Posted by: btadams | November 3, 2016

Fall VASUG Meeting 2016, Nov. 21

Our Fall 2016 meeting will be on Monday, November 21. We look forward to seeing you there!


Date: November 21, 2016
Tuckahoe Library, Large Meeting Room
1901 Starling Dr.
Henrico, VA 23229-4564
(804) 290-9100

2:30 – 3:00 Meet and Greet
3:00 – 4:00  Dr. Martin Trevino, Technical Director / Mission Analytics, National Security Agency (NSA) will present “The use of Analytics and Methodologies for Strategic Organizational Outcomes.” A news article on his work is at A great quote from the article is: “at the National Security Agency (NSA), decisions that might have taken up to seven months now can be made in as little as seven days.”

Dr. Marty Trevino is the Technical Director and Senior Strategist for Cryptologic Assessments and Performance for the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States. Dr. Trevino’s holds multiple university degrees including a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), a hybrid Master of Science and the Arts in Military History / International Political Development, and a Doctoral degree of Business Intelligence. Dr. Trevino is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and is a recognized expert in Strategy, Analytics, and the design of organizations.

During his 25-year career, Dr. Trevino has led strategy formulation on a global scale as well as the conceptualization and development of advanced business intelligence platforms. Today, Dr. Trevino’s work focuses on the use of Big Data and Visual Analytics to improve strategic decision making and the design / optimization of mission sets. Dr. Trevino liaisons with government agencies, university researchers, the national labs and commercial for profit firms to leverage products, technologies and expertise for strategic outcomes.

4:05 – 4:20 David Phillips, Enterprise Data Architect, Virginia Commonwealth University will present, “Tips on External Data Wrangling and Data Sharing”. Data wrangling is the process of obtaining data from many different sources and complimenting it with your own. Sub-topics include pre-made data interface displays from third parties, data repositories, making your data easy to share, and using SAS to integrate third party data. David has ten years of experience in many areas of data. He specializes in data architecture and data re-engineering. He has a master’s in Information Systems, certified Microsoft Database Administrator (MSDBA), and certified SAS base programmer.

4:20 – 4:30 VASUG Business Meeting (Officer Election).

4:30 – 5:00 Nat Wooding, J Sargeant Reynolds Community College will present “How to handle dates with SAS (note that I did not say SAS dates)”. After counting fish and other environmental things for Dominion’s environmental group for over 35 years, Nat moved on to counting students about 5 years ago. He has a master’s in zoology from NCSU and has been working with SAS since around 1970. He is a member of the SAS/L Hall of Fame.

Intended Audience: This meeting is geared toward those interested in significantly changing the culture of data in their own organization. Nat’s presentation is for SAS programmers who are new to working with dates in SAS.



On September 12, 2016, Mark Jordan of the SAS Institute will demo SAS Studio.

Tuckahoe Library, Large Meeting Room
1901 Starling Dr.
Henrico, VA 23229-4564
(804) 290-9100

Meet and Greet 2:30 – 3:00
SAS Studio Demo 3:00 – 5:00

Intended Audience: Enterprise Guide users, SAS administrators or those looking at software selection, point and click users, SAS programmers looking for efficient methods.

SAS Studio Description:
“A developmental web application for SAS that you access through your web browser. With SAS Studio, you can access your data files, libraries, and existing programs, and you can write new programs. You can also use the predefined tasks in SAS Studio to generate SAS code for you. When you run a program or task, SAS Studio processes the SAS code on a SAS server. The SAS server can be a server in a cloud environment, a server in your local environment, or SAS installed on your local machine. After the code is processed, the results are returned to SAS Studio in your browser.”

Mark Jordan:
“Mark Jordan (a.k.a. SAS Jedi) grew up in northeast Brazil as the son of Baptist missionaries. He served 20 years as a US Navy submariner, pursuing his passion for programming as a hobby. Upon retiring from the Navy in 1994, he turned his hobby into a dream job and has been a SAS programmer ever since.

Mark writes and teaches a broad spectrum of SAS Foundation programming classes, and is proud to announce his first book”,“Mastering the SAS® DS2 Procedure: Advanced Data Wrangling Techniques”.


