Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy 2010 so far. We’re lucky enough to work for a company that closes between Christmas and New Years’, so it was an extra long break for all of us here at SAS. Along with almost everyone else, I rang in 2010 with a few goals and resolutions for myself. Among them is to do what’s needed to prepare for the certification exam, and that includes taking a refresher Programming I course.
As Stacey mentioned in her last post, we opted out of our study session the Wednesday before our Christmas break and we plan to meet next week. Our assignment was chapter 6-8 in the SAS Certification: Prep Guide. Chapters 6 and 7 are in the books and I’m working through chapter 8 now.
This last assignment has shown me that I need a refresher – especially when it comes to data step processing. I remember covering that in Programming I (which I will be re-taking next week) but even after reading the chapter, and I might say, re-reading the chapter, I still got 4 of the answers wrong on the quiz. The reason for this, I think, is because I didn’t retain the meat, the guts, the essence of this chapter. For example, here is one that I got wrong:
Look carefully at the DATA step below. Based on the INPUT statement, in what order will the variables be stored in the new data set?
Data perm.update; infile invent; input IDNum$15-19 Item $1-13 Instock 21-22 BackOrd 24-25; Total=instock.backord; Run; a. IDNum Item InStock BackOrd Total b. Item IDNum InStock BackOrd Total c. Total IDNum Item InStock BackOrd d. Total Item IDNum InStock BackOrd
Naturally, I thought it was a trick question and chose wrong only to realize that I should have gone with my original gut instinct and chosen A. For those that need a reminder, like I did, about why the answer is A, the answer key states: The order in which variables are defined in the DATA step determines the order in which the variables are stores in the data set. Ahh…yes, I remember reading that a couple of times. I hope we go over this again in the Programming I class next week because I’m hoping that it will stick this time, along with everything else from this chapter.
I am happy to say, though, that the concepts covered in chapter 7, Creating and Applying User-Defined Formats, were something I found easier to retain and l look forward to creating some formats of my own. In an effort to apply what I’m learning and use it in everyday life, I’m going to create a data set for a household budget so that I can analyze where my money is actually going! It might take a few months before I get enough data to analyze, but at least it’s a start.
Next week I’ll be taking a Programming I, again, and I’m eager to go into class with some questions and a better understanding of SAS Programming.