Writing on SAS for R Users

It might seem counter intuitive for me to write on SAS language for R users for the following reasons-

1) I have already written 2 books on R for Springer. Clearly R is my weapon of choice for data analysis.

2) R has been quite lucrative for me in my writing. It has positioned me as one of the earliest R trainers in India. I started up R curriculum for Jigsaw Analytics and Edureka and WeekendR which means thousands of people have viewed content written by me, or a video of me speaking on R or been trained on pedagogy derived on my original work.

3) I have spoken on R at colleges like LSR , DSE, DCE- DTU, VIT, MS Ramiah and IIT Delhi

4) I am currently writing “Python for R users” for Wiley

However I am writing SAS for R users because

1) They are fundamental different languages aimed at different audiences

2) I realize students are now trained in R in the west in colleges, but a lot of corporates still use SAS because switching cost of business disruption is a lot. The benefit of analytics is much more than the expensive annual fee ( as in a few basis points as best out of Total Cost of Ownership)

3) Existing books on both SAS and R are not updated for newer packages (basically hadley and dirk are making packages faster than people can write about them)

4) India’s outsourcing hires many students and needs polyglots who know both SAS and R language. Ergo a new book.

5) I am bored and I need a challenge. Plus I always more hugs and love from SAS Institute than some package creators

The fundamental difference between R and SAS remain

1) R is object oriented and SAS is not

2) SAS is much easier to learn and R is not

3) While R refers to objects through $ and [[ ]] , SAS uses CLASS and VAR operator as parameters to various procs ( functions)

4) SAS bundling of modules can be confusing to people used to download R’s packages.

Accordingly a student of mine has been working in my direction here https://welcomedata.wordpress.com/category/sas/

We intend to create a proposal for Wiley soon. What do you think? What would you like to read?

Author: Ajay Ohri


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