Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tao's Recommended SAS Courses for Energy Forecasters

Mastering advanced forecasting tools is one of the Three Skills of the Ideal Energy Forecaster. Most, if not all of my clients are using or going to use SAS for load analysis, load research and load forecasting. In my previous consulting jobs, I sometimes recommended learning path customized for a client based on his/her background. Below is my recommended list of SAS courses in chronological order for an entry level energy/utility analyst, assuming that the person has no experience with SAS or statistical forecasting. The numbers in the brackets indicate the amount of time (in hours) to learn the subjects.

  1. Introduction to Statistical Concepts [6]
  2. SAS Enterprise Guide 1: Querying and Reporting (EG5.1) [16]
  3. SAS Enterprise Guide 2: Advanced Tasks and Querying (EG5.1) [16]
  4. SAS Enterprise Guide: ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression (4.3 and 5.1) [24]
  5. SAS Programming Introduction: Basic Concepts [16]
  6. SAS Programming 1: Essentials [24]
  7. SAS Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques [24]
  8. SAS SQL 1: Essentials [16]
  9. SAS Macro Language 1: Essentials [16]
  10. SAS Programming 3: Advanced Techniques and Efficiencies [24]
  11. Statistics 1: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression [24]
  12. Forecasting Using SAS Software: A Programming Approach [24]
  13. Stationarity Testing and Other Time Series Topics [4]
  14. Electric Load Forecasting: Fundamentals and Best Practices [16]

Many people, including those long-time SAS programmers, may not realize how user-friendly and powerful SAS Enterprise Guide (EG) is. I recommend all beginners starting with the SAS EG courses right after completion of the Introduction to Statistical Concepts.

To a college student, the first 11 courses are all available free of charge in e-learning format. Courses 6 and 7 are the recommended courses for preparing Base SAS Programmer Certification. Courses 8-10 are the recommended courses for preparing Advanced SAS Programmer Certification. 

Courses 12 and 13 are taught by Dr. David Dickey. I would recommend any forecaster to take these two courses from him. I took both courses multiple times in person. Every time I learned something new about time series analysis.

Course 14 is mine. You can find more information about this course from this post and my webpage. It does not require the first 13 courses as pre-requisites. Many entry level energy forecasters took my course in the first place before they took other SAS courses. 

Overall, it takes 250 hours to complete the above 14 courses. After these, you would become an intermediate energy forecaster who is qualified for most of the jobs posted on my blog.

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