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User groups

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SAS user groups can be found in many places around the world.

History

One thing that distinguishes SAS from many other computer programming languages and applications is the strong and enthusiastic support of users of SAS. SAS users have been meeting and discussing SAS and its uses for many years. The first SAS user group conference was held in 1976, and such formal meetings have been held annually ever since.

Distinguishing features

User groups may be distinguished from clubs and other recreational or social groups because of the professional activities the group undertakes. User education by sharing problems, solutions, experiences, knowledge and skills among user peers is a frequent activity. Rather than having a single presenter or teacher, users take turns presenting their work or insights to other users and having their work reviewed by their peers.

Benefits of user groups

For users

Users groups provide users the chance to network and meet users of varying levels of experience. They also give the chance to attend and give presentations on a variety of subjects. User group meetings have been known to spark conversations and build relationships that may not have otherwise formed.

For users' employers

Encouraging employees to participate in user groups gives employers the chance to get the organization name out. By allowing employees to participate, employers enable networking relationships to grow. User group participation is an investment in more productive employees, as they get the chance to learn and teach, while mingling with like-minded users.

For corporate bodies

Organizations can host user group meetings or sponsor user groups. Corporate bodies can also have in-house user groups, for employees across teams to interact and discuss SAS and related technologies.

For the vendor

The vendor benefits from user groups by having a forum where they can provide advice, meet customers, and develop relationships. A vendor can also present on new products or methodologies, and contribute to the discussion about uses or challenges of their product(s).


Types of user groups

There are several different types of user groups

International user groups
provide global or at least continental coverage.
National user groups
serve users in a country.
Local user groups
serve users in a city, state, province or area.
Corporate user groups
serve users in one corporation or institution.
Special interest user groups
serve users in a particular industry or with interest in particular applications or research areas.
On-line or virtual user groups
provide an electronic presence for users to share and learn.

SAS Users' papers about user groups

User group formation and governance


Article outline/ideas

Explain what a user group is and how it differs from a club, how to set one up or find one in your area, minimum requirements, etc.

Why have user groups?

Benefits of a user group

for emloyees and users
for employers
for vendors
corporate vs area groups
in-house vs external - benefits of different viewpoints
teaching and learning opportunities
benefits of presenting papers/programs/code/etc - quality improvement - peer review and feedback, exposure to critica views and comments

Establishing a user group

minimum requirements
critical mass
governance and office holders
member services, newsletters, employment opportunities, consulting, partnerships
critical success factors, workload and burnout, risk factors in reliance on key people
frequency and format of meetings
social events

User Groups around the world

List global, regional, local, area, and corporate SAS user groups.

Global
and On-line
Regions
Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific
Countries
USA, Canada, UK, EU, Australia & NZ
US States
Special interests
Utilities, Healthcare, Education, Military, Banking & finance, Government
Corporate groups

User Groups by location

Also see Local User Groups by Geography.

Africa

Americas

Latin America

Canada

USA

Regional Users Groups
(See Category:Regional User Groups for related articles.)
Ugroups regionmap-2-.GIF

The USA is served by 5 regional user groups or RUGs.


Local Users Groups

Asia Pacific

Europe

Middle East

In House User Groups

Special Interest User Groups

References

External links