SAS Training: Show up and learn


SAS TrainingFear was written large on the faces of my class as I walked in to set up my SAS Enterprise Guide (EG) course. Participants talked in hushed tones and I wondered what this was all about. I was soon to find out during the introductions. Here are some snippets from various participants:

  • “I was told to take the SAS SQL course before I showed up to this class and I’m not a programmer.”
  • “I was shown SAS code and believe me, I’m not a coder. That freaked me out completely.”
  • “I was told to play a couple of weeks before I took the course because I wouldn’t understand what’s being taught otherwise. Class assumes I already know how to use the SAS Enterprise Guide tool.”

Whoa! I had to brace myself after all these introductions.

Who was providing all this information?

Why are the participants being accidentally misguided? Well-intentioned coworkers I’m sure, but misguided information all the same. And see where it landed our participants. In a state of fear about not knowing how to program in SAS, not knowing how to program in PROC SQL, not knowing how to use the SAS Enterprise Guide tool. That should be enough of a non-motivator, right?

At that point, I decided I had to bust the myth that maybe floating around somewhere that you need to be a programmer, mathematician or a statistician to be able to use SAS Enterprise Guide.

Rest all those fears, dear reader.  SAS Enterprise Guide makes no assumption of your past knowledge or skills. It’s really designed for the non-programmer and non-coder among us. In addition, it packs a hefty punch for the programmers out there who want to leverage tasks to their advantage, so they can turn to EG for canned tasks and write code to customize their EG session.

At the end of the class, the students were blown away by the powerful capability of EG. And they all agreed that past hearsay was unfounded. Phew!

That was an interesting class where every student had been told to take some SAS training beforehand. And they all agreed in unison post-course that their assumptions and fears were completely unfounded.

The retail participant could barely stop himself from jumping up in excitement as he saw the various possibilities on querying data for his store on which checkout lanes moved fastest. Which clerks had the smallest lines, why were the single queue checkouts performing well? Was it related to the fact that their top performing check-out clerks were placed there? Watching his aha moments as he visualized his data getting a thorough rehaul when he went back to work on Monday using SAS Enterprise Guide.

Here is a handy blog post to get you started thinking about SAS Enterprise Guide.

Now isn’t that way better than trying to study before a course or trying it on our own with no guidance. Feel free to check out SAS blogs to get a more accurate grasp on things.

If you’ve taken a SAS course before, I’m sure you’ll agree that all you have to do is show up!! Have you gotten advice before a SAS course? What form does it take? I’d love to hear from you. As well as your experiences before and after a SAS Training course.


About Author

Charu Shankar

Technical Training Specialist

Charu Shankar has been a Technical Training Specialist with SAS since 2007. She started as a programmer, and has taught computer languages, business and English Language skills. At SAS, Charu teaches the SAS language, SQL, SAS Enterprise guide and Business Intelligence. She interviews clients to recommend the right SAS training to help them meet their needs. She is helping build a center for special needs kids in this project.

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  1. Hi Charu,
    I have read most of your blogs and they are really enriching and encouraging.
    I also come from totally non IT background and ready to take up an extensive SAS course,
    which includes BASE SAS, SAS using Proc SQL and Advance analytics on SAS.
    Can you help me with some online resources to start with?
    What kind of efforts will make me learn better being a non IT person and insights on certification as well?
    I am an Engg plus MBA and looking forward to use my SAS skills in consulting organisation.
    Whats are my prospect if you may know?

  2. Bill Benton on

    I have been using EG for well over a year and received formal training as well. It is a very unique and excellent app for querying large data sets and presenting the data in very user-friendly form.

    I highly suggest the training as it lights a spark of creativity even in the novice user.

    • Thanks Bill, for taking the time to comment.its great to hear validataion from the users on the benefits of formal SAS training, esp. the element of sparking creativity in the mind of the novice user!! Good to know you use EG effectively!

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