10月 012021

I'll admit it - I'm often impatient while waiting for results, so my code needs to run as fast as possible! In this video, I show you how you can get faster results, too.

I'll demonstrate several different techniques that produce identical results, and compare processing speeds. For a more robust assessment, I'll test the techniques while reading from both SAS data sets and database tables. Analysis of the results clearly shows that when the techniques produce identical results, these choices usually produce faster run times:

  1. Use a WHERE statement instead of a subsetting IF statement.
  2. Use the KEEP= dataset option on input data sets instead of a KEEP statement.
  3. Should I use SQL or DATA step?
    • If producing a single result, use SQL.
    • If producing multiple results, use the DATA step.
  4. If your process is CPU bound:
    • If you have access to CAS, run it in CAS.
    • Otherwise, refactor in DS2.

The programs I used to create the video are available for download from GitHub if you want to experiment.

Until next time, may the SAS be with you!

Jedi SAS Tricks: 5 Ways to Make Your SAS Code Run Faster was published on SAS Users.

7月 312020

In this SAS demo, I demonstrate how to prompt for a date range in a SAS Visual Analytics report. We walk through how to configure prompts using four types of control objects:

Slider (range)

Slider (single value)

Drop-down list

Text input

Then we cover how to define parameters and configure filters for report objects using the date prompted boundaries. These techniques are demonstrated using SAS Viya 3.4 SAS Visual Analytics 8.4 but can be applied to earlier releases.

I've also written accompanying articles in a four-part series. Below the video see the links to the articles and their corresponding timestamps in the video.

01:33 – 1st Example: Slider (Range) - How to prompt for a date range in a SAS VA report – Example 1 Slider (Range)

03:01 – 2nd Example: Slider (Single Value) - How to prompt for a date range in a SAS VA report – Example 2 Slider (Single Value)

14:04 – 3rd Example: Drop-down list - How to prompt for a date range in a SAS VA report – Example 3 Drop-down list

19:33 – 4th Example: Text input - How to prompt for a date range in a SAS VA report – Example 4 Text input

Other References

How to prompt for a date range in a SAS Visual Analytics Report - Four Part Series was published on SAS Users.

9月 042019

Editor's Note: SAS' Evan Mann contributed to this post.

First came SAS' reputation as a great place to work. Next came a storytellers article series offering a glimpse of the people behind the brand.

Now there's the SAS Users YouTube Channel, where tutorial videos provide a window into some of our personalities—trainers initially, but future contributors will include experts from other areas of SAS.

"Our goal is to make the SAS Users channel on YouTube a ‘must-visit’ channel for those who have the desire to grow their analytical skill set and to learn SAS," said Principal IT Software Developer Michael Penwell, who manages the channel. "It's for both new and experienced users."

My SAS Support Communities teammates Anna Brown and Thiago De Souza produce the videos and Karen Feldman, Senior Technical Learning and Development Specialist, lines up the on-camera talent. Brown explains the idea behind this approach: “Infusing personality into these how-to videos welcomes users into our SAS family in a way we never have before. With this no-script, natural style, we hope that they feel like they’re not being told how to do something in SAS – but rather they’re learning right along with us, together. We’re simply a guide to help users achieve whatever they can dream up in SAS.”

A casual, conversational approach

As Brown describes, instructors walk viewers through the subject matter using a casual, conversational tone - almost vlog style. This approach lets their personalities come through.

Anna Yarbrough, who joined SAS Education last year, travels to teach SAS programming. She likes interacting with SAS users IRL and relishes a good coding challenge. She keeps an eye out for users' questions on her videos and enjoys the digital banter. When this video on merging data sets published, it received the most user comments right off the bat. Why so much interest in merging data?

"When working with structured data," said Yarbrough, "it’s never going to all be stored in one massive data set. There will be smaller tables that can be linked together based on a common column or columns like social security number, or patient number, or something else that uniquely identifies each row of data."

"When you can bring these tables together," Yarbrough added, "you have the ability to answer more complex business questions. I think people are really interested in covering this topic, as well as converting columns from character to numeric, just because it is something that needs to be done all the time."

While building out the videos, Yarbrough recalled questions she had when she first learned SAS. (Don't be surprised if they become topics for future tutorials.) "It's really important as an instructor to be able to put yourself in the shoes of our newer SAS programmers," she said. "Even though we spend so much time covering this content, we need to remember what it’s like to hear about these topics for the first time so that we can present material in a clear and easy-to-follow way. It’s been awesome interacting with users through YouTube."

