Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials at SAS Global Forum


It's not too early to think about what presentations and pre-conference training to attend while at SAS Global Forum 2012.  Tutorials are an extra-fee that is only available as additions to a conference registration. But you can get a deal: Registration package 3 includes your choice of one Sunday Pre-Conference Tutorial. If your company has an EPTO account, you can also pay for these using EPTO units.

Check out this list of tutorials and then go to SAS Global Forum's registration page to select yours! Don't forget the discount from SAS Training!

Morning Tutorials

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Modeling Categorical Response Data

Instructor: Maura Stokes, SAS

Logistic regression, generally used to model dichotomous response data, is one of the basic tools for a statistician. But what do you do when maximum likelihood estimation fails or your sample sizes are questionable? What happens when you have more than two response levels? And how do you handle counts?

This tutorial briefly reviews logistic regression for dichotomous responses, and then illustrates alternative strategies for the dichotomous case and additional strategies such as the proportional odds model, generalized logit model, conditional logistic regression, and Poisson regression. The presentation is based on the third edition of the book Categorical Data Analysis Using the SAS System by Stokes, Davis and Koch (2012).

An existing working knowledge of logistic regression is required for this tutorial to be fully beneficial.

Model Selection with SAS/STAT® Software

Instructor: Funda Gunes, SAS

When you are faced with a predictive modeling problem that has many possible predictor effects – dozens, hundreds or even thousands – a natural question is, "What subset of the effects provides the best model for the data?"

This tutorial explores how you can use model selection methods in SAS/STAT software to address this question. Although the model selection question seems reasonable, trying to answer it for real data can create problematic pitfalls, leading some experts to stridently denounce model selection. This workshop focuses on the GLMSELECT procedure and shows how it can be used to address and mitigate the intrinsic difficulties of model selection.

You will learn how to:

  • Use extensive model selection diagnostics including graphics to detect problems.
  • Use validation data to detect and prevent both under- and over-fitting.
  • Use modern-penalty based methods, including LASSO and adaptive LASSO, as alternatives to traditional methods such as stepwise selection.
  • Use bootstrap-based model averaging to reduce selection bias and improve predictive performance.

This tutorial requires an understanding of basic regression techniques.

8:00 - 11:30 a.m.

How to Become a Top SAS Programmer

Instructor: Michael A. Raithel, Westat

This groundbreaking seminar, based on the soon-to-be-published SAS Press book with the same title, provides clear-cut strategies for becoming a top SAS programmer. Whether you are a student or a statistician, a programmer or a business analyst, this seminar shows how you can streamline and revitalize your career to become the top SAS professional in your organization. Instructor Michael A. Raithel will reveal how to unleash the SAS expert within you by learning how to take advantage of a wide variety of proven job strategies that use SAS in order to help you to maximize your knowledge, skills, accomplishments, recognition and pay.

Featuring lectures, discussions, and paper-and-pen exercises; the seminar details key SAS programming fundamentals to master, strategies for becoming the go-to SAS person in your organization, ways to become involved and recognized in the greater SAS community, and how to exploit the best sources of SAS information. You will leave the seminar with a written set of objectives and the knowledge to implement them. Armed with the information from this course, your set of goals and objectives, and your own ambition, there are no limits to how far you can go with your SAS programming career.

A-to-Z Analysis and Validation Using PROC Tabulate

Instructor: Sunil Gupta, Gupta Programming

Generate most any combination of summary table layout!

Do you know up to seven different table layouts, five ways to control order, three ways to include missing data, or four ways to include subtotals? After this course, you can expect to take advantage of PROC Tabulate’s powerful feature to group and analyze data in most any summary table layout. This unique course explores core syntax options for up to 26 key summary table structures, including mixing both continuous and categorical data with ODS. By applying the simple SAS examples provided throughout the course, you too can master PROC Tabulate in your daily programming environment.

