‘Tis the season

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas, and all through the halls
You could hear Stacey & Christine’s heads banging a wall;
Their study group met, and they had a few questions,
Please read below and give them your suggestions.

This week’s assignment has been Chapter 4 and 5 in the Certification Prep Guide which deals with Creating List Reports and Creating Data Sets from Raw Data. What a wonderful feeling to actually have remembered some of this information from my Programming I course, which I took the beginning of the year. As always, though, we had our share of questions and problems that we had to work through. We were able to answer most of our questions between the group members, but we had one that we could use a little help with.

One thing that none of us in our group could remember studying before is the Data Constant and what a practical use for this might be. If we understand this statement correctly, it assigns the same date to the entire data set. Our only guess as to a real-world application might be when one wants to combine data sets. As novice programmers, we couldn’t think of another application where this assignment statement might be useful. Therefore, we thought we would ask the expert, Michele Burlew, whose second edition of Combining and Modifying SAS Data Sets became available last month, to set us straight. Also, for any of you that use the data (or time or datetime) constant assignment, let us know how and why you do so. If Michele responds directly to me, I will make a comment here so that all can see her response.

My other thought after this week’s assignments was to create a “cheat sheet” of procedures, various options that can be included in the procedure and the corresponding syntax. As I prepared to get my list ready, I realized that this is probably something we already have in our documentation. Sure enough, when I went to our documentation page I found this information included within our Procedures Guide. The PROC Print procedure was highlighted in chapter 4 and all the information I was going to include in my document was right there ready for me. I thought I would take this moment to remind everyone of our excellent, and free, documentation – myself included!

We find that a more practical and tangible approach to the information we are learning helps us to retain it. So keep letting us know how you SAS and the statements we have questions about – we want to hear from you. And, have a wonderful holiday season.

  • About this blog

    I’m Maggie Miller and I’ll be providing you the latest updates about SAS books, documentation, tips and industry trends here on the SAS Bookshelf. Follow along with my talented colleagues, and guest posters as we bring the written word to life and share helpful content with our fellow SAS book enthusiasts.
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