SAS is a software suite that can manage, mine, alter and retrieve data from a wide range of data sources and is even capable of performing statistical analysis on it. For non-technical users, SAS also provides a graphical point-and-click user interface and many more through the SAS language.

SAS User Interface helps perform interactive data analysis and provides a graphical representation of the program running. SAS User Interface touched amazing hikes in the last few years and is still on the booming end. 

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What Is SAS Interface?

When there's a need to analyze the data interactively, SAS Interface comes up for this role. To be specific, it's the prominent face behind which the complete execution of programs occurs. 

SAS provides a graphical way of running tasks for an easy understanding and convenient approach. There are many different windows in the SAS Interface that perform their respective functions. In simple terms, SAS is one of the most valuable languages that helps users with a non-programming technical background.

SAS Windows

When you enter the SAS environment, the first window you see is the SAS Windows with a lot of detailed functioning. In the right of the window, you will see a Work Area, and this is used for writing the required code and then executing it for desired output. In the left of the window, you will see the Navigation Pane. This pane navigates different programming features. 

Code Auto-Completion

It is similar to the prompt on your mobile phone that suggests possible commands you want to input. When you start writing your code, it presents a list of commands with the same starting letter. It makes code writing easy and also prevents the wrong syntax. You will also see a proper and thoroughly detailed explanation of all the SAS syntax and the suggestions.

Example: To call 'procedure' in SAS, you need to enter the ‘Proc’ keyword.

Executing SAS Program

The most crucial feature of SAS Programming is easy and simple statements. For executing a SAS Program, you just need to write a ‘Run’ statement. SAS also supports the graphical presentation of Run. You just have to click the first icon from the left pane to use it. 

Shortcut to Run a SAS Program:  Press F3 to run the SAS program after completion.

Inbuilt Functionalities of SAS 

Another amazing part about SAS is in-built functionalities support. There are two different sections of a function in SAS. These are:

  • Function Name: The name of the SAS function (built-in).
  • Argument: To take instructional action, you need to provide value to the function, and this value is nothing but the Argument. 

An argument could be:

  • Variable
  • Constant Expression
  • Another Function

To simplify things for the system and the user, functions are divided into four categories depending on the data type you want to input. These are:

  • Date and Time Functions
  • Character Functions
  • Mathematical Functions
  • Truncation Functions

Date and Time Functions

To process the date and time values, you can use the Date and Time functions. Below we have listed the various built-in Date and Time functions to manipulate values (only date and time) in SAS- 

  • Today: This function returns the current date. The format of the date is in SAS date format.
  • INTCK: This function returns the numeric count of the total number of months or years in between two dates.
  • Time: This function returns the current time. The time format is in the SAS time format.
  • Weekday: This function returns the weekday of a given date.

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Character Functions

To work with character or string values, you have to use the Character Functions. You don't need separate functions to manipulate String and Character; you can do them by Character Functions themselves in SAS. 

Different Character Functions that you can use in SAS are:

  • LOWCASE: Using this function, you can convert all the string letters in lower case if they are in uppercase. Lowercase letters will remain as it is. 
  • UPCASE: Using this function, you can convert all the letters of string in upper case if they are in uppercase. Uppercase letters will remain as it is. 
  • PROPCASE: This function will convert the first letter of each string into the upper case, and the rest stays as it is. 
  • REVERSE: This function will reverse the case of the letters of a string.
  • SCAN: This function returns the particular string value of a given index.

Mathematical Functions

Mathematical Functions are those sets of functions that you can use only on numeric or variable values to perform the required calculation. 

These are various SAS built-in Mathematical Functions that you can use for specific calculations- 

  • MAX: This function returns the maximum value from the given list of variable values.
  • MIN: This function returns the minimum value from the given list of variable values.
  • SQRT: This function returns the square root of the sum of all variable values at once.
  • RANUNI: This function returns a random value from any set of numeric values. 
  • MEDIAN: This function first calculates the median value of all variable values and then returns it. 

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Truncation Functions

To truncate numeric values as per your requirement, you must use Truncation Functions. Below is the list of built-in Truncation Functions in SAS- 

  • Round: This function returns the nearest figure of the given integer value.
  • Int: This function returns the numeric value before the decimal of the number given
  • Ceil: This function returns the largest value nearest the given integer value.
  • Floor: This function returns the largest value smallest to the given integer value.
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SAS is one of the most versatile languages because of its very compatible user interface. The best feature is the graphical user interface from the list of features SAS offers. To uplift your journey as a data professional, learning SAS User Interface is quite necessary.  

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