In the past, getting your hands on SAS for learning purposes required one of two fortunate situations:
- being a student enrolled in a college course (or high school!) where SAS is taught
- working for an employer who is willing to sponsor your training, either in an official course or on-the-job.
Now, there is an affordable way for professionals to get hands-on access to SAS for a reasonable price: SAS OnDemand for Professionals: Enterprise Guide (in the USA and Canada only, for now).
This new SAS OnDemand offering complements the SAS OnDemand for Academics offering that has evolved over the past few years. It's SAS, running on "the cloud", and you use a supplied version of SAS Enterprise Guide to access it (along with a good collection of sample data). With SAS Enterprise Guide you can exercise most of the SAS features that you would need to practice for any career objective: learn SAS programming, hone your skills in business analytics, or use high-end statistical methods to analyze data.
CHOOSE YOUR PATH THROUGH THIS BLOG POST:
- If you want to learn how to use SAS to query and transform data, calculate summary statistics, build graphs, create reports, and dabble in higher-end analytics -- but you don't want to have to write or understand programming code...continue on to the immediately following section, "Learning SAS without programming".
- If you want to learn how to program in SAS, using DATA step, SAS macro language, SAS procedures and more, and you don't want to be held back by a point-and-click interface...skip this next section and go directly to read "Programming SAS with SAS Enterprise Guide".
Learning SAS without programming
SAS Enterprise Guide is often positioned as "the point-and-click interface to SAS". Many of us were raised on the idea that "using SAS requires programming". But it doesn't. SAS Enterprise Guide has over 90 built-in tasks for accessing data, summarizing data, creating reports, and performing statistical analysis.
There are many popular books and training courses that show you how to get to the power of SAS without having to learn the syntax of SAS. For example, we have books like SAS For Dummies, Little SAS Book for Enterprise Guide, and Basic Statistics using SAS Enterprise Guide: A Primer. And there is a whole boatload of training courses on the topic.
If you've read some of the SAS Enterprise Guide tips that I've published on this blog and want to try them out, you can probably can do it with SAS OnDemand.
NOTE: If you don't want to know anything about SAS programming, skip the next section and read "SAS OnDemand for Professionals: Learn what you want, how you want"
Programming SAS with SAS Enterprise Guide
So, you're a SAS programmer? Or you want to be one? Perhaps you're pursuing a SAS programming certification? With SAS Enterprise Guide, you can skip the point-and-click stuff and jump right into programming with File->New->Program. If you've read some of the SAS programming tips that I've published on this blog, you can try them for yourself using the SAS OnDemand environment.
For some experienced SAS programmers, SAS Enterprise Guide presents a different SAS environment than what you're accustomed to. But you can accomplish most programming tasks here, and might even find yourself more productive with the super program editor and the process flow approach for organizing your code.
You can learn more about programmer productivity in SAS Enterprise Guide by watching this SAS Talks webinar. Or if you really want a leg up, take the course.
SAS OnDemand for Professionals: Learn what you want, how you want
Regardless of your path -- point-and-click, SAS programming, or a mix of each -- SAS OnDemand for Professionals: Enterprise Guide provides a good learning environment to gain and practice your SAS skills.
But the learning resources don't stop there. You can use these blogs, discussion forums, and the entire SAS community to supplement your knowledge as you learn. SAS professionals love to share their knowledge. And you'll be proud to share what you know too, when you join their ranks.