Jul 3, 2011

Learning SAS


I want to learn the heavy-weight of Statistical softwares - SAS. It seems like the default choice for high-end statistics and I want to understand why.

I'm working in the healthcare practice in our firm and want to analyze claims and credit data (Terabytes, 50M+ records). Traditional ways (SQL) are limiting and desktop statistical softwares like R and Stata aren't suitable for such large data analysis. Other contenders (Matlab) don't seem to be in the same league.

So, its time to take a deep dive into SAS.



I'm looking for some advice to create a learning plan...

Good books


Good tutorials

  • I like video tutorials with examples e.g Statistics202.
  • I also like tutorials from a programmer's perspective better
  • Anything for SAS out there?


Good blogs


Experts

  • Will start exploring this. If you know of someone, please let me know. 

Good training courses in New York area

  • Preferably not the ones run by the company themselves. I'm looking for SAS experts who can run hands-on classes

SAS interest groups in New York area

  • I learn well in a study group. Any meetups?

8 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 03, 2011

    For books, there's the ever popular Little SAS Book by Lora Delwiche and Susan Slaughter. The SAS equivalent to R-Bloggers seems to be SAS-X, although it's largely populated by Rick Wicklin's blog. Rather than blogs or meetups, SAS users tend to interact with the SAS-L list-serv and at SAS User Groups.

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  2. AnonymousJuly 03, 2011

    As a follow-up, to understand SAS as a programmer, you should understand that SAS has a built-in do loop, which loops over all the observations (rows) in your dataset one at a time. This means that it only considers one row of data at a time, which is part of the reason that SAS can handle large datasets so effectively.

    The built-in do loop can be circumvented -- using, for example, an output statement to force a loop, a retain statement to hold the value of a variable to the next line, or an array statement in conjunction with a do loop to loop over the variables (columns) -- but these efforts are rarely necessary once you become accustomed to thinking in terms of the built-in loop.

    Best of luck learning!

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  3. Hi, and thanks for mentioning our book! In addition to SAS-X, there is also SAS Community Planet, which is a superset of SAS-X, AFAICT: http://www.sascommunity.org/planet/.

    Before you purchase our book, you might look through our blog (sas-and-r.blogspot.com) to see some examples. Code for the examples that are actually in the book can be found at http://www.math.smith.edu/sasr. In addition to the text around the examples, the book also has very brief entries that describe many different tasks and options-- most of these are included in a wiki: http://kenkleinman.net/sasrwiki. So the book is useful if you want it all in one place, but you can have the material for free, more or less.

    Happy learning!

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