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6 questions with forecasting expert Charlie Chase

Charlie Chase is considered an expert in sales forecasting, market response modeling, econometrics and supply chain management. Now he's sharing some of his expertise in his Business Knowledge Series (BKS) course, Best Practices in Demand-Driven Forecasting. I had the chance to ask him some questions about his course and the

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Can you learn how to create custom tasks?

To develop a custom task for use in SAS Enterprise Guide (or SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office), you need a few things: A working knowledge of SAS and SAS Enterprise Guide Microsoft Visual Studio (the free Express edition will do, though the Professional edition is better) Some experience with C#

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SAS Certification hits 75k

We’re all about numbers here at SAS. So when the Global Certification program hit its 75,000th credential – we had to make it a big deal. We tracked down the 75,000th credential holder to Susan Langan, a research analyst in Maryland, and what’s even more special than Langan holding the

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Solving Sudoku with SAS/IML – Part 2

Part 1 of this topic presented a simple Sudoku solver. By treating Sudoku as an exact cover problem, the algorithm efficiently found solutions to simple Sudoku problems using basic logic. Unfortunately, the simple solver fails when presented with more difficult Sudoku problems. The puzzle on the right was obtained from

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Detect empty parameters that are passed to a SAS/IML module

A SAS/IML programmer asked a question on a discussion forum, which I paraphrase below: I've written a SAS/IML function that takes several arguments. Some of the arguments have default values. When the module is called, I want to compute some quantity, but I only want to compute it for the

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Why statisticians need strong communication skills

This year the American Statistical Association Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP) has some weighty themes including Big Data Prediction and Analysis and all of its exciting applications. But just as important is the theme Communication and Impact. Everyone knows that if you have a great idea or discovery but you

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The relationship between skewness and kurtosis

In my book Simulating Data with SAS, I discuss a relationship between the skewness and kurtosis of probability distributions that might not be familiar to some statistical programmers. Namely, the skewness and kurtosis of a probability distribution are not independent. If κ is the full kurtosis of a distribution and

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How to split one data set into many

Back in the day when the prison system forced inmates to perform "hard labor", folks would say (of someone in prison): "He's busy making little ones out of big ones." This evokes the cliché image of inmates who are chained together, forced to swing a chisel to break large rocks

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IF-THEN logic with matrix expressions

In the SAS DATA step, all variables are scalar quantities. Consequently, an IF-THEN/ELSE statement that evaluates a logical expression is unambiguous. For example, the following DATA step statements print "c=5 is TRUE" to the log if the variable c is equal to 5: if c=5 then put "c=5 is TRUE";

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What is an empty matrix?

At the beginning of my book Statistical Programming with SAS/IML Software I give the following programming tip (p. 25): Do not confuse an empty matrix with a matrix that contains missing values or with a zero matrix. An empty matrix has no rows and no columns. A matrix that contains

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SAS timer - the key to writing efficient SAS code

New Year to me is always a stark reminder of the inexorability of Time. In a day-to-day life, time is measured in small denominations - minutes, hours, days… But come New Year, and this inescapable creature – Time – makes its decisive leap – and in a single instant, we

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Five tips from Simulating Data with SAS

Data simulation is a fundamental technique in statistical programming and research. My book Simulating Data with SAS is an accessible how-to book that describes the most useful algorithms and the best programming techniques for efficient data simulation in SAS. Here are five lessons you can learn by reading it: Learn strategies

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Panning for corporate gold requires gold standard skills

We now live in the era of ‘big data’, where data and its analysis have become crucial to the modern economy.   In fact, "big data is the new 'corporate gold'," according to Mark Wilkinson, managing director of SAS UK & Ireland. A recent study by Cebr found that companies in

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Outside, the Cary, NC sky is gray and winds are blowing freezing rain, but a group of statisticians at SAS are channeling warm green hills and the soft, gold light of a California evening. Team conversations alternate between distributed processing, PROC IMSTAT and how many pairs of shorts to pack.

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Solving Sudoku with SAS/IML – Part 1

Sudoku solvers have been written in SAS using a variety of methods (e.g., the DATA step, PROC SQL, and PROC CLP). Surprisingly, SAS/IML appears to have been overlooked for this purpose. On a challenge from a coworker, I wrote this blog post to demonstrate the flexibility of SAS/IML in the

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Compute the kth smallest data value in SAS

A SAS programmer recently posted a question to the SAS/IML Support Community about how to compute the kth smallest value in a vector of numbers. In the DATA step, you can use the SMALLEST function to find the smallest value in an array, but there is no equivalent built-in function

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Are there jobs for economists in analytics?

SAS will again be participating in the Allied Social Science Association annual meetings in January. This year the event will be held in Boston, and conference organizers expect more than 12,000 participants from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, finance and many other social sciences. One of the primary functions

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5 best-selling SAS Press books of 2014

When it comes to exchanging gifts at Christmas, my brother and I have a tradition of buying each other books. Even when he lived away in Chicago, and everyone else in the world was buying eBooks, I could always count on a big, heavy box delivered to my house each

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Elementwise minimum and maximum operators

Like most programming languages, the SAS/IML language has many functions. However, the SAS/IML language also has quite a few operators. Operators can act on a matrix or on rows or columns of a matrix. They are less intuitive, but can be quite powerful because they enable you perform computations without

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Top 10 SAS Training Post blogs

December is all about traditions. Some of mine include holiday shopping, baking (I really mean eating) Christmas cookies and putting together my annual list of most read blogs on the SAS Training Post. So as traditions go… here’s my list of the top 10 most read blogs in 2014. How

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The direct product (Kronecker product) in SAS

There are many ways to multiply scalars, vectors, and matrices, but the Kronecker product (also called the direct product) is multiplication on steroids. The Kronecker product looks scary, but it is actually simple. The Kronecker product is merely a way to pack multiples of a matrix B into a block

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How to eliminate data error notes from the SAS log

A student in a SAS class recently asked if there were a way to eliminate data error notes from the SAS log and, instead, write them to a separate file.  Of course there's a way! Here's a simple datastep.  Notice the missing dollar sign to indicate the variable GENDER (M,

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Compute maximum and minimum values for rows and columns in SAS

A common question on SAS discussion forums is how to compute the minimum and maximum values across several variables. It is easy to compute statistics across rows by using the DATA step. This article shows how to compute the minimum and maximum values for each observation (across variables) and, for

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Drill, baby, drill—using SAS to drill down through Google maps

➤ DISCLOSURE! In June 2018 Google introduced changes to the way it handles its Maps platform. They now require API key in order to embed a map, plus Google Maps "projects" must now be associated with a billing account. Unless these new Google rules are met, Google maps described in

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SAS takes your word for it

Last year, 50 companies came knocking on the doors of Rotman School of Management in Canada to recruit Masters of Business Administration (MBA) grads with SAS skills. This year, Rotman partnered with SAS to offer SAS Programming to interested candidates. Last Sunday, I had the amazing opportunity to teach SAS

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Overview of new features in SAS/IML 13.1

SAS software contains a lot of features, and each release adds more.To make sure that you do not miss new features that appear in the SAS/IML language, the word cloud on the right sidebar of my blog contains numbers that relate to SAS or SAS/IML releases. For example, you can

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Credit risk modeling: Remove the guess work

What's the probability that a firm will default on its debt? That’s the big question for many financial institutions. One way you can answer it is with credit risk modeling. Starting today, we’re offering a new Business Knowledge Series course on that topic through our popular e-Learning format. That means