Posted by: btadams | February 8, 2011

Welcome to VaSUG

Our Spring 2014 meeting was another great hands-on workshop at VCU on Tuesday March 11th, 2014.

VCU Engineering Esat Hall

  • Morning Session
  • How to build a macro library using %include, Autocall Library or Stored Compiled Macro Library
    Presenter: John Meyers, VCU
    While many users take advantage of the SAS® Macro Language, few take full advantage of its capabilities to build and maintain libraries of macros. Macro libraries allow you to control and manage the proliferation of your macros. Macro libraries are extremely useful, and not really all that complicated. %INCLUDE, AUTOCALL LIBRARY or STORED COMPILED MACRO FACILITY will be explained step by step, and examples will simplify the process of how to use these methods.

    Taming a Spreadsheet Importation Monster
    Presenter: Nat Wooding, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
    As many programmers have learned to their chagrin, it can be easy to read Excel spreadsheets but problems can arise when one needs to concatenate the data from two or more sheets. Unlike SAS®, Excel does not require that a column have only data of one type so as it scans the columns in a spreadsheet, SAS uses rules to decide the nature of the data in each column. Problems will occur if in one spreadsheet a column is read as characters while in other spreadsheets the data are read as numeric. If there are legitimate character data in the column, then the user will have to decide how to handle them. However, if SAS sees too many blank cells at the start of a column, the incoming variable will be in character format. This paper uses information in dictionary tables to generate SAS code that examines all of the columns (variables) in the workbook and determines which are seen in both formats. Then, data steps read in the “bad” spreadsheets using a data set option to force the problematic columns to be treated as numeric.

  • 12:00 – 01:00 Networking Lunch
  • Afternoon Session
  • A Better Way to Read the Columns Dictionary Table
    Presenter: Dylan Ellis, Senior Programmer Analyst, Mathematica Policy Research
    Dictionary tables are an essential tool for the Base SAS programmer. I will give a brief introduction for new users and then demonstrate a helpful transformation that will be valuable for all users – indeed, it has become my de facto step 1 on every assignment. I will also show a simple PROC FCMP function that will help to generalize the approach. Time permitting, I will give a quick demo of using DOSUBL to iterate over the dictionary table to drive macro processes.

    Cary at the Bat: When SAS Summary Procedures Strike Out
    Presenter: Dylan Ellis, Senior Programmer Analyst, Mathematica Policy Research
    Mighty as our Proc Freq, Means and Tabulate may be, there are some tables they just cannot produce. However if we post-process the output data set using a few string and array functions on the _TYPE_ variable, more tables can become a reality – while still being completely automated. The example I will use is a frequency table structured for filtering by variable and value in Excel. With an additional step, this approach can also yield a concise summary of survey data.

    Duplicates Unite! Combining Records to Get the Best of Both Worlds
    Presenter: Dylan Ellis, Senior Programmer Analyst, Mathematica Policy Research
    In my opinion PROC SORT NODUPKEY is tremendously overused. It provides limited information on the types of duplicates and no control over which values are kept from each record. For example, we may want to keep any non-missing information, or other more complex decision rules. I will present a simple utility involving SQL and Proc Report that provides a Stata-like summary of duplicates. Then we will compare strategies for deduplication including SQL and arrays.

    NOTE: If you would like a copy of the materials for these hands-on workshops, please send us a note at at

    Our Fall 2013 meeting was on November 13th at the Tuckahoe Public Library:

    9am – 4pm November 13th , 2013

  • 09:00 – 09:30 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 09:30 – 10:30 New Features in JMP 11
  • – Mike Drake, SAS Institute

  • 10:45 – 11:45 Quick and Dirty Excel® Workbooks Without DDE or ODS
  • – Andrea Zimmerman, CapitalOne

  • 12:00 – 01:00 Networking Lunch
  • 01:00 – 01:45 Setting up Prompts in Enterprise Guide
  • – Joe Urbi, Wellpoint

  • 02:00 – 02:45 Let SAS Do the Coding For You
  • – Robert Williams, Wellpoint

  • 03:00 – 03:45 Intro to Proc Report with Excel Output
  • – Barbara Okerson, Wellpoint

    P.S. download a 30-day evaluation copy of JMP 11 so you can play along with Mike!