Posted by: btadams | February 8, 2011

Welcome to VaSUG

Lemon Cuisine of India
Lemon Cuisine of India, 3215 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA

Join us for a special networking dinner at Lemon Cuisine of India (voted best Indian cuisine in Richmond 2016) on July 13 from 7:00 to 9:00. This is an opportunity for all types of SAS users to share data stories and get to know each other. Families are welcome.
Please RSVP by email if you intend to attend so we can make a better estimate on how many seats to reserve. Thanks!

Glen Allen Public Library, 10501 Staples Mill Rd.
Glen Allen, VA

Join us for a special presentation with Mark Jordan from SAS Institute. DS2 is SAS’s next generation, DATA step-like programming language which enables easy parallel processing and advanced data manipulation. SAS programs which perform computationally complex data processing on large data sets can demonstrate dramatically improved performance when re-written in DS2.

Our Summer 2016 meeting will be on June 3rd at the Glen Allen Public Library:

10am – 3pm June 3rd, 2016

  • 10:00 – 10:30 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 10:30 – 12:00 Introduction to DS2 and Hadoop Part 1 – Mark Jordan, SAS Institute
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Networking Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Introduction to DS2 and Hadoop Part 2 – Mark Jordan, SAS Institute
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Q/A and book signing

Please RSVP by email if you intend to attend so we can make a better estimate on how many pies to order. Thanks!

Presenter Bio
Mark Jordan: Mark is the author of multiple SAS tutorials and a SAS trainer since 2006. He is also a former board member of VaSUG. His book Mastering the SAS DS2 Procedure Advanced Data Wrangling Techniques, will be available at the end of May 2016.

His full bio can be seen here and here

Presentation Description:
In this power tour of the new DS2 programming language you’ll learn that when accessing Hadoop data you don’t have to settle for fixed-width character and floating point numeric. Instead access and manipulate the data at full precision using ANSI data types like DECIMAL, BIGINT, and VARCHAR. Then learn to break the “speed barrier” by converting a compute-intensive CPU-bound DATA step into simple-to-write DS2 threads, and process several observations in parallel.

Format: Hands on optional / presentation

(For optimal learning bring a laptop with either Enterprise Guide, Base SAS, or SAS Studio. You do not need to bring a laptop to learn from the presentation.)

Target Audience: Users with some DATA step and SQL experience.


Special thanks to our Corporate partner TEK Systems for sponsoring this meeting!
VaSUG Sponsors

Tuckahoe Public Library, 1901 Starling Drive, Richmond, VA


Our Spring 2016 meeting will be on March 1st at the Tuckahoe Public Library:

9am – 4pm March 1st, 2016

  • 09:00 – 09:30 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Not-so-visible pitfalls in procedure SQL and data steps – Dr. Khoi Dinh To, VCU
  • 10:35 – 11:00 VaSUG Business Meeting
  • 11:10 – 11:40 Customizing data mapping with SAS graphs and annotation data sets – Khoi Dinh To, VCU
  • 11:45 – 12:15 Using validation tables and macros to automate traffic lighting in procedure report – Khoi Dinh To, VCU
  • 12:15- 01:10 Networking Pizza Lunch
  • 01:10 – 02:10 Round Table Discussion
  • 02:15- 02:45 Miscellaneous SAS Programming topics – Dr. Khoi Dinh To, VCU
  • 02:50- 03:45 Using Web Report Studio like Information Delivery Portal – David Phillips, VCU

Please RSVP by email if you intend to attend so we can make a better estimate on how many pies to order. Thanks!

Presenter Bios

Khoi To is a senior research analyst in the Office of Planning and Decision Support at Virginia Commonwealth University. His responsibilities include managing, manipulating, and doing analytical research and statistical modelling with data related to students, faculty, and institutional operations.

Before moving to Virginia, Khoi worked at Dartmouth College and the University of Alabama. He earned a doctoral degree in Higher Education Research from the University of Georgia and is a certified SAS user (Base/Advanced/Clinical Trials/Regression and Modeling).

David is the interim president for the Virginia SAS Users Group and Business Intelligence Analyst at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He has 10 years of professional experience in many areas of data including:  data architecture, data warehousing, analytics, and data administration.   He has a background in SAS, Oracle, SQL Server, and half a dozen programming languages.  His focus at Virginia Commonwealth University is architecting an integrated academic data environment and optimizing the use of analytics tools.  He has a MS in information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University and certified Microsoft DBA.  Outside of the data world he dances socially twenty hours a week.


