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What is SAS User Group Germany? ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐ŸŽ™ ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

Aug 8, 2018

TL;DR

SASยฎ User Group Germany (later SUGG) is a community-driven, non-profit local meetup organization for everyone interested in the SAS technology stack โ€“ be that pharmaceutical or financial industry, artificial intelligence & machine learning, administration, analytics or just for fun. The meetup is powered by the enthusiasm and curiosity of actual users of SAS software.

SAS User Groups and Meetups

Offline SAS User Groups have been on the scene for quite a long time. Some of them are:

Groups like SESUG, MWSUG are the official SAS user groups, that is stated on their web pages. These groups have existed for quite a long time and are still active in the US. They donโ€™t meet very often - usually once per year. On the other side, ex SAS groups in Europe (UK, Germany) have not been so active, frankly speaking dead (except Nordic SAS which is pretty active). And that is why several SAS meetups have started in Europeโ€ฆ

What is the story behind recent SAS meetups in Europe?

There is a slight hype around SAS meetups in Europe right now. The first one was SAS User Group London (SLUG) which debuted in November 2017 and then was expanded to SAS User Group UK & Ireland (SUGUKI) โ€“ LinkedIn, Meetup. A remarkable meetup was held at SUGUKI on 2nd August 2018, there was a very special guest Tony Barr โ€“ one of the four founders of SAS Institute. It is unbelievable to have such a speaker.

Later Belgium & Luxemburg debuted at the beginning of this spring LinkedIn, Meetup.

Poland SAS User Group on LinkedIn started at the end of this spring.

You could check out photos, presentation topics, and etc. in the Meetup groups.

SAS Groups in Germany

There are several active SAS communities/conferences in Germany:

  1. SAS Forum Deutschland โ€“ annual conference organized by SAS.
  2. CoDe SAS โ€“ German-speaking online forum.
  3. KSFE โ€“ German-speaking SAS conference, conducted once per year.

Hence, no regular local meetups, which are free to attend. And that is why we were inspired by SUGUKI and decided to start a SAS meetup in Germany.

What is SAS User Group Germany โ€“ SUGG?

SAS User Group Germany is a non-profit meetup organization for everyone interested in SAS technology stack โ€“ be that pharmaceutical or financial industry, artificial intelligence & machine learning, administration, analytics or just for fun. It is organized by

  1. Igor Khorlo (Berlin based, Syneos Health).
  2. Alona Bulana (Berlin based, DOCS Global).
  3. Allan Bowe (Serbia/Belgium/UK based, Boemska).

We became public in the middle of June 2018 and gained a considerable demand especially during the first week. Our current ways to communicate with the public are:

  1. LinkedIn โ€“ main engagement platform right now.
  2. Meetup โ€“ the platform where we will request information about who is attending, first, last name for security and capacity reasons.
  3. SUGG email โ€“ .
  4. Slack chat โ€“ mainly for communication between organizers. Ping an email if youโ€™d like to join.

The meetups are expected to be in English, as a universal way of communication. Some speakers will be non-German speaking, as well as a lionโ€™s share of members.

What is SAS and why did we start this?

SAS is a software developed by SAS Institute. It is a huge technology stack with a big ecosystem around it. There are a lot of things going on around SAS, and it is hard to keep track of everything that is available in SAS toolbox for us as users. That is why we are excited to start a meetup where people from many industries can share ideas, network, or exchange the experience of using SAS!

What is the format of a meetup?

It is an offline meeting at some venue after work hours where will be 2-3 presentations (duration 20-30 minutes). The template agenda is:

  • 18:00 โ€“ Arrive
  • 18:30 โ€“ Presentation 1
  • 18:50 โ€“ Break
  • 19:00 โ€“ Presentation 2
  • 19:20 โ€“ Wrap-up and networking
  • 20:00 โ€“ Official end of the meetup. Vacate to a nearby place to have some drinksโ€ฆ ๐Ÿป

When is it planned to debut and what is the planned frequency?

Second Thursday of the month. The first one is scheduled for the 13th of September. Registration is already open on the Meetup. The frequency depends on the availability of presenters, venues & sponsors. Hope to have it monthly, but may be decreased to once per 2 months.

Where do we get presenters?

We already have established presentations for our first meetup that are especially high quality:

  1. Rowland Hale, Syneos Health โ€“ The LUA Procedure and why you should know it
  2. Nikola Markovic, CTO of Boemska and Allan Bowe, Director at Boemska โ€“ Building an Analytics Experience with SAS and HTML5.

If you are willing to present, please get in touch. We donโ€™t stress the presenters with timelines for slides or papers, you are free in the format of your presentation be that a classic PowerPoint slides, a live demo or a table talk.

What benefits will the company get from hosting or sponsoring the event?

Mainly it is a good PR for the company. A company will be announced as a venue sponsor for a meetup on LinkedIn and Meetup pages. As well as increasing trust in a company as a sponsor of the non-profit meetup organizations. Additionally, it is a good learning and engagement opportunity for employees from the hosting company โ€“ learn something new in a welcoming atmosphere at the evening, become excited about what they can use tomorrow with the technology they already have.

Why is this cool & fun?

Iโ€™ve personally visited 3 meetups from SAS User Group UK & Ireland in London and I am telling you this is a very great event for learning something new, see how people use SAS from other industries (not Pharmaceutical only where I am from) and think what we can learn from these industries. I was also speaking on one last event in London which was held in SAS Institute Londonโ€™s office. It was remarkably cool and more discussion driven than usual conferences like SAS Global Forum, PhUSE, PharmaSUG. Also, it is a good informal atmosphere to talk with people passionate about doing something with technology which is always great and very educational.

Hope this gave you an overview what SAS User Groups are and inspired you to attend or to host our further meetups.

Final words

Since we are the non-profit organization we fully rely on sharing the information! Sharing information about SUGG, following our LinkedIn and Meetup groups would be very appreciated!

Cheers ๐Ÿ™Œ Igor

on behalf of SUGG