    Tuckahoe Public Library
    1901 Starling Drive
    Richmond, VA


    Our Summer 2013 meeting was another great hands-on workshop at VCU! Thanks again to Joan Einsman and the VCU IT staff for all their help in arranging this workshop!

    9am – 4pm August 28th, 2013
    Cabell Library, Room 320
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    901 Park Ave.
    Richmond, VA


  • 09:00 – 10:00 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 10:00 – 11:30 SAS® Enterprise Guide® 5.1: A Powerful Environment for Programmers, Too!
    – Marje Fecht, Prowerk Consulting
  • 11:30 – 1:00 Networking Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 >SAS® Enterprise Guide® 5.1: A Powerful Environment for Programmers, Too!
    – Marje Fecht, Prowerk Consulting

  • 02:45 – 4:00 Coder’s Corner Tips & Tricks


    VCU Cabell Library

    Special thanks to our Corporate Sponsor Randstad for sponsoring this meeting!
    VaSUG Sponsors

    Calling all SAS Geeks! Join us for a home brew and come ready to discuss the new features of SAS 9.4 and Enterprise Guide 5.1!

    Location: Legend’s Brewery
    Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 at 5 PM

    Our Last Meeting: July 14th, 2011 Special Event. Handouts for the workshop can be downloaded below.

    Title: An Introduction to Creating Multi-Sheet Microsoft Excel Workbooks the Easy Way With SAS®

    Abstract: Transferring SAS data and analytical results between SAS and Microsoft Excel can be difficult, especially when SAS is not installed on a Windows platform. This workshop provides basic information on how to use Base SAS®9 software to create multi-sheet Microsoft Excel workbooks (for Excel versions 2002 and later). You will learn techniques for quickly and easily creating attractive, multi-sheet Excel workbooks that contain your SAS output using the ExcelXP ODS tagset. The techniques that are presented in this talk can be used regardless of the platform on which SAS software is installed. You can even use them on a mainframe! More in-depth information on this topic will also be presented as time permits.

    Bio: Vince DelGobbo is a Senior Systems Developer in the Web Tools group at SAS. This group is responsible for developing the SAS/IntrNet Application Dispatcher and SAS Stored Processes. He is the developer for the HTML Formatting Tools and the SAS Design-Time Controls, and is developing other new Web- and server-based technologies, as well as integrating SAS output with Microsoft Office. He is also involved in the development of the ExcelXP ODS tagset. Vince has been a SAS Software user since 1982, and joined SAS in 1992.


    The hand-outs for the Hands-on Workshop can be downloaded below:
    Powerpoint Presentation

    Introduction to ExcelXP Tagsets Handout

    Vince DelGobbo’s ExcelXP Tagset Paper Index

    You can view a recording of a previous presentation by clicking the “View Now” link on this page:
    An Introduction to Creating Multi-Sheet Microsoft Excel Workbooks the Easy Way with SAS®

    Special thanks to our Corporate Partners SunTrust, Smith Hanley, and TEK Systems for sponsoring this meeting!
    VaSUG SponsorsVaSUG Sponsors


    SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. (r) indicates USA registration.



  • Posted by: btadams | February 8, 2011

    The Joy of Stats

    Hans Rosling brings sexy back to the world of statistics:

    Posted by: btadams | September 25, 2010

    Peter Donnelly shows how stats fool juries

    Peter Donnelly shows how stats fool juries

    Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics — and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials

    Posted by: btadams | August 24, 2010

    David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization

    Another interesting talk on data visualization:

    Posted by: btadams | March 4, 2010

    Is Pivot a turning point for web exploration?

    Another amazing innovation for web data analysis:

    Posted by: btadams | September 10, 2009

    New: Opportunities Page

    If you know of any SAS employment or training opportunities, please post them on the Opportunities page (on the right-hand sidebar under About)

    Posted by: btadams | September 10, 2009

    Let my dataset change your mindset

    A truly inspiring, must-watch presentation that makes me proud to be a number-crunching geek:

    Hans Rosling



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