Great SAS tips, tricks and resources to slurp up.


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SAS Tech Report

SAS® Tech Report
June 2017 | email the editor

Dear Reader,

If you’re a regular reader of the SAS® Tech Report, you’ve probably noticed the “From SAS Communities” section in each month’s issue. Here I highlight three or four featured articles or discussion threads from our SAS Support Communities. Our communities provide a forum where users can ask and answer questions, learn new techniques and connect with other SAS users from around the world. With more than 130,000 registered members, it’s the perfect place to get unstuck on problems or find help with your code.

In fact, the community has nearly 350,000 topics and replies, so it’s possible your question has already been asked and answered, meaning chances are high that a simple search will provide the answer you need to keep moving.

If you have a unique or very specific question, the community can help. There are thousands of users online at any one time so response times can be almost immediate. The majority of questions are answered within an hour of posting, and within eight hours, more than 90 percent of questions have been solved. And because the community is “staffed” with members from around the world, we’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Take that, 7-Eleven.

It’s not just SAS users who participate in SAS Communities. Many SAS employees read and respond to questions from their areas of expertise every day. (That’s right – that question you asked about a particular software product just might get answered by one of the developers!)

They say it’s better to give than to receive, so while you’re reading posts or asking questions, make it a practice to pay it forward by sharing your knowledge and responding to an unanswered question or two as well.

There are around 40 separate SAS Support Communities (including biggies like SAS Programming, Data Management, Analytics, Administration and others) and approximately 8,000 posts each month, so you can rest assured there’s a community or two for you, regardless of what product you use or job role you fill for your organization.

With so much SAS expertise and knowledge just a click away, I encourage you to visit soon and visit often. It might not taste as good as that 7-Eleven Slurpee, but I promise the SAS Support Communities will more than satisfy your thirst for SAS knowledge.

Enjoy this month’s issue of the SAS Tech Report and thanks for reading.

Larry LaRusso
Editor, SAS Tech Report
Follow me @lalaru102


SAS Tips and Tricks

 A Long-Time SAS® Programmer Learns New Tricks

A Long-Time SAS® Programmer Learns New Tricks

If you’re an experienced SAS programmer, it’s easy to stick with tried-and-true SAS programming techniques. To improve as a programmer, though, you should find out what new features have been added to the SAS arsenal. In this paper, Lisa Horwitz shares some new features she has uncovered, including the PRESENV option and procedure, fuzzy matching with the COMPGED function, the ODS POWERPOINT statement and several SAS® Enterprise Guide® enhancements.


Combine and conquer with SAS®

Combine and conquer with SAS®

Did you know you can combine several SAS formats into one to harness their collective power? You can also combine SAS data libraries or SAS format libraries in order to create priority-based access. This post from Leonid Batkhan turns the maxim “divide and conquer” on its head to solve problems in software development.


Designing for Performance: Best Practices for SAS® Visual Analytics Reports

Best Practices for SAS® Visual Analytics Reports

One of the most common questions asked about SAS Visual Analytics is, what are the best practices for designing a report? In this paper, Kerri Rivers focuses mainly on a different aspect of visual reports: the speed with which online reports render. The end result is a set of design techniques that can immediately optimize report performance.

How to import user-defined catalogs from SAS® 9.4 into SAS® Visual Analytics 8.1

How to import user-defined catalogs from SAS® 9.4 into SAS® Visual Analytics 8.1

If you have SAS formats stored in a catalog and would like to make them available in SAS Visual Analytics 8.1, this script will convert the formats to a structure that can be used by SAS Visual Analytics, load the formats into the server, and place them in the format search path for all users.


Converting columns using a custom add-in task in SAS® Enterprise Guide® 4.2

Converting columns using a custom add-in task in SAS® Enterprise Guide® 4.2

This sample includes a downloadable SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 custom add-in task that can be used to convert columns from character to numeric, character to date, character to datetime, and numeric to character.


How to add a percent sign to PROC TABULATE table cell percents

How to add a percent sign to PROC TABULATE table cell percents

In this sample note you’ll learn how to add percent signs to your PROC TABULATE table cell percents by creating a picture format with PROC FORMAT. It’s a featured sample on our Base SAS product page, where you can get documentation, samples, training and more.


Get started with SAS® Visual Statistics

Get started with SAS® Visual Statistics

This video from SAS Education gives you an introduction to SAS Visual Statistics. It covers the interface and the main features, and explains how to get started. It’s part of SAS’ extensive free video tutorial library, which provides how-to tutorials, demos, and tips and tricks for working with SAS software.


The IFN function versus the IF-THEN/ELSE statement in SAS®

The IFN function v. the IF-THEN/ELSE statement in SAS®

Users will sometimes mistakenly use the IFN function to accomplish tasks that should really be tacked with IF-THEN/ELSE logic. There are still plenty of situations for which the IFN function (and its cousin, the IFC function) are useful, but in this post from Rick Wicklin, you’ll learn why, for testing out-of-domain conditions, you should really use IF-THEN/ELSE logic instead.


Model Selection Techniques Into SAS® Enterprise Guide® and SAS® Enterprise Miner™

Model Selection Techniques Into SAS® Enterprise Guide® and SAS® Enterprise Miner™

How do you know which type of predictive model is best for you – and how to achieve the insights you need from it? This Ask the Expert presentation will answer the what, why and how, including how to use SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Enterprise Miner for model selection (examples for both will be included).



From SAS Communities

5 papers on recommended SAS® 9.4 security model design

5 papers on recommended SAS 9.4 security model design

In this two-part community post you’ll find a series of five papers that together present a set of recommended practices for security model design in SAS 9.4. In Part 1, you will find the overview and the main core principles and practices paper. Part 2 will show you papers on core artifacts and artifacts for deployments, which include SAS Data Integration Studio and SAS Visual Analytics.


SAS Visual Analytics report example: Current month vs. previous month

SAS Visual Analytics: Current month v. previous month

Have you been given report requirements to present a current month vs. previous month metric based on user-defined selections? A customer asked, and here’s our solution. It takes into account that the customer did not want to transpose the data. The requirement was for the report user to select an analysis month and year then calculate the previous month, difference and difference percent.


Working with SAS® and Hadoop

Working with SAS® and Hadoop

If your organization is using Hadoop technology, you need to understand what Hadoop is and figure out how it works with SAS. This three-part article series will help you start working with Hadoop as a SAS user, give a brief overview of the SAS technologies available for Hadoop, and provide some additional resources you can use to learn even more.


SAS Support Community News

June Coaches Corner set for SAS® Administration Community

June Coaches Corner - SAS Administration Community

Here’s your opportunity to ask SAS employees and admin community superstars your pressing installation, deployment and configuration questions. You can submit your question anytime between now and our live event, and you’re sure to get your question answered during the session: June 21 at 4 p.m. ET. Learn more.


June Jam time for the SAS® Data Management Community

June Jam time - SAS Data Management Community

If you’re scratching your head on a SAS Data Management problem, post a question during the Data Management Jam, when SAS experts will be standing by to respond. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. Here’s your chance to receive real-time responses from SAS experts and other community members. Learn more.



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