Creating fancy 'infographics' with SAS

I haven't seen an official definition of 'infographic' that I really like ... but in my mind it's something 1/2 way between data visualization & artwork.  It borrows elements from graphs & dashboards, and combines that with an artistic poster.

If you perform a Google image search on infographic you'll see a variety of examples.

You might ask - "Can SAS create infographics?"  I will answer that question with the following examples I created using SAS (some of these are a bit large/wall-size, so you'll probably want to click on them to see them full size) ... Any more questions?!? :)

Generic infographic 'template'

Earthquake infographic

World taxes infographic

Rush hour infographic

 World resources infographic

 Asia pacific infographic


Note: All of these infographics are modeled after ones I found on the Web, via a Google image search (like the one above).  Here are links to the originals: graph1, graph2, graph3, graph4, graph5, graph6, graph7.



April 16, 2013 Update:

As promised, here are the details you requested ...

There are several ways to create nice graphical layouts in SAS (many of them mentioned in the comments), and as several of you guessed I used the SAS/Graph product.  You will be well on your way to creating similar infographics with the "tricks" you will learn in the SAS/Graph Essentials class, and my book SAS/Graph: Beyond the Basics !

Here are links to info & SAS code for the infographic examples shown in the blog above:


tags: infographic, robs_examples, sas/graph


  1. Ashwin Malshe
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    How did you do it????
    Very impressive!

  2. Luciana Padua luciana padua
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Really Nice! Anyway to share code and data?

  3. Robert Allison Robert Allison
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I'll post the answer in a few days ... in the meantime, everyone feel free to post your guess as to what SAS product(s) I used to create these infographics!

    • Jaime
      Posted April 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      He used SAS/Graph.
      For those who don't know, Rob Allison is the Les Paul of SAS/Graph.

  4. harshad m
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    i guess.... sas visual analytics

  5. Posted April 12, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    These look great. Like others have mentioned, we want the code!

    Great definition of infographic!

  6. Tania
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    visual analytics...?

  7. Robert Allison Robert Allison
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Good guesses, so far! Keep them coming! :)

  8. Posted April 13, 2013 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Old school, annotate or DSGI? :)

    • Robert Allison Robert Allison
      Posted April 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Ahh! - Another good guess!

      (for those that don't know, DSGI is the SAS Data Step Graphics Interface)

  9. Robert Allison Robert Allison
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I have updated the blog with links to the SAS code - enjoy!

  10. Posted April 18, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing the code and revealing the mystery of how they were done. :)

    This must be some of the best looking SAS/Graph output I've ever seen. I'm always impressed with what can be done with SAS/Graph and extra power of annotate (and it's so much fun too). [ Reading your post reminded me of some annotate work I did in the mid 90's on a non-graphics mainframe terminal where I had to wait for batch queues, print queues and then printouts to be delivered before I could see my results :) ]

    Thanks for pointing out your book. It looks very interesting. I'll look out for it at the SAS Global Forum.

    • Robert Allison Robert Allison
      Posted April 18, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      We should have an "I learned SAS/Graph so long ago..." blog, eh?!? ;)

      Running SAS jobs "old school" that way (at least for a while) makes you a better SAS programmer, I think! :)

  11. Sergio Miller
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Really Amazing!! Thx for share the code!!

  12. Sergio Miller
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Rob, I'm going to buy your book and completly agree with Jaime: you're Les Paul of SAS/Graph.

    I finished my first "corporate" infographic based on your examples. Really Really amazing, and Marketing people Loves that much more than other analytics jobs hahaha.

    • Robert Allison Robert Allison
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Sergio! - that's the ultimate compliment! :)

  13. Luciana Padua luciana padua
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    We have a client that's using your code to publish Churn Rates in a very fancy way! quite nice to see this kind of aestethic at SAS.

    • Robert Allison Robert Allison
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      I'd love to see them (assuming it's not proprietary, of course!)

      • Sergio Miller
        Posted September 10, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Rob, this is the infographic. I obviously changed the data. We have a graphic designer who made the design and I transform this in sas code using your examples. Designer also create the custom Typography.

        We send this report daily. We also complemented this with shell script to embedd the image directly in the body of the e-mail and we execute it directly from sas.

        De Varias 2013

        • Robert Allison Robert Allison
          Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Wow - impressive!

          Who would have thought SAS/Graph could produce such a chart!?!? :)

  14. Roy
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Hello - your work is AMAZING! I'm hopefully going to get your book ... just seeing if work will pay for it :)

    I want to do something like this ...

    How would I go about doing it? (I'll have four categories - male / female / Aboriginal male / Aboriginal female). For the Aboriginal elements, I wanted to use the Aboriginal flag as a 'fill' - is this possible?

    Also, another thing I wanted to do is:

    (But I need two needles - to show a comparison).

    If you could give me broad instructions I should hopefully be able to figure it out.

    Thanks heaps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Roy
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Okay - I've worked out the problem with the text going over the graph - I've used 'split' now.

    • Roy
      Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Actually - scrap that! Using the 'split' shrinks the space ... grrr.

      • Roy
        Posted April 22, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Okay - you can scrap the scrapping. It was being compressed because of the GReplay.

  16. Roy
    Posted April 29, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I'm finally done with my infographic. Just a few things that came up that I'm hoping you can shed some light on please, Robert.

    1. The resolution seems to be quite low, particularly with GPKI - but all the text around the charts etc look a little 'blocky'. Is there a way to improve this?

    2. With GCHART, is there a way to space out the columns / bars more? I found some of my text was bumping into each other. I used 'split' and 'stagger', but they were compromises.


    • Robert Allison Robert Allison
      Posted April 30, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      If you're seeing blocky text, that probably means you're using the old SAS fonts (such as swissb) - make sure you're using an anti-aliased font (such as 'albany amt') and using SAS 9.2.x or higher.

      Per GKPI looking low-resolution, make sure you're generating the gkpi's image file in the same size & proportions you're going to later consume it via annotate/greplay/etc.

      In Gchart, you can control the width & spacing of the bars, by using the width= and space= option (within certain limits). The axis offsets, gspace, and sometimes the font used can also have an impact.

      And, as always, feel free to contact SAS Tech Support about issues that come up!

      • Roy
        Posted April 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Thanks heaps!

One Trackback

  1. By The Art of Eight in Analytics on December 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    [...] art and data can work in still or movement like in the AMEX ads on TV. Have a look at this previous SAS blog on how you can create infographics for your [...]

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