What is SAS?

Did you see our new SAS LibGuide or an announcement of our upcoming Introduction to SAS workshop and wonder “What’s SAS?” Here’s some information about the SAS Education Analytic Suite software available in the Libraries.

SAS is a statistical software package and programming language for data management, analysis, and reporting. Comprehensive and powerful, it is the tool of choice for “power users” and those who need to manage complex data sets on a regular basis. This video from SAS Institute provides a good introduction (note that the video may depict features not available under the UA site license).

From the video:

So, what is SAS? SAS is a suite of business solutions and technologies to help organizations solve business problems.

Base SAS is the centerpiece of all SAS software. It provides a flexible and extensible programming language designed for data access, transformation, and reporting. To extend the capabilities of Base SAS, you can add other SAS components. For example, you can use a component to access third-party data. Other components give you tools for report writing, high-resolution graphics, and business solutions, as well as statistical analysis, visualization, and discovery.

Let’s look at all of these SAS capabilities in a simple framework. No matter what type of business or industry you work in, you need to access your data. You might have data stored in SAS, in a raw data file, in Oracle, in Microsoft Excel, or in other types of files. Using SAS, you can read any type of data. After you access your data, you can manage it. For example, you might need to subset data, create variables, validate and clean data, or combine data to ready it for analysis. SAS gives you excellent data management capabilities.

You’ll probably want to analyze your data as well. You can perform some simple analyses, such as finding frequency counts or calculating averages. Or you can run more complex analyses, such as regression or forecasting. For statistical analysis, SAS is the gold standard.

Finally, you’ll want to present your data meaningfully. You can create list reports, summary reports, or graphic reports. And you can print these reports, write them to new data files, or publish them on the web. You have lots of options for presenting your data.

Computer technology is constantly changing and SAS software has evolved with the technology. This evolution has resulted in several interfaces that can be used for SAS programming. You might use the SAS windowing environment, the graphical user interface that is part of SAS software. Or you might use SAS Enterprise Guide, a point-and-click Windows interface that accesses SAS on a server. Or you might use SAS Studio, a web-based interface to SAS that you can use on any computer. You can use any SAS interface to create SAS programs because they all offer the same basic tools: an editor where you write and submit SAS code, a log where you view messages from SAS, and a way to view your results. No matter which environment you use, the SAS programming code is the same.

SAS Education Analytical Suite includes Base SAS, SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS/ACCESS, SAS/ASSIST, SAS Bridge for ESRI, SAS/EIS, SAS/OR, SAS/QC, SAS/AF, SAS/LAB, SAS/CONNECT, SAS/ETS, SAS/FSP, SAS/GRAPH, SAS/IML, SAS/INSIGHT, SAS/SECURE, SAS/SHARE, SAS/STAT, SAS e-Learning Library, SAS Integration Technologies, SAS Text Miner, and SAS Enterprise Miner. Additional information about the Suite and the individual SAS components is available on the SAS website.

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  1. Pingback: Get to Know SAS | Academic Technologies

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