In search of SAS-fu
September 22, 2011 2:14 AM   Subscribe

What are your beginner/intermediate SAS handbook recommendations?

I vaguely know my way around SAS, but my life would be a lot easier if I were actually good with it. I'm more than comfortable with SPSS and R, and otherwise have a good applied stats and programming background. Rather than looking for something that focuses on teaching statistics, I need a guide that illustrates how to implement a variety of statistical methods — going beyond regression to factor analysis and survival analysis. What should I read? Bonus points for books with good coverage of advanced graphical procedures. Thanks!
posted by thisjax to Technology (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The best SAS book for beginners is The Little SAS Book. It doesn't cover statistical procedures beyond regression and ANOVA, but it captures the essentials of a sprawling, disorganized language and its treatment of graphics ignores all the awful legacy procedures and goes straight for the modern versions (SGPLOT and ODS). The graphics capabilities of SAS have been improved in recent years because of competition from R, but they still lag.
posted by drdanger at 3:07 AM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I am starting on a new project or I don't know how to do something, I spend a good chunk of time reading throughSAS papers, and then flipping through both the SAS documentation (for syntax explination), the Little SAS Book for simplification, and bugging co-workers / calling SAS support for larger errors.

Of particular use to me have been a bunch on SAS/Graph - particularly Proc GEOCODE. (9.3 allegedly solves a bunch of performance concerns I had doing IP geolocation). Take a look here for one of my current fun reads. (Note: mapping in a non GIS capacity is where I do most of my SAS/Graph work. eViews (now owned by IHS) is where I do more of my modeling / graphing.

Generally, In SAS I'm doing data cleaning, aggregation, manipulation (including missing value estimation), and verrification in SAS (FREQ, CORR, X12 (though I perfer the eViews implementation for X12) and some quick ARIMA modeling). As I said, I'm not doing all my heavy lifting in SAS.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:47 AM on September 22, 2011

Response by poster: I took a look at The Little SAS Book and it looks like it'll be a good fit at first. I've never really delved into the SAS papers, but now might be a good time to put together a reading list.

I'll leave this unresolved in case any more suggestions trickle in, but thanks so far!
posted by thisjax at 7:56 PM on September 24, 2011

Hi thisjax,

You may also want to visit the discussion forums to see if you can find some info you're wanting. I'd like to be up front that I work for SAS (in the publishing division--all things social media). Besides The Little SAS Book (and looking at the free papers) that others suggested, you may want to look at Ron Cody's book SAS Statistics by Example: Best of luck.
posted by sgoodin at 1:50 PM on September 30, 2011

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