Handbook of SAS® DATA Step Programming (Hardback) book cover

Handbook of SAS® DATA Step Programming

By Arthur Li

© 2013 – Chapman and Hall/CRC

275 pages | 28 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-04-10
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About the Book

To write an accomplished program in the DATA step of SAS®, programmers must understand programming logic and know how to implement and even create their own programming algorithm. Handbook of SAS® DATA Step Programming shows readers how best to manage and manipulate data by using the DATA step.

The book helps novices avoid common mistakes resulting from a lack of understanding fundamental and unique SAS programming concepts. It explains that learning syntax does not solve all problems; rather, a thorough comprehension of SAS processing is needed for successful programming. The author also guides readers through a programming task. In most of the examples, the author first presents strategies and steps for solving the problem, then offers a solution, and finally gives a more detailed explanation of the solution.

Understanding the DATA steps, particularly the program data vector (PDV), is critical to proper data manipulation and management in SAS. This book helps SAS programmers thoroughly grasp the concept of DATA step processing and write accurate programs in the DATA step. Numerous supporting materials, including data sets and programs used in the text, are available on the book’s CRC Press web page.


"…covers a good number of topics attractive to SAS users. The strength of the book is a simple and straight-to-the-point approach taken by the author. Examples and a few exercises appearing at the conclusion of each chapter are very helpful in understanding the topics. It is a good source as a supplement to a textbook or a statistics course using SAS. … All of the code is written and explained very efficiently. Anyone interested in the topic will find this handbook very easy to follow."

The American Statistician, May 2014

"Handbook of SAS DATA Step Programming provides a thorough introduction to the statements and functionalities of the SAS DATA step. The book can be used as an introductory tutorial for beginning SAS programmers or as a reference book for experienced users. … Many users of DATA step have a strong statistical background, but not all of them really try to understand DATA step as a programming language. The Handbook covers this gap and helps statisticians improving their programming efficiency using SAS DATA step."

Journal of Statistical Software, January 2014

Table of Contents

Introduction to SAS

SAS Program and Language

Reading DATA into SAS

Creating and Modifying Variables

Base SAS Procedures

Subsetting Data by Selecting Variables

Changing the Appearance of Data

Creating Variables Conditionally

The IF-THEN/ELSE Statement

Executing One of Several Statements

Modifying the IF-THEN/ELSE Statement with the Assignment Statement

Understanding How the DATA Step Works

DATA Step Processing Overview

Retaining the Value of Newly Created Variables

Conditional Processing in the DATA Step

Debugging Techniques

BY-Group Processing in the DATA Step

Introduction to BY-Group Processing

Applications Utilizing BY-Group Processing

Writing Loops in the DATA Step

Implicit and Explicit Loops

Utilizing Loops to Create Samples

Using Looping to Read a List of External Files

Array Processing

Introduction to Array Processing

Functions and Operators Related to Array Processing

Some Array Applications

Applications That Use Multi-Dimensional Arrays

Combining Data Sets

Vertically Combining Data Sets

Horizontally Combining Data Sets

Data Input and Output

Introduction to Reading and Writing Text Files

Reading Text Files

Creating Text Files

Data Step Functions

Introduction to Functions and CALL Routines

Date and Time Functions

Character Variables

Functions for Converting Variable Types

Useful SAS Procedures

Using the SORT Procedure to Eliminate Duplicate Observations

Using the COMPARE Procedure to Compare the Contents of Two Data Sets

Restructuring Data Sets Using the TRANSPOSE Procedure

Creating the User-Defined Format Using the FORMAT Procedure

Using the OPTIONS Procedure to Modify SAS System Options


Exercises appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Arthur Li is a biostatistician at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles County, California. He is also a part-time statistical programming instructor at the University of Southern California, where he received an MS in biostatistics. He often gives presentations and seminars on DATA step programming and statistical analysis using SAS software at SAS conferences.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General