On the Roadshow again


Program update for 2013!
The SAS Training Roadshow is back on tour. This year, we’re heading out to six rockin’ cities. We’d love to see you there.

Cleveland - Portland - San Jose - Indianapolis


As I prepare for my stint on the SAS Programming "Roadshow," it occurs to me that some performers get tired of performing their greatest hits over and over again.  Not a problem for me, I love to sing those Programming 1 and 2 standards!  As I look out into the faces in the audience, I see a variety of reactions.  There are some students that haven't heard the song before, but they're tuned in, trying to decide how the lyrics speak to them (to their data, their business problems).   Then there are some who have heard it, but perhaps are getting a new appreciation for it (hopefully because I'm in fine voice today).

So which songs are my favorites?  Here are my top 5 hits from the Platinum selling Programming 1: Essentials album. I've borrowed some real song titles to describe each one.

  1. What's Going On (The basics of DATA step processing)
    You may not fully appreciate the value of this information the first time you hear it (why all these details?  Just give me the syntax!).  But I strongly suspect that at some point you'll find yourself in a situation with a program that runs but doesn't produce the desired results.  The details that you learn here about what SAS is doing behind the scenes will help you write the program that gives you the results you want.
  2. One Way or Another (Using Excel Data as Input)
    You have data in Excel that you need to analyze with SAS?  Of course you do!  Just about everybody does.  That's why this one makes my list of favorites – it's a real crowd-pleaser.  We’ll discuss one approach to read Excel data (my personal favorite). Other methods as well as the capability to write data to Excel are also discussed in the course notes.
  3. Any Way You Want It (Reading Delimited Raw Data Files)
    You have data just about anywhere that you need to analyze with SAS?  Well, if you can get that data into a text file (and I've never had a situation where I couldn't do so), then you can read it into SAS. In Programming 1, we cover the techniques for delimited data, which is the most popular format.  And there's more information on reading text files in Programming 2.
  4. Changes (Creating User Defined formats)
    Got coded data?  Well, you may know that the value "840.4" stored in your data really means "Rotator cuff sprain" but perhaps the folks looking at your analysis results don't.  No problem.  You can create a user-defined format that displays the longer description instead of the cryptic code value.  This capability has given me so much power and flexibility as a SAS programmer; it's one of my personal favorites.
  5. Steppin' Out (Directing output to External Files)
    You've worked hard to get your report or analysis done, now you need to distribute to the people who need to see the results.  That's easy, and you have lots of options.  We’ll see how to create results in HTML, PDF, or RTF (Word-ready) form.

So, if you’re in one of the seven cities we’re touring this fall, I hope you’ll join us.

Check back for my next post where I’ll reveal my Programming 2 greatest hits. And if you plan on taking both courses, check out the tour package and save 50%!

Which song is stuck in your head now?


About Author

Lise Cragen

Technical Training Specialist

Lise Cragen is a Technical Trainer for SAS. Her expertise includes the SAS language, Enterprise Guide, SAS Text Analytics, and the SAS Warranty Solution. Lise first began using SAS in 1984 as part of her first assignment at General Motors Corporation, and has used it in every job she has held since. She began working at SAS in 1997 and joined the Education Division in 2005. Lise holds a B.S. in mathematics from Michigan Technological University (Let's go Tech!) and an M.S. in operations and industrial engineering from the University of Michigan.

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