Each student receives the companion SAS e-guide, which is a great reference tool for searching, cutting and pasting concise model SAS examples.

SAS Enterprise BI – Tables, Maps, and Cubes: Understanding the Differences

Instructor: Eric Rossland, SAS

You have several choices of data sources when analyzing data and creating reports with the SAS BI applications. Whether you’re new to SAS BI or have been using it since the beginning, this seminar will help you to understand the different types of data sources.

Tables, OLAP cubes, and information maps can all provide data to the SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, SAS Enterprise Guide, and SAS Web Report Studio. Each of these data sources has unique characteristics that can enhance the analysis and reporting.

Join us as we investigate each data source and how it can be used in the various SAS applications.

Intended Audience:
Anyone who has SAS Enterprise BI Server or wants to learn more about the different data sources as well as the analytic and reporting capabilities they provide.

Optimizing Big Data Programs

Instructor: Christine Riddiough, SAS

This seminar will review traditional SAS techniques for optimizing programs that require table lookups. We will do this by focusing on in-memory techniques. The techniques discussed will include:

  • Arrays (one-dimensional and multi-dimensional).
  • Hash objects.
  • Formats.

We will look at indexing as a means of “super-charging” your lookups and sampling for the purpose of exploring your data. We will also investigate several newer features in SAS as a way to optimize your programs in a BI environment, including grid computing and the use of PROC SCAPROC to help “gridify” your programs.

Intended Audience:
SAS programmers who have attended the SAS Programming 2: Data Manipulation Techniques course or who have a strong knowledge of indexing, array processing, and the use of formats. The seminar also assumes some experience working in the SAS BI environment.  

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Introduction to the MCMC Procedure in SAS/STAT Software

Instructor: Fang Chen, SAS

The MCMC procedure is a general-purpose Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation tool designed to fit Bayesian models. It uses a variety of sampling algorithms to generate samples from the targeted posterior distributions. This workshop will review the methods available with PROC MCMC and demonstrate its use with a series of real-world applications. Examples will include fitting a variety of parametric models: generalized linear models, linear and nonlinear models, hierarchical models, zero-inflated Poisson models, and missing data problems. Additional Bayesian topics such as sensitivity analysis, inference of functions of parameters, and power priors will be discussed, and applications will be demonstrated with the MCMC procedure.

This workshop is intended for statisticians who are interested in Bayesian computation. Attendees should have a basic understanding of Bayesian methods and experience using the SAS language. This tutorial is based on SAS/STAT 12.1.  

Creating Statistical Graphics in SAS

Instructor: Warren Kuhfeld, SAS

Effective graphics are indispensable in modern statistical analysis. SAS provides statistical graphics through ODS Graphics, functionality that is used by statistical procedures to create statistical graphics as automatically as they create tables. ODS Graphics is also used by a family of Base SAS procedures designed for graphical exploration of data.

This tutorial is intended for statistical users and covers the use of ODS Graphics from start to finish in statistical analysis. You will learn how to:

  • Request graphs created by statistical procedures.
  • Use the SGPLOT, SGPANEL, SGSCATTER and SGRENDER procedures in SAS/GRAPH® to create customized graphs.
  • Access and manage your graphs for inclusion in Web pages, papers and presentations.
  • Modify graph styles (colors, fonts and general appearance).
  • Make immediate changes to your graphs using a point-and-click editor.
  • Make permanent changes to your graphs with template changes.
  • Specify other options related to ODS Graphics.   

