HASUG Meeting Notes: February 2011

The first quarter HASUG Meeting on February 24, 2011, took place at Case Memorial Library in Orange, CT from 10 am -1 pm.

Santosh Bari, a SAS-certified professional currently with eClinical Solutions (a division of Eliassen Group in New London, CT), opened the meeting with his presentation on Proc Report: A Step-by-Step Introduction to Proc Report and Advanced Techniques. Proc Report is a powerful report-generating procedure which combines many of the features of Proc Print, Proc Sort, Proc Means, Proc Freq, and Proc Tabulate. Mr. Bari’s presentation was a very in-depth discussion of proc report options and attributes which included code samples alongside corresponding sample output. He did a very thorough job of presenting the wide array of functionality included in proc report, including more advanced, lesser-known topics such as BREAK BEFORE/AFTER statements, COMPUTE blocks, and PANELS and FLOW options.

Following Mr. Bari, Charles Patridge of ISO Innovative Analytics presented Best Practices: Using SAS Effectively/Efficiently. His presentation, a compilation of a number of popular past topics, included the introduction of an effective naming convention for programs and files along with compelling reasons for creating such a naming system, creation of data dictionaries in Excel with the use of a proc contents-based macro, and central macro autocall libraries. Mr. Patridge used his many years of past consulting experience to argue for spending a little time up-front to organize and name one’s programs and data sets in such a way that makes transparent the order of execution of the programs and the origin of the datasets. When dataset names correspond to the names of the programs which created them, this makes a project self-documenting and easier to hand off to others.