SAS Global Forum 2015: Your presentation is needed!

Do you know something about SAS® software that other SAS users would love to learn?

Of course you do!

Whether you’re a student or a member of the Circle of Excellence, every SAS programming project, every analysis or forecasting model is an opportunity to gain new insights into SAS processing or to develop new techniques.

No matter how you measure your SAS experience—what you’ve learned is valuable to other SAS users. So, start typing up your ideas. The SAS Global Forum 2015 call for content opens today! Read More »

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WUSS 2014—same event, new look and feel!

WUSS 2014 logo Do you know the way to San Jose? By now, SAS users are getting to know the way to the Western Users of SAS Software’s (WUSS) annual event on September 3-5, 2014.

Although this is the third time WUSS has been held in San Jose at The Fairmont Hotel, this year’s event will introduce a lot of changes, one of which includes the name of the event—going forward, the WUSS Conference will be called the WUSS Educational Forum and Conference. The purpose of the name change is to emphasize all of the learning opportunities there are at WUSS. Besides the name change, WUSS has more exciting changes to announce: Read More »

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One grid to rule them all – tuning your environment for SAS Enterprise Guide

Most organizations enjoy a plethora of SAS user types—batch programmers and interactive users, power users and casual—and all variations in between. Each type of SAS user has its own needs and expectations, and it’s important that your SAS Grid Manager environment meets all their needs.

One common solution to this dilemma is to set up separate configurations based on a mix of requirements for departments, client applications and user roles. The grid options set feature in SAS 9.4 makes this task much easier. A grid options set is a convenient way to name a collection of SAS system options, grid options and required grid resources that are stored in metadata. Read More »

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Old PROC REPORT code? Let's clean it up!

Did you inherit code that was written eons ago?  Do you find old programs to copy the PROC REPORT code and then simply change the variable names for your new program?  Have you wondered what all of those options do?  Do you ever send output to the Listing destination (the Output Window) anymore?

If you said yes to any of the questions above -- clean it up!  PROC REPORT has been around forever, but it has changed and evolved over the years to facilitate the creation of nicer looking output, specifically in non-Listing ODS destinations. Read More »

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Setting up SAS Business Intelligence environments – the right way

When new SAS users get introduced to the SAS Business Intelligence software (SAS BI), along with the thrill of a wide spectrum of new and desirable functionality, almost always comes a state of confusion--if not panic.

How do we go about adapting it to our organization IT guidelines? How do we arrange and support development and production environments? How do we set up our SAS developers so they can collaborate, but not overwrite each other’s work? What the hell are SAS folders? Why do we need them and how are they different from the operating system folders and directories?

Let’s make everything straight. This post will explain the two distinct dimensions to a SAS BI environment: folder structure and software lifecycle environments. It will also provide some suggestions on how you can set up your SAS Business Intelligence environment the right way. Read More »

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Can my SAS application be grid enabled?

This blog is a continuation of an earlier blog entitled “To grid or not to grid?” In that blog, one of the reasons to say “yes to SAS Grid” is to see if you can gain some performance improvements from modifying your existing SAS processes by converting them to a distributed processing format. If improving performance of individual SAS applications is one of your reasons to implement SAS Grid Manager, please read on.

To start with, all of your existing SAS jobs can run on your new SAS Grid, but not all of your existing SAS jobs can be turned into distributed processing applications that can be run simultaneously across multiple nodes of the SAS Grid. For example, processes that rely heavily on OLAP processing do not lend themselves to parallelization. Statistical analysis tasks that need to create a matrix in memory cannot be parallelized either.

When identifying SAS applications to modify for distribution across a SAS Grid, the first thing to look for is jobs that take many hours and even days to complete. In addition to long execution times, there are several profiles of SAS applications or jobs that are good candidates for running in parallel across a SAS Grid. Read More »

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5 best practices for a world-class SAS environment

SAS administration and support can be a real challenge for some companies. It all has to do with not having the right resources and skills.

Business analysts are often charged with maintaining SAS. They know data, but they don’t have the IT skills needed to properly support SAS. IT teams face similar challenges because their experience lies in Windows, Linux and Oracle administration.

SAS administration requires specialized knowledge that typical IT teams do not have on hand. Over the last 10 years, my colleagues and I have found that SAS support requires IT skills, knowledge of the company’s data and knowledge of how that data gets applied to solve specific business problems. 

Companies that want a world-class SAS environment need to have dedicated resources who can proactively maintain SAS. With a dedicated resource, you'll be well-positioned to increase performance, minimize downtime and ultimately maximize your investment in SAS software. Read More »

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To grid or not to grid?

Let’s be honest.  When well planned, a SAS Grid Computing platform as the basis for a shared, highly available, high-performance analytics environment can pay for itself many times over. However, it is critical that your overall objectives and computing environment be well understood for you to achieve success with your SAS Grid implementation and to get the maximum benefit.

This post is the first in a series that will explore some of the best practices in setting up a high-performance, high-availability SAS analytics environment, but first let’s take time to understand what you can expect from a grid implementation: Read More »

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User group grants and awards: applicants needed!


I did a double-take last week when a conference chair told me that there’s grant money available for students, faculty and SAS junior professionals but few have applied. In one case, there were no applications submitted. We're hoping this is just a temporary glitch, a holdup resulting from too-busy schedules at the end of the academic year or too many work deadlines.

Every regional SAS users group and many of the local users groups offer grants and scholarships, and they’re excellent opportunities for professional development. The criteria, focus and programs may vary from one user group to another, but there’s one thing all user groups have in common—their enthusiasm for encouraging and developing the next generation of SAS professionals.

Applications are still being accepted for many of these awards.  So please check out the regional users group nearest you and take advantage of these opportunities today! Read More »

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PharmaSUG 2014 gives back

Charity speakers at PSUG 2014During Opening Session at this year’s Pharmaceutical SAS Users Group (PharmaSUG) conference, attendees heard from teacher Heather Poland and two of her 14 year-old students. These special guests were representatives of Perkins K-8, a San Diego middle school classroom (7th and 8th grade) that is struggling with illiteracy. Located less than a mile southeast of the conference hotel in the Logan Barrio, Perkins K-8 was selected by PharmaSUG 2014 to receive donations of money to purchase books and other classroom materials. These donations were coordinated through the Adopt-A-Classroom program. 

Funds were collected throughout the conference, and attendees that provided a minimum of $10 toward this charitable endeavor were given a colorful “Donor” ribbon. Thanks to the generosity of the record-setting number of conference attendees, over $5200 was raised to support Perkins K-8!

Charity badgeIn previous years, PharmaSUG has donated funds to support adult literacy programs in San Francisco and STEM education at a downtown Chicago high school. Next year’s PharmaSUG conference will be held May 17-20 in Orlando, Florida.


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