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Understand The Basics Of Analytics And SAS

How to start with an analytical career? Am I making a right choice? These were million dollar questions for me when I have first time think of becoming an analytics professional. Ages have passed and the questions remain the same, as many of the aspirants keep popping the same question in many of the seminar I took.

Let me answer those by below one liner from one of giant, Salesforce, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) estimates adding analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) applications will increase their Total Addressable Market (TAM) by $13B in FY2014. (Source: Forbes)

89% of business leaders believe Big Data will revolutionize business operations in the same way the Internet did. (Source: Wikibon)

Let us start with, what is SAS, more importantly, why SAS?

If you are a programmer, you must be knowing, what UNIX is for the modern IT industry?  SAS can be described same as UNIX for Programming and IT. This is the software where whole analytics industry was built around and SAS has 55 to 60 % of market share which roughly makes around $20 billion (US). 

Everything You Need To Know About SAS

SAS as a university began it journey for a research project North Carolina State University and later become a full-fledged software and services company by 1976. SAS has started developing a solid customer base in the banking and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in academia and at numerous agencies at all levels of government. Today, SAS has line share in the analytics industry by having 55% + share in the industry of data warehousing and data mining.

How to Start with SAS, SAS Programming, SAS Certification, Know about SAS, SAS Questions Dump

Since inception, the senior management team from SAS has to lead the organization not just producing best products but to make the company the best place to work with an emphasis on culture that balances work and personal life, and encourages employees to take leadership. This was noticed by many organizations such as Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute and they named SAS as the best place to work, also  SAS got the fourth rank in Fortune magazine's top 10 list of best companies to work for in 2015. The company's low employee turnover rate is a proof of the above reorganizations & company’s commitment to its employees and, indirectly, to its customers as well. From top 100 Fortune Global 500 companies, 91 are SAS customers. SAS customers span the globe with more than 80,000 instances installed in 148 countries.

How to Start Programming in SAS with Basic Aproach

Be Familiar with Programming workspace

First thing first, lets us become familiar with SAS workspace. The SAS environment is designed to be easy to use, with windows for accomplishing all the basic SAS tasks. After you become familiar with the starting points for your SAS tasks, you are ready to use the full range of capabilities that SAS offers.

Below shown is the method for you to use SAS windows to manage your SAS session, to work with files, and to process SAS programs.

Let us begin with SAS

SAS remains the most popular and powerful tool for data management and statistical analysis. While other tools, particularly Stata, have similar capabilities and are easier to learn, most SAS experts have seen little reason to switch to SAS as SAS is a huge program and can handle any type and size of data. Many of its capabilities are geared towards the corporate environment rather than academia. But it would be impossible to cover even the most useful features in a single article. This article will focus on the data step and basics. After reading this article, you should be able to begin writing SAS programs to prepare your data for analysis right away.

Running Programs

Linux SAS does have an interactive mode, but almost all Linux SAS users prefer to use batch mode. To run SAS in batch mode, you start by writing your program using your text editor. Once your program is written, you will give the command to run it in Linux. It will run quietly without displaying anything on the screen. However, when it has finished, you will find at least one and probably two new files. One is a log file, containing a record of what SAS did. This includes any error messages, so you should always look at the log after running a SAS program. If the program produced any output, it would be saved in a lst file. Both of these are text files and can be read using the same text editor you used to write the program. They can also be viewed immediately using the more command in Linux.

Basic Concepts of SAS Programming

 

Here we have gathered some information for those students who have just started the journey of becoming SAS certified programmer. Believe me, when I have started my studies, this took almost a week of search on web and tons of reference books. Just putting all my research paper here for you guys. As a fresher programmer to understand the following basic point about SAS Programming console was a challenge.  

Components of SAS Programs

SAS programs consist of two types of steps: DATA steps and PROC (procedure) steps. These two steps, alone or combined, form most SAS programs. SAS program can consist of a DATA step, a PROC step, or any combination of DATA and PROC steps. DATA steps typically create or modify SAS data sets, but they can also be used to produce custom-designed reports. PROC steps are pre- written routines that enable you to analyze and process the data in SAS data set and to present the data in the form of a report. PROC steps sometimes create new SAS data sets that contain the results of the procedure.

What is the need of Analytics & What is making Analytics so Popular?

Analytics is used by a lot more people then we think; almost all uses analytics in one or other form to make either a business decision or personal decision. Let us say you want to go on holiday, what you do is try and search for possible holiday destination within the time and budget you have. Let’s say you being an owner of a small store observe on a daily basis your customer’s behavior& demand to adjust the stock in tread accordingly.

On the above example, you just need a rational mind to do an analysis and take an analytical decision as the amount of data which you may need to process is small in size and can be handled by any rational human mind easily. 

Let’s take another example, almost all use smartphones now a day and many apps installed on it, including weather forecasting apps, that to be repeatedly. These weather apps look very sophisticated and easy to operate. It will tell what you should carry, a sunscreen lotion or an umbrella while planning for your weekend picnic. However, hardly few of us know that the amount of data gets generated and processed to make these all weather predictions are of such a big in size that within one and half hour, it can overflow this worlds all libraries!!

Above two are extreme example of use of analytics and statistical reasoning, let us see some more,

Why to learn Analytics and especially SAS

One common question we keep encountering is what is a career path in the field of Analytics?

Career growth is relatively quite high in the field analytics compare to an MBA professional and especially for SAS programmer. A person is having a valid certification on analytics skills like Advanced Analytics, Business intelligence or data management & administrations.As we explained the career path of an analyst, one important question should be asked by one aspired to get into the field of analytics “Which is the best analytics software to learn?”

What is SAS - All you may want to know about SAS & SAS Software suites

The Beginning

The development of SAS began in 1966, the project was funded by the National Institute of Health and was originally intended to analyze agricultural data to improve crop yields. In 1972, after issuing the first release of SAS, the project lost its funding until it was funded by the University Statisticians of the Southern Experiment Stations the following year. The first versions of SAS were named after the year in which they were released.

In 1971, SAS 71 was published as a limited release. It was used only on IBM mainframes and had the main elements of SAS programming, such as the DATA step and the most common procedures in the PROC step. The following year a full version was released as SAS 72, which introduced the MERGE statement and added features for handling missing data or combining data sets. In 1976, the project out was took out of North Carolina State and incorporated SAS Institute, Inc.

Releases

In 2002 the Text Miner software was introduced. Text Miner analyzes text data like emails for patterns in Business Intelligence applications.

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