Texas A&M Analytics's annual SAS Day highlights speakers from the SAS Institute Inc. and industry experts who present on a variety of topics related to using analytics to make better business decisions.


The Texas A&M University Master's of Science in Analytics program, in collaboration with program sponsor SAS®, hosted a record crowd at their third annual SAS Day, held October 15 at Houston's CityCentre.

The free daylong event, which began in 2013 to promote the importance of analytics in gaining a competitive advantage in business, offered a variety of sessions and keynote presentations from industry leaders with a range of beneficial expertise.

Roughly 130 attendees - a dramatic increase from the initial 65 in 2013 -- heard about cyber security, economics and forecasting as well as the benefits of using analytics to guide decision-making from a panel of experts. The majority of these working professionals came from a vast array of industries with one common factor: exposure to and experience with big data analytics.

"The topics were engaging, and the discussions were very interesting," said Javier Aldape, MS Analytics program manager. "The attendees provided us with great feedback, and we're already looking forward to next year."

The speakers challenged the attendees to "grow a culture of innovation and to develop a new problem-solving mindset," Aldape said.

One of the day's most popular sessions delved into the scarcity of analytical skills. In particular, one of the featured presentations, "Analytics in Action," discussed just how concerning this gap is, given the estimated 200,000 data analytics expert positions expected to be unfilled by the year 2018. "The time is now to invest in analytics," said one speaker.

Program Director Myra Gonzalez says Texas A&M Analytics made the decision to make SAS Day a tradition and as practical as possible from the get-go in 2013.

"The first event drew 65 attendees and gained traction from there," Gonzalez said. "We knew the event was a success, and we wanted to build on that. For our third year, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to raise the bar. We want the same for every event hosted by our program."

Event speakers also advised attendees to explore graduate programs and to encourage employees to enroll in the Texas A&M MS Analytics program, which Academic Director Simon J. Sheather says is custom-designed to offer a unique learning experience for working professionals, thanks in part to collaborators like SAS.

"It's exciting to see how this event has grown these last few years and also to see people from different industries who are using analytics to grow their companies," Sheather said. "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to SAS for their generous and continuing contributions to this event and to our program."

For more information on SAS Day or Texas A&M MS Analytics in general, visit http://analytics.stat.tamu.edu.

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Texas A&M's Master of Science in Analytics is a five-semester, part-time program for working professionals available live online or live at Houston's CityCentre facility. The program's curriculum revolves around a work-based project in which students apply their new business analytics skills to solve real problems at their respective organizations. Learn more at http://analytics.stat.tamu.edu.


Contact: Javier Aldape, (979) 845-2149 or javieraldape@tamu.edu

Aldape Javier

  • MS Analytics Academic Director Simon J. Sheather says SAS's generous support of this event and Texas A&M's overall program is invaluble to the students and their employers.

  • (Image courtesy of CityCentre.)

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