Learn not one, not two, but four languages in SAS


charu_chefI started young. Since I was 9 years old, I’ve always loved cooking delicious, tasty and healthy food, and feeding friends and family. My aunt still remembers the delicious chocolate soufflé that trembled and shook but would never collapse that I made for them when I was 18! Word spread. Ahem! And now friends and others are starting to request my catered food.

I like to keep a few but excellent tools in my kitchen drawer. After all, a gourmet chef has to own her tools and needs to know how to use them -- and for what occasion. Just a few examples:

  • I like to use a simple peeler for potato peeling
  • A julienne for pretty vegetable spirals
  • A sharp knife for slicing mangoes
  • A dull knife for peeling fruit

Does all this food talk make you hungry? It actually has a direct relationship with SAS programmers.

The vast majority of SAS coders are worldly and savvy when it comes to picking the right tool for the task at hand.

Just like top-class chefs cooking up a fine meal, they use the right ingredients (know thy data), the right tools, the right techniques to serve up mind boggling analysis and excellent reporting for the right audience.

I’d like to share a few ways in which I leverage these powerful SAS tools:

  1. SAS DATA Step – Data preparation and manipulation, building columns, conditional processing
  2. PROC SQL – data querying, summarizing, joining tables, getting to know data via dictionary tables
  3. PERL – data analysis, pattern recognition, looking for patterns in data
  4. SAS Macro – data management, reduce, reuse, recycle

Here’s an example of what you might expect to see from my upcoming half-day workshop at MWUSG, “Investigating your data with 4 powerful languages." Since there are 4 languages that I will be teaching, I’ll be presenting a half-day hands-on workshop.

Problem - How to find data that matches a specific pattern?  The HS10_ column has a series of any 10 or 6 digit numbers. An additional challenge- this series never appears in the same position

Data - Here is a sampling of the HS10_ column
Sticks or profile shapes of subheading 3916.10
Reproduction proofs for the production of printing plates, rolls, of tariff item No. 8442.50.20
Microcopies of tariff item No. 4903.00.10, 4905.91.00, 4911.10.10 or 4911.10.20  



Of the original 12,865 rows, SAS found 52 rows that matched our pattern.

This is just one example of one language use. Wouldn’t you love to learn to use all these 4 tools?

Come check out my presentation at MWSUG on Sunday, October 9. These 4 languages, the SAS DATA Step, PROC SQL, Perl and the Macro language come shipped free with your Base SAS software licence.

So there’s nothing else you need to do other than show up, learn and take away the techniques.

Now you too can cook up a master chef meal for your business.

How about you? How would you use these tools? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.


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. http://www.handicareintl.org/pankaja/pankaja.swf

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