Special thanks to our Corporate partner TEK Systems for sponsoring this meeting!
VaSUG Sponsors

Tuckahoe Public Library, 1901 Starling Drive, Richmond, VA

Our Summer 2015 meeting will be on June 30th at the Tuckahoe Public Library: Join us for a full day of in-depth presentations with Andrew Karp from Sierra Data Science

9am – 4pm June 30th, 2015

  • 09:00 – 09:30 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 09:30 – 11:45 Working with Dates and Times in SAS Software: The Basics and Beyond – Andrew Karp, Sierra Data Science
  • Among the topics we will cover are:
    1) Core concepts for SAS date, time and datetime variable handling
    2) Using Formats to display the values of date and time data in your
    SAS-generated reports/analyses
    3) Grouping/aggregating your data using internal and custom SAS Formats
    4) Extracting rows of data from a larger file based on date and/or time
    values for inclusion in another file
    5) Creating customized formats for non-standard date ranges, such as
    fiscal years and quarters
    6) Calculating the number of time intervals between two dates using SAS
    7) Determining a future date (e.g., 30 weekdays) from an existing SAS date
  • 12:00 – 01:00 Networking Lunch with Pizza
  • 01:00 – 03:45 PROC SGPLOT – Andrew Karp, Sierra Data Science
  • 1) PROC SGPLOT concepts
    2) PROCs EXPAND and SGPLOT: The Dynamic Duo of Time Series Data Display
    3) Using PROC SGPLOT with PROC MEANS-generated Data Sets

For those who do not know Andrew, he is an independent trainer and SAS
consultant who has provided training for a number of corporations as well as
state governments and federal agencies and on occasion teaches and lectures
abroad. He has been selected by SAS Institute for its Circle of Excellence, recognizing his long-term expertise with SAS Software along with his many contributions to the SAS user community. We are extremely lucky to have him offer to do these presentations at no charge to VASUG. Without considering travel, attending two classes like these would ordinarily be expensive so we are very fortunate to have him offer to present them free of charge.

The handout for each of these presentations will be over a hundred pages so we will need a very good idea of how many copies to print. Printed copies of the handouts will only be available to those who register in advance. Please register for this meeting at the link below

Register for VaSUG Summer Meeting

Details are not yet final but since printing costs will be significant, we
may ask for a small donation to defray some of the expense.

NOTE: The intersection of Parham and Starling Drive has changed quite a bit. The Topeka’s Steakhouse has been replaced by an Aldi’s Food Market.

Special thanks to our Corporate partner TEK Systems for sponsoring this meeting!
VaSUG Sponsors

Tuckahoe Public Library, 1901 Starling Drive, Richmond, VA


Our Winter 2014 meeting will be on December 4th at the Tuckahoe Public Library: Join us for a FREE LUNCH and Board Member Elections!

9am – 4pm December 4th, 2014

  • 09:00 – 09:30 Morning Networking Meet & Greet
  • 09:30 – 9:45 Board Member Elections
  • 09:45 – 10:00 Report on the SAS User Group Summit
  • 10:00 – 10:45 Getting the Warm and Fuzzy Feeling with Inexact Matching – Nat Wooding, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
  • 11:00 – 11:55 Oh, The Places You’ll Go: A Primer for SAS Resources, Tips and Hints – Lynn Thompson,
  • 12:00 – 01:00 Free Lunch! Networking with Pizza
  • 01:00 – 01:45 SAS Macro Variables: Symbol Tables, Scope and Documentation – John Meyers, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 02:00 – 02:45 Time Series Mapping with SAS®: Visualizing Geographic Change over Time in the Health Insurance Industry – Barbara Okerson, Wellpoint
  • 03:00 – 03:45 Census Bureau’s ACS Summary File Retrieval Tool – Ally Burleson-Gibson, U.S. Census Bureau

Please RSVP by email if you intend to attend so we can make a better estimate on how many pies to order. Thanks!

Special thanks to our Corporate partner TEK Systems for sponsoring this meeting!
VaSUG Sponsors


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


– Andrea Zimmerman, CapitalOne

  • 12:00 – 01:00 Networking Lunch




– Joe Urbi, Wellpoint


– Robert Williams, Wellpoint


– 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



  • 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