As I visit my clients, it sometimes surprises me when they avoid the use of PROC REPORT. “It’s too different”. Even those that do use it, often fail to take advantage of the procedure’s power by ignoring the compute block. Yes this procedure is different from any other. Yes using the compute block can be complex. Complex enough that someone could write a book about it. Or two.
I admit there is a learning curve, but you are already mastering SAS – why are you avoiding PROC REPORT? Learning is an investment. As you learn more and strengthen your REPORT skills you will ultimately save time and produce better reports.
Recently a client described a table generation process that involved the manual transferring of data summarized by PROC SUMMARY into an Excel® workbook, where it was further manipulated to produce the final table. The process took a full day. I had to ask; “Why not use REPORT to build the entire table?” The response; “I already know how to do it this way.” Well yes, but at what cost?
The client’s process was adapted to include the use of a REPORT step. Her processing time to generate a table went from a full day to a few minutes, and with improved accuracy and consistency across tables. You can read more about some of the REPORT process in two MWSUG papers Color, Rank, Count, Name; Controlling it all in PROC REPORT and Controlling Colors by Name; Selecting, Ordering, and Using Colors for Your Viewing Pleasure.
So what are you waiting for? If you are not a PROC REPORT user, it is time to get started. Using REPORT, but not the compute block? Invest some time – there is the potential for huge efficiency gains. I will look forward to hearing about your PROC REPORT exploits.