Everything

5月 302015
 

SAS Global Forum logoODS Graphics is not exactly new.  It became production with SAS 9.2 back around 2008, and before then it existed in a pre-production form at least as early as 2003.  So you would think that by now everyone who uses SAS would be using ODS Graphics, but apparently this is not the case.

It has come to my attention that some long-time SAS users still use PROC CHART–not even PROC GCHART, but PROC CHART which was designed for line printers back in the 1970s and creates graphs using alphanumeric characters!  Here is an example of a bar chart created using PROC CHART:

PROC_CHART

There is no excuse for this (unless, of course, you are trying to create a hip, retro vibe).  ODS Graphics is easy to use and produces beautiful graphs.  Here is the same bar chart created using PROC SGPLOT:

PROC_SGPLOT

Now, if you are one of those people who uses SAS/Graph and PROC GCHART, and you are able to get the results you want, then that’s great.  I would never tell a SAS/Graph user to switch to ODS Graphics.  But for most people SAS/Graph is just too hard to use.  That’s why the developers at SAS created ODS Graphics: for the rest of us.  Just to prove that PROC SGPLOT is not any harder than PROC CHART, here is the code I used to create the two preceding bar charts:

PROC CHART DATA = olympics;
VBAR Region / SUBGROUP = PopGroup;
RUN;

PROC SGPLOT DATA = olympics;
VBAR Region / GROUP = PopGroup;
RUN;

If you are one of those people who still hasn’t learned ODS Graphics (or if you are new to SAS and want to get off on the right foot), this is your big chance.  At the recent SAS Global Forum conference, Lora Delwiche and I presented our paper “Graphing Made Easy with SGPLOT and SGPANEL Procedures.”  You can view that presentation.  Give us 50 minutes of your time, and we will convince you that ODS Graphics is easy (and maybe even fun) to use.  We start with a general introduction so you understand how the SGPLOT and SGPANEL procedures fit into the larger world of ODS Graphics, then we show how to create different types of graphs and how to customize them.

To watch our presentation, click here.

To download a copy of our paper, click here.

A lot of other great presentations were recorded at SGF too.  To see the full list, click here.

Happy graphing!

 


5月 302015
 

SAS Global Forum logoODS Graphics is not exactly new.  It became production with SAS 9.2 back around 2008, and before then it existed in a pre-production form at least as early as 2003.  So you would think that by now everyone who uses SAS would be using ODS Graphics, but apparently this is not the case.

It has come to my attention that some long-time SAS users still use PROC CHART–not even PROC GCHART, but PROC CHART which was designed for line printers back in the 1970s and creates graphs using alphanumeric characters!  Here is an example of a bar chart created using PROC CHART:

PROC_CHART

There is no excuse for this (unless, of course, you are trying to create a hip, retro vibe).  ODS Graphics is easy to use and produces beautiful graphs.  Here is the same bar chart created using PROC SGPLOT:

PROC_SGPLOT

Now, if you are one of those people who uses SAS/Graph and PROC GCHART, and you are able to get the results you want, then that’s great.  I would never tell a SAS/Graph user to switch to ODS Graphics.  But for most people SAS/Graph is just too hard to use.  That’s why the developers at SAS created ODS Graphics: for the rest of us.  Just to prove that PROC SGPLOT is not any harder than PROC CHART, here is the code I used to create the two preceding bar charts:

PROC CHART DATA = olympics;
VBAR Region / SUBGROUP = PopGroup;
RUN;

PROC SGPLOT DATA = olympics;
VBAR Region / GROUP = PopGroup;
RUN;

If you are one of those people who still hasn’t learned ODS Graphics (or if you are new to SAS and want to get off on the right foot), this is your big chance.  At the recent SAS Global Forum conference, Lora Delwiche and I presented our paper “Graphing Made Easy with SGPLOT and SGPANEL Procedures.”  You can view that presentation.  Give us 50 minutes of your time, and we will convince you that ODS Graphics is easy (and maybe even fun) to use.  We start with a general introduction so you understand how the SGPLOT and SGPANEL procedures fit into the larger world of ODS Graphics, then we show how to create different types of graphs and how to customize them.

To watch our presentation, click here.

To download a copy of our paper, click here.

A lot of other great presentations were recorded at SGF too.  To see the full list, click here.

Happy graphing!

 


5月 182015
 

SAS Global Forum logo For me, a major highlight of SAS Global Forum 2015 was seeing Matthew Slaughter’s presentation, Sending Text Messages from SAS.  You may have noticed that his name is similar to mine.  This is not a coincidence as he is my son.  However, this paper was his idea.  He researched the topic on his own, and wrote the paper by himself.  In his presentation, he described two ways to send text message from SAS.  The first uses a FILENAME statement and DATA _NULL_ to send a text message via the email-to-SMS gateway.  The second uses an X command to send a text message via Amazon’s Simple Notification Service.  To download his paper click here.
MatthewSGF


5月 182015
 

SAS Global Forum logo For me, a major highlight of SAS Global Forum 2015 was seeing Matthew Slaughter’s presentation, Sending Text Messages from SAS.  You may have noticed that his name is similar to mine.  This is not a coincidence as he is my son.  However, this paper was his idea.  He researched the topic on his own, and wrote the paper by himself.  In his presentation, he described two ways to send text message from SAS.  The first uses a FILENAME statement and DATA _NULL_ to send a text message via the email-to-SMS gateway.  The second uses an X command to send a text message via Amazon’s Simple Notification Service.  To download his paper click here.
MatthewSGF


5月 082015
 

SAS Global Forum logo I recently returned from SAS Global Forum where Andra Northup and I presented an updated and expanded version of our paper “SAS Certification as a Tool for Professional Development.”  You can read our paper here.