Check out the first few

Ari Zitin: Decision Trees and Neural Networks

Kathy Kiraly: SAS to Excel

Kathy Kiraly: Excel to SAS

Anna Rakers: Online Resources

Mark Stevens: Certification Tips

Mark Stevens: Performance-Based Questions

Peter Styliadis: Two Common Scenarios

Anna Yarbrough: Character Functions

Anna Yarbrough: Merge Data Sets


Subscribe to the channel

Subscribe, like, and share the SAS Users YouTube channel to get notified of new videos and help fellow SAS users find them.

Ready to Learn SAS? It's Time to Meet Your Instructors! a pop of personality was published on SAS Users.

7月 072010
I use this blog to talk about all of the great information that is available to you on I point out features that you may have missed (like the RSS feeds or Discussion Forums); I answer questions that you send via our feedback form (see the Q&A category); and I give you hints for searching and navigating.

While many of the SAS resources are available to you on, locating and understanding them can be a taxing effort. If you like video, sit back, relax, and watch these two new videos from SAS. Each video was produced to help you get more from your SAS investment. One provides an overview of the resources that are available for our customers, and the second gives instructions on how to contact SAS Technical Support.

Discover SAS Customer Resources
The customer resources video includes a message from Stacy Hobson about customer loyalty as well as information about the SAS Users Groups, Publications, Training, Contracts, R&D, Technical Support, and You can watch this video from the Community page on site. The video is also available on the SAS Software YouTube channel.

Contacting SAS Technical Support
Did you know that SAS customers have unlimited access to SAS Technical Support? Watch the video to find out when and how to contact Technical Support. The video is available on the Support page of
4月 082010
Contributed by Meg Crawford, Marketing Specialist, User & Customer Marketing; Kirsten Hamstra, Web Marketing Specialist, SAS Publishing; and Michele Reister, Field Marketing Specialist, SAS Education.

If you read last month’s Open Mic blog posts from Meg Crawford and Kirsten Hamstra about all the great social media activities happening at SAS Global Forum, then you’re pretty well-informed, but here’s the latest master list of everything social media-related happening at SAS Global Forum.

Twitter and the SAS Global Forum TweetSpot
If you aren't already, start following us on Twitter @SASGLOBALFORUM or join the conversation that will be continuing throughout SAS Global Forum with our hashtag, #SGF10. We also have a few other recommendations for you: @SASPublishing, @SASTraining, @WaynetteTubbs, @alisonbolen, @DavidBThomas, @deb_orton, @kellylevoyer, @abrown7, @hrenee and @sasCommunity will all be dishing up some good SAS Global Forum tweets.

Want to meet your fellow SAS Global Forum tweeters? Attend the SAS Seattle TweetUp on April 11 at 9:00 p.m. at the Tap House Grill. Register early, space is limited.

Are you not yet sold on Twitter? Let us show you how cool it is. Stop by the TweetSpot outside the Demo Area on the Sky Bridge where we’ll be offering tutorials, signing up new accounts, and tweeting with conference attendees. We know you’ll be hooked by the end of SAS Global Forum.
Even if you’re not ready to sign up just yet, you won’t be left out because our GIANT Twitter Wall above the entrance to the Demo Area will keep you in the loop. Check out all the live, scrolling tweets to see what everyone is saying about the conference.

SAS Global Forum Connect
Connect with your peers on SAS Global Forum Connect at New for, SAS Global Forum Connect enables SAS Global Forum 2010 attendees to connect online before and during the conference. Even if you're not attending in-person, you can still participate.
Find colleagues on the searchable / sortable list, add messages to the public Message Board, send messages, add colleagues, view Web site contributions, add photo avatars & more! Stay connected during the conference and keep your connections all year long.

Facebook is a great way to get real-time updates about the conference, new happenings and key information, and interact with SAS professionals and users who will be in attendance. The SAS Global Forum Facebook Fan Page has more than 700 active members and is growing daily. We also recommend you become a fan of the SAS Publishing and SAS Training & Certification pages. We will all be posting photos and status updates live from the Demo Floor. Watch our feeds and you just might win some free SAS goodies!

There will be LOTS of blogging going on during SAS Global Forum. The official SAS Global Forum blog features many talented voices from all over SAS. Read along to follow a series of posts during the conference to hear from SAS employees serving a wide variety of roles at SAS Global Forum. Gain insight into popular paper presentations, Demo Hall activities, breaking SAS news and the latest conference updates.

You’ll also want to visit the Open Mic blog to hear from SAS Press authors, SAS Publishing editors and others as they blog live from the conference. SAS Training & Certification will be launching a new blog next month but first we need your help! Vote for your favorite blog name or suggest your own and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a free training class!

Linked in
The SAS Global Forum LinkedIn Group has more than 400 members and is a great way to connect with other professionals in your field who will be sharing their insights at the conference. Joining the Fans of SAS Books and SAS Training & Certification LinkedIn groups will keep you in touch with your peers long after SAS Global Forum 2010 ends.