Afternoon Tutorials

12:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Output Delivery System: The Basics and Beyond

Instructor: Kirk Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation

This course explores the various techniques associated with output formatting and delivery using the Output Delivery System (ODS). Numerous examples will be presented to command mastery of ODS capabilities while providing a better understanding of ODS statements and options to deliver output any way that is needed. Topics include:

  • SAS-supplied formatting statements and options.
  • Selecting output objects with Selection or Exclusion Lists.
  • Formatting Output as RTF, PDF, Microsoft Excel, and HTML.
  • Using the Escape character to enhance output formats.
  • Exploring ODS statements and options.
  • Implementing scrollable tables in HTML output with static column headers.
  • Enabling/disabling borders.
  • Generating HTML hyperlinks in RTF output.
  • Adding images to RTF output.
  • Removing gridlines and shading in RTF output.
  • Creating a printable table of contents in PDF output.
  • Sending output to Microsoft Office.
  • Constructing drill-down applications with the DATA step, ODS and SAS/GRAPH software.
  • Creating thumbnail charts.
  • Techniques for creating user-defined ODS styles.
  • An introduction to the customization of output with the TEMPLATE Procedure.   

Demystifying PROC SQL

Instructor: Christianna Williams, Independent Consultant

Subqueries, inline views, outer joins, Cartesian products, HAVING expressions, Set operators, INTO clauses – even the terminology of SQL can be rather daunting for SAS programmers who use DATA step for data manipulation. Not to mention the profusion of commas and complete dearth of semicolons found in a PROC SQL step! Nonetheless, even the most die-hard DATA step programmers must grudgingly acknowledge that there are some tasks – such as the many-to-many merge or the “not-quite-equi-join” – that would require Herculean effort to accomplish with DATA steps. However, these tasks can be achieved amazingly concisely, even elegantly, using PROC SQL.

This seminar will present a series of increasingly complex examples to illustrate the function of each of PROC SQL’s clauses, with particular focus on summarization/aggregation and a variety of joins. Additionally, the examples will illuminate how SQL “thinks” about rows and columns, some of which can cause unexpected results for the unwary user. And after all, PROC SQL is part of Base SAS; so, though you may need to learn a few new keywords to become an SQL wizard, no special license is required!

 What Will DS2 Do for You?

Instructor: Mark Jordan, SAS

DS2 is an exciting, powerful new programming language available in SAS 9.4. It enables users to explicitly control threading to leverage multiple processors when performing data manipulation and data modeling. It also improves extensibility and data abstraction in your code through the implementation of packages and methods. Paired with the SAS Embedded Process, DS2 enables you to perform processing similar to SAS in completely new places, such as in-database processing in relational databases, the SAS High-Performance Analytics grid and the DataFlux® Federation Server.

In this seminar, you will learn the basics of writing and executing DS2 code. Discover how you can capitalize on the power of the new DS2 programming language in your own work.

Intended Audience:
SAS Programmers who have attended the SAS Programming 1: Essentials course or have basic SAS programming experience. New programmers are welcome and will obtain valuable information, but comparisons will be made between existing SAS code and this new DS2 code. This seminar is not appropriate for strictly point and click users.   

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Macro Tips and Techniques

Instructor: Jim Simon, SAS

This seminar will investigate ways to automate common programming tasks through the use of advanced macro techniques. We will investigate different techniques for generating repetitive data-driven macro calls, including the use of the EXECUTE routine. We will look at how to use various I/O functions to access SAS data sets and create your own macro functions. We will also examine expediting the process of importing external files such as CSV and Excel files. Along the way, we will learn techniques for validating user input.

Intended Audience:
Macro programmers who have attended SAS Macro Language 1: Essentials, or who have strong knowledge of macro triggers, direct and indirect references to macro variables, global and local symbol tables, and at least one year of macro programming experience using the SYMPUTX routine, macro functions, macro statements including %IF-%THEN and %DO-%END, and macro iterative processing.


About Author

Waynette Tubbs

Editor, Marketing Editorial

Waynette Tubbs is a seasoned technology journalist specializing in interviewing and writing about how leaders leverage advanced and emerging analytical technologies to transform their B2B and B2C organizations. In her current role, she works closely with global marketing organizations to generate content about artificial intelligence (AI), generative AI, intelligent automation, cybersecurity, data management, and marketing automation. Waynette has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from UNC Chapel Hill.

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