SAS certification has been around for a while.  The first SAS certification exam was offered way back in 1999.  So it’s fascinating to me that the program is currently growing in leaps and bounds.  Over 80,000 SAS certification credentials have been awarded and 13,383 of those were in 2014 alone.  The SAS certification program has experienced double-digit growth for the last five years.  I have a suspicion that technical certifications are growing in popularity in general, and that SAS’s certification program is riding that wave.  Over the last six months, I have begun to see job postings specifically asking for Base SAS certification.  This is totally new!  Of course, certification alone is not enough to get you hired or promoted as a SAS programmer, but it can help.

Unfortunately, preparing for certification can be expensive.  SAS Institute offers a Base Programming Certification Package.  This package includes four courses, a practice exam, and an exam voucher; and comes with a 40% discount that brings the total price down to $2,995.  Despite the hefty discount, this package is still out of reach for many people.  Fortunately, there are less expensive ways to prepare.  In fact, many excellent ways to prepare for certification are low in cost or even free!  With that in mind, I propose the

Build-Your-Own Base Programming Certification Package

Mix and match the following items to create a custom package to fit your budget:

$1,300-2,000 Instructor-based “Classroom” and “Live Web” classes
$1,100 SAS Certification Review: Base Programming class (both “Classroom” and “Live Web”)
$750-1,250 Online Self-Paced e-Learning classes
$150 Certification Prep Guides, Base or Advanced
$100 Course notes from classes offered by SAS Institute
$55 Online practice exam, Base, Advanced or Predictive Modeler (good for six months)
$50-75 Other books such as The Little SAS Book
FREE SAS University Edition software
FREE SAS Programming 1: Essentials online Self-Paced e-Learning course
FREE Statistics 1: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression Self-Paced e-Learning course
FREE List of exam topics on support.sas.com
FREE Sample questions on support.sas.com
FREE Blogs

For more advice about how to prepare for, register for and take SAS certification exams, see our paper.  We wish you the best of luck!


5月 082015
 

SAS Global Forum logo I recently returned from SAS Global Forum where Andra Northup and I presented an updated and expanded version of our paper “SAS Certification as a Tool for Professional Development.”  You can read our paper here.

SAS certification isn’t exactly new.  The first SAS certification exam was offered way back in 1999.  So it’s fascinating to me that the program is currently growing in leaps and bounds.  Over 80,000 SAS certification credentials have been awarded and 13,383 of those were in 2014 alone.  The SAS certification program has experienced double-digit growth for the last five years.  I have a suspicion that technical certifications are growing in popularity in general, and that SAS’s certification program is riding that wave.  Over the last six months, I have begun to see job postings specifically asking for Base SAS certification.  This is totally new!  Of course, certification alone is not enough to get you hired or promoted as a SAS programmer, but it can help.

Unfortunately, preparing for certification can be expensive.  SAS Institute offers a Base Programming Certification Package.  This package includes four courses, a practice exam, and an exam voucher; and comes with a 40% discount that brings the total price down to $2,995.  Despite the hefty discount, this package is still out of reach for many people.  Fortunately, there are less expensive ways to prepare.  In fact, many excellent ways to prepare for certification are low in cost or even free!  With that in mind, I propose the

Build-Your-Own Base Programming Certification Package

Mix and match the following items to create a custom package to fit your budget:

$1,300-2,000 Instructor-based “Classroom” and “Live Web” classes
$1,100 SAS Certification Review: Base Programming class (both “Classroom” and “Live Web”)
$750-1,250 Online Self-Paced e-Learning classes
$150 Certification Prep Guides, Base or Advanced
$100 Course notes from classes offered by SAS Institute
$55 Online practice exam, Base, Advanced or Predictive Modeler (good for six months)
$50-75 Other books such as The Little SAS Book
FREE SAS Programming 1: Essentials online Self-Paced e-Learning course
FREE Statistics 1: Introduction to ANOVA, Regression, and Logistic Regression Self-Paced e-Learning course
FREE List of exam topics on support.sas.com
FREE Sample questions on support.sas.com
FREE Blogs

For more advice about how to prepare for, register for and take SAS certification exams, see our paper.  We wish you the best of luck!


11月 032014
 

Analyst FinderAnalyst Finder is a new service created by well-known SAS programmer Art Tabachneck to help connect analytical professionals with potential employers.  I asked Art a few questions:

Why did you create Analyst Finder?