Get a closer look at SAS Global Forum through the informal video interview series, Inside SAS Global Forum 2010 hosted by Dave Thomas, SAS Social Media Manager and Waynette Tubbs, Editor of the SAS Tech Report. We would love to hear your ideas for what you’d like to see on Inside SAS Global Forum. Who would you like us to interview? Please send your ideas to

Last year, SAS Publishing kicked off a new video series featuring interviews with SAS Press authors during the M2009 Data Mining Conference and The Premier Business Leadership Series Conference in October and will be continuing it at this year's major conferences including SAS Global Forum. Armed with a handheld Kodak Zi8, Kirsten Hamstra will be tracking down authors and asking them 3-4 questions which she’ll then edit together into a fun video montage for SAS Publishing’s YouTube channel.

Also, if you’ve ever taken a SAS Training class, we encourage you to visit the video interview station in the Demo Hall at the SAS Education Center to record a short video about how SAS training has helped you. We will also be putting together a video montage for SAS Training’s YouTube channel.

SAS Social Media Analytics Launch
SAS will announce a new social media analytics solution April 12 via a live webcast. See it in person at SAS Global Forum during the opening ceremony or watch it live at and tweet about it with the #SASSMA hashtag. During the webcast you’ll hear from social media and analytics experts, see the new software in action and have the opportunity to ask questions. Don’t miss this highly anticipated product launch!

Meeting you Face-to-Face!
Obviously you can tell we love communicating with our customers and colleagues via social media, but there’s still nothing better than good, old-fashioned face-to-face communication. We can’t wait to meet you in person and talk about whatever it is you want to talk about it – social media, SAS Global Forum, new SAS technologies, restaurants, books, sports, travel, children…you get the idea – we’re excited to get to know as many people as we can. After all, isn’t networking one of the greatest benefits of attending a conference?
11月 252009
I haven't reminded you about YouTube in a while. After reading a recent post in the Open Mic blog, I thought it might be time to nudge you toward SAS resources on YouTube. It is a great way to take a break from your normal workday while still learning about SAS and analytics.
There are some great videos out there. Here are a couple favorites from my last YouTube visit:

Visit the SAS channel on YouTube. If you have a favorite SAS-related YouTube video, share it with others. (OK now, remember that I asked for a video related to SAS!)
7月 102009
I'm doing my weekly round-up of text mining/unstructured data/information management news. Having lived in numerous continents around the world, I like to make sure my information hunting is equally intercontinental. Different cultures have different slants on topics.

This morning's search led me to an article posted by the New Zealand Herald entitled "How Can YouTube Survive?" A section of the article mentioned insider's technology blog, TechCrunch, and a guest blog post entitled "Why Advertising Is Failing On The Internet" written by Eric Clemons, Professor of Operations and Information Management at the University of Pennsylvania. A very interesting read, and also a very provocative one (validated by many comments to the blog post).

According to this excerpt from the NZ Herald article, Clemons "argued that the way that we're using the Internet has shattered the whole concept of advertising. We need no encouragement to share our opinions online regarding products and services and offer them star ratings; as a result, we're much more likely to look for personal recommendations from other customers than wait for a gaudy advert to beckon us wildly in the direction of a company website or online store. He claims we don't trust online advertising, we don't need online advertising, but above all we don't want online advertising."

Based on my personal Internet shopping habits, I agree! I'd much rather see personal testimony about a product in addition to (or instead of) marketing collateral. This personal testimony has becoming a new form of marketing. It would serve marketing professionals well to pay attention.

Understanding individuals' commentaries about products helps marketers better understand consumer reaction to the four P's of the marketing mix: product, price, placement and promotion.

This evolution of marketing influencers is exactly what makes text mining a pivotal technology for this generation. It provides the ability to gauge those huge volumes of Web-based consumer reactions in an automated, consistent manner. And then you can actually do something about it -- or with it!
4月 022009
Once again, Alan Hoffler and Brendan Bailey trolled the halls of SAS Global Forum with a camera and microphone. They interviewed everyone from the SAS Student Scholarship Winner to John Sall, Jim Davis, Dr. Goodnight, and even yours truly.

You can view the videos on the SAS Global Forum blog at without having to visit YouTube. This feature gives those of you who cannot visit YouTube access to the videos. Have no fear YouTube fans, the videos are also available on the SAS YouTube channel.

Update: To view the videos without visiting YouTube, visit the SAS Global Forum blog and look for links that look like this:

Tip: If you are preparing for SAS Global Forum 2010, you may want to watch the video on Submitting a Paper to SAS Global Forum.