# Author

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over a quarter century, and his specialty is customizing graphs and maps - adding those little extra touches that help them answer your questions at a glance. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University.

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A SAS graph for the Chinese New Year

I like to think that I have a graph for all occasions - Chinese New Year is no exception! ... The exact date of the Chinese New Year varies from year to year, because it's based on the lunar (moon) cycles.  I thought it would be useful to create a

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We had some fierce wind storms all across the United States yesterday, which even spawned some tornadoes! It looks like we weathered the storm OK here in Cary (but I still need to run out to the lake and make sure my pontoon/houseboat is still there, agh!). Anyway ... as with other

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A neat new trick to trim your macro variables in 9.3

SAS macro variables are a great way to store a calculated value, so you can use it later in your code.  They are not just limited to the data step -- you can also use macro variables in title statements, axis statements, etc. By default, the macro variable will be padded with

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How to handle percent (%) values in SAS

Being that 2013 is the International Year of Statistics, I wanted to make sure everyone knows how to handle my favorite statistic - percent (%) - in SAS! I often see data in spreadsheets/csv/etc that purport to represent "percents"... but you have to be a bit careful when working with

Data Visualization
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In the spirit of the new year – the International Year of Statistics – I thought I’d share some different ways to use statistics. Can statistics help you in your everyday life?  Certainly!  And here's an example to prove it... Let's say you have a dresser drawer full of white socks.

Data Visualization
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Santa's information dashboard

'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the world ... dot-matrix printers were humming as Santa's naughty/nice list was unfurled... Can you imagine what it must have been like years ago when Santa had to maintain his naughty/nice list by hand, with a feather quill pen?!?  Or even these

Data Visualization
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Fun SAS graphs for the holidays

While I'm waiting for the next "data intense" event to show up in the news (so I can blog some SAS graphs about it), I thought I'd share a few fun SAS graphs in the spirit of the holiday season! Please don't hold me to too high of graphical "best practices"

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Talking Turkey with SAS Graphs

Have you heard the expression "Talk Turkey"? Well then, what better (tongue-in-cheek) thing to do around the Thanksgiving holiday, than talk some turkey using SAS Graphs! ;) I don't usually decorate my graphs with images and pictures (they typically make the graph more difficult to read), but when it comes

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Will there be analytics for Frankenstorm?

“Frankenstorm” is what the U.S. National Weather Service is calling the combination of Hurricane Sandy, an early winter storm heading east, and a blast of arctic air from the North.   SAS headquarters is located in the middle of the U.S. east coast ... and we barely missed being the bulls-eye for this

Data Visualization
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3 good reasons to upgrade to SAS 9.3

If you're like me, you hate all those pop-ups you get suggesting (or sometimes forcing) that you install an upgrade such as Windows, Java, browsers, phone apps, etc, etc.  And quite often they don't convince you why you'd want to upgrade (will life be better?) ... they just tell you to

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Building a better meningitis map

You've all heard about the recent meningitis outbreak, right? Being  a data-guy and a map-guy, I went looking for maps related to the outbreak.  I found the following map on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.  It shows the states that received the recalled drug used in epidurals (for back

Programming Tips
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Custom SAS graphs = competitive advantage

SAS/GRAPH gives you the ability to customize your graphs (or even create totally new types of custom graphs) ... and it is my firm belief that it gives you a competitive advantage by allowing you to "make sense" of your data in ways your competitors can't. Most of the examples in

Programming Tips
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By now, most of you probably already know how to add drill downs and hover text to your SAS graphs.  But did you know you can add pop-up images and graphs? Here are a couple of examples ... In this first example, when you hover your mouse over each state, you

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It be "International Talk Like a Pirate" day - Arrr!!!

Avast Mateys!  Did you know that International Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up?!? (September 19) Here's the official website, if you'd like more info. And what better way to get into the spirit of things than to use SAS/GRAPH to plot some real pirate data - Arrrr!!! Here's

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Browser wars: And the winner is ...

Have you ever tried to put something on the Web, and then it looks different for other people (or maybe doesn't work at all)? ... And you eventually found that it was because they were using a different browser? That's one of the reasons I like traditional SAS/Graph output -- it's simple

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Is there bias in Facebook graphs?

Facebook has millions of users, and therefore when people share an interesting graph on Facebook it can "go viral" and millions of people might see it.  Some of the graphs are obviously a bit biased - especially ones that are trying to sway your opinion one way or another on a topic

Data Visualization
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Do you use SAS for analytics and Excel for graphs?

Do you use SAS for analytics and Microsoft Excel for graphs? Why not use SAS for your graphs too?!?  Then you could completely automate the entire process in one SAS program, with no manual steps! A lot of people use Excel to create their graphs because "it's what they know."  What if somebody

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Visualizing evidence of a black hole, with a gif animation

Hopefully you know that a gif animation can be used for more than just showing a cartoon animal doing cute tricks!  Being a savvy data-meister, I'm sure you are also aware that you can use gif animations to see how data changes over time. But perhaps you didn't know you could

Data Visualization
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Finding patterns in big data with SAS/GRAPH

When working with "big data" you usually have too many points to view in a plot, and end up subsetting or summarizing the data. But now, in SAS 9.3, you have an alternative! For example, the following scatter plot of 10,000+ points is just a visual "blob": But using a new