The analytical community has helped me throughout my career; and, over the years, I have done my best to return the favor. I came up with the ideas behind Analyst Finder (AF) after discovering how difficult it is for companies and recruiters to find the talent they seek. AF isn’t designed to replace recruiters; but, rather, to provide them and companies with better and more systematic access to the analytical community.

AF is really four different things. AF is a structured database designed to capture the skills, contact information, and job preferences of everyone in the analytical community. LinkedIn is likely the closest thing to it, but it doesn’t contain structured data and doesn’t capture job preferences.

Second, AF is a structured database designed to capture information about skills that companies and recruiters are seeking.

Third, AF has a SAS-driven search engine that can automatically match the two databases and identify the candidates who most closely match what employers are seeking.

Fourth, once sufficiently populated, AF is a source for aggregate information that has never been available to the analytical community, such as in-demand skills and average salaries broken down by region, education, years of experience, areas of expertise, etc.

What makes AF unique?

It is the only recruitment service that:

  • is run by and for the analytical community.
  • uses technology to match employers’ needs with analysts’ skills and job preferences.
  • lets the analytical community control their information.  AF will never provide contact information to a company or recruiter unless the analyst wants to share it for a particular position.

Is there a charge for using AF?

AF is and always will be no cost, no risk, and commitment-free to the analytical community. Additionally, it is ultra-low cost for companies and recruiters to use, compared to what they would have to pay without it.

Is AF only for people who work full-time?

No, anyone can sign up. The position types employers can select are full-time, part-time, contract and internship.

You talk about the fact that there are millions of SAS programmers, but most of those people are not currently looking for jobs.  Do you see AF as something that would be of interest to people who are currently employed?

I encourage all analytical professionals to sign up whether they are currently looking for new positions or not because at some point in the future they may be.  Additionally, the aggregate information produced by AF will be helpful to both job-seekers and employed analytical professionals.

Have you gotten any feedback from employers?

Employers were quick to let us know that many of them were interested in all walks of analytical professionals.  Thus we expanded the checklist to cover all analytical professionals.

So if someone wants to join Analyst Finder, what do they do?

It’s a simple 2-step process.  First, you register at http://www.analystfinder.com/candidates/ and are immediately sent an ID number and checklist.  Then, after you complete the checklist (which takes about 10 to 15 minutes), you submit it to the same website.  You can update your checklist as often as wish, and that just takes a couple seconds.

Once someone signs up for Analyst Finder, how do you use their information?

We only use analysts’ information to (1) help them find positions and (2) provide them and the rest of the analytical community with aggregate summary information from our two databases.  No individually identifiable information will ever be released unless a registrant explicitly directs us to provide their name and email address to a specific company or recruiter regarding a specific position.


9月 022014
 

SAS Certification As a Tool for Professional DevelopmentIf you had told me a year ago that I would write a paper about SAS certification for the Western Users of SAS Software 2014 Educational Forum and Conference, I would have been very surprised!  I became a SAS Certified Professional long ago, and that certification expired–long ago!  However, in the past six months, both my son and a friend have become SAS certified.  In the process, I learned a lot.

Now Andra Northup and I have written a paper titled SAS Certification As a Tool for Professional Development.  Doing the research for this paper, we gathered information and opinions both from SAS users and from experts at SAS Institute.  Here are some interesting things I learned:

  • Over 67,000 SAS certificates have been awarded.
  • The volume of tests taken has doubled in the past three years.
  • The first SAS certification was in Europe and required passing 3 two-hour exams.
  • Since 2006, certifications no longer expire, but are tied to a particular version of SAS.
  • Some people claim that the Advanced exam is easier than the Base exam.
  • The pass rate for the Advanced exam is, in fact, higher than for the Base exam.
  • At only $55, the online practice exam for the Base exam is a bargain, and it’s good for six months.
  • The SAS Programming 1: Essentials online self-paced course is FREE.

If you are going to the conference, I hope you will attend our presentation Thursday, September 4, 2014 2:00-2:50pm. If not, then you can download the paper here.


9月 022014
 

Using PROC SGPLOT for Quick High-Quality GraphsSoon I will travel to San Jose for the Western Users of SAS Software 2014 Educational Forum and Conference.  I’m looking forward to doing a hands-on workshop on one of my favorite topics, ODS Graphics, specifically the PROCs SGPLOT and SGPANEL.  Here is the abstract:

New with SAS 9.2, ODS Graphics introduced a whole new way of generating graphs using SAS.  With just a few lines of code, you can create a wide variety of high-quality graphs.  This workshop shows how to produce several types of graphs using PROC SGPLOT, and how to create paneled graphs by converting PROC SGPLOT to PROC SGPANEL.  This workshop also shows how to send your graphs to different ODS destinations, how to apply ODS styles to your graphs, and how to specify properties of graphs, such as format, name, height, and width.

If you are going to the conference, I hope you will attend my workshop Thursday, September 4, 2014 4:00-6:00pm. If not, then you can download the paper, step-by-step handout, and syntax reference tables.