningPredictive modeling ~20 new specialist positions in development and testing
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. What We Look for in Statistical Software Developers Ph.D. in statistics, biostatistics, applied math, … Specialization in one of the target areas In-depth knowledge of computational techniques Professional programming skills (hard to find!) Ability to write large, complex programs in C (not the same as writing programs in SAS, Matlab, S-PLUS, or R) Developed through on-the-job mentoring Motivation Challenged by creating software that moves new methods into practice and helps customers solve problems
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. What We Look for in Statistical Software Testers M.S. or Ph.D. in statistics, biostatistics, … Graduate coursework in several target areas Knowledge of applications and computational methods Skills Ability to verify computations through validation programs written in SAS, SAS/IML, SAS macro Ability to communicate effectively with other testers and developers Motivation Challenged by setting and meeting high standards of accuracy and performance that exceed customer expectations
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Opportunities for Graduate Students SAS Summer Fellowship in Statistical Computing opportunity to experience a professional software development environment competitive; covers stipend, living expenses announced in December Amstat News Permanent Positions JSM Placement Service Job listings at Guixian Lin (2008 Fellow, U of Illinois) and Robert Cohen (SAS)
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Data Flood Data-Based Decisions The Business Landscape
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Statistical Computing in Customer Environments Data planning Design of surveys, experiments, clinical trials, … Data access and management Disparate data sources and poor data quality undermine analysis Databases, data warehouses are controlled by IT (not analysts) Statisticians need better skills to participate Data preparation Getting the data into analysis-ready form (70% of the effort) Analysis Reporting Graphics, web pages, FDA submissions, …
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Emerging Opportunities in Statistical Computing: Analytical Software Solutions Integrated solutions for key business problems Developed by interdisciplinary teams industry experience software skills (SAS, Java, database, user interface) statistical computing skills expertise in formulating and building statistical models Examples monitoring for credit card fraud credit scoring customer retention and marketing automation risk analysis (credit, market, and operational) web analytics warranty analysis
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Expertise in formulating business problems statistically Computational skills in predictive model-building, forecasting, and optimization Examples survival models for customer lifetime value predictive models for repayment behavior forecasting demand for store items experimental design for optimizing response in direct marketing Helpful articles for students Kahn, The Practice and Culture of Statistics in Financial Services, Sept 2006 Amstat News DeVeaux and Ungar, Careers in Data Mining, Sept 2007 Amstat News Emerging Opportunities in Statistical Computing: Modeling in Financial and Retail Industries
Copyright © 2006, SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved. Emerging Opportunities in Statistical Computing: Business Analytics Enterprise-wide decision-making based on corporate data using statistical modeling, forecasting, data mining, and optimization Davenport and Harris (2007) describe companies that use analytics to drive performance and value New professional masters program in advanced analytics at North Carolina State University Davenport and Harris (2007), Competing on Analytics, Harvard Business School Press
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