Order variables by values of a statistic

When I create a graph of data that contains a categorical variable, I rarely want to display the categories in alphabetical order. For example, the box plot to the left is a plot of 10 standardized variables where the variables are ordered by their median value. The ordering makes it […]
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The GCD and LCM functions in SAS

My daughter's middle school math class recently reviewed how to compute the greatest common factor (GCF) and the least common multiple (LCM) of a set of integers. (The GCF is sometimes called the greatest common divisor, or GCD.) Both algorithms require factoring integers into a product of primes. While helping […]
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LISTING vs. HTML output in SAS: Confessions of an HTML convert

Last week I presented two talks at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, which has established a new Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Analysis Using SAS. While in Milwaukee, I ran into an old friend: the ODS LISTING destination. One of my presentations was a hands-on workshop titled Getting Started […]
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Determine the version of SAS software at run time

Recently I wrote about how to determine the age of your SAS release. Experienced SAS programmers know that you can programatically determine information about your SAS release by using certain automatic macro variables that SAS provides: SYSVER: contains the major and minor version of the SAS release SYSVLONG: contains the […]
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Errors that cause SAS to "freeze"... and what to do about them

Even the best programmers make mistakes. For most errors, SAS software displays the nature and location of the error, returns control to the programmer, and awaits further instructions. However, there are a handful of insidious errors that cause SAS to think that a statement or program is not finished. For […]
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How does the IF-THEN statement in SAS treat a missing value?

Every programming language has an IF-THEN statement that branches according to whether a Boolean expression is true or false. In SAS, the IF-THEN (or IF-THEN/ELSE) statement evaluates an expression and braches according to whether the expression is nonzero (true) or zero (false). The basic syntax is if numeric-expression then    do-computation; […]
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Macros and loops in the SAS/IML language

I am not a big fan of the macro language, and I try to avoid it when I write SAS/IML programs. I find that the programs with many macros are hard to read and debug. Furthermore, the SAS/IML language supports loops and indexing, so many macro constructs can be replaced […]
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Use regression for a univariate analysis? Yes!

I've conducted a lot of univariate analyses in SAS, yet I'm always surprised when the best way to carry out the analysis uses a SAS regression procedure. I always think, "This is a univariate analysis! Why am I using a regression procedure? Doesn't a regression require at least two variables?" […]
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Initializing vectors by using repetition factors

The SAS/IML language has a curious syntax that enables you to specify a "repetition factor" when you initialize a vector of literal values. Essentially, the language enables you to specify the frequency of an element. For example, suppose you want to define the following vector: proc iml; x = {1 […]
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Inverse hyperbolic functions in SAS

I was recently asked, "Does SAS support computing inverse hyperbolic trigonometric functions?" I was pretty sure that I had used the inverse hyperbolic trig functions in SAS, so I was surprised when I read the next sentence: "I ask because I saw a Usage Note that says these functions are […]
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