Contributed by Chris Hemedinger, Senior Manager, Software Development
The new edition of SAS® For Dummies® has returned from the printer, and boy, am I glad.
I’m glad that it's now available, because I think it will be a good resource for people who are just getting started with using SAS 9.2. As an author of the book, I’m also glad that the book is done.
Sometimes when I tell people about working on this second edition, they mistakenly calculate that it must have taken less work to complete than the first edition. I don’t think that it was less work – just that it was different work. It's true that we kept most of the same structure and high-level chapter organization that was set in the first edition. That’s a significant chunk of work that we did not have to revisit. But if you have ever worked on a book that describes how to use software, you know that producing a second edition (or third or fourth) is not a "freebie" project.
So what went into the second edition? Here’s a summary of what has been changed or added:
- The second edition addresses SAS 9.2. SAS 9.2 and the associated end-user products such as SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, and SAS Web Report Studio have changed significantly since SAS 9.1.3 (which the first edition covers). We touched every topic within the book to ensure that our readers can learn the best of what’s available to them in the latest release of the software.
- We added a chapter about data mining, called "Data Mining: Making the Leap from Guesses to Smart Choices." Data mining is a hot topic across many industries, and it’s often what people are talking about when they refer to predictive analytics. And of course, with SAS Enterprise Miner and other solutions, SAS is a leader in predictive analytics.
- We added a chapter about SAS programming, called "SAS Programming for the Faint of Heart." (This is a direct result of feedback from our readers – thank you!) Yes, there is a tremendous amount of work that you can do with SAS without having to learn or even see a SAS program. But SAS' roots are as a programming language, and learning even a little bit of SAS programming can open up new doors for you. Reading the chapter won't make you an expert, but you will learn the basic building blocks of SAS programs and how to use them. We also sprinkled SAS program examples throughout the other chapters in the book, in case you want to "get your hands dirty" with some code after you learn the point-and-click approaches.
We hope that you enjoy the new book and that you find it useful. As always, you can continue to visit with us, the authors, at our ongoing blogs. Mine is The SAS Dummy at blogs.sas.com, and Stephen McDaniel is at Freakalytics.