SAS for R Users

I recently managed to get a copy of SAS University Edition.  Screenshot from 2015-03-04 19:54:34

1) Here were some problems I had to resolve- The download size is 1.5 gb of a zipped file ( a virtual machine image). Since I have a internet broadband based in India it led to many failed attempts before I could get it. The unzipped file is almost 3.5 gb. You can get the download file here

Secondly the hardware needed is 64 bit, so I basically upgraded my Dell Computer. This was a useful upgrade for me anyway.

2) You can get an Internet Download Manager to resume downloading in case your Internet connection has issues downloading a 1.5 gb file in one go. For Linux you can see

and for Windows


3) I chose VM Player for Linux because I am much more comfortable with VM Player ( Desktop free version). I got that from here ~200 MB

Screenshot from 2015-03-04 19:39:17

4) Finally I installed VM Player and Open an Existing Virtual Machine to boot up SAS University Edition  Screenshot from 2015-03-04 19:43:08























I was able to open the SAS Studio at the IP Address provided.

Screenshot from 2015-03-04 21:52:32
















I downloaded a   Dataset from this collection here


6) Then I uploaded it to within the SAS Studio System

Screenshot from 2015-02-28 17:06:34Screenshot from 2015-03-03 12:29:07

7) Lastly I was able to run some basic commandsScreenshot from 2015-03-03 12:27:48

Screenshot from 2015-03-04 21:54:06

I was really impressed by the enhancements made to the interface, the ability to search command help through a drop down, the color coded editor and of course the case insensitive SAS language (though I am not a fan of the semi colon I loved using Ctrl + / for easy commenting and uncommenting)

  1. For a SAS turned R turned SAS coder- here are some views
  2. SAS has different windows for coding, log and output. R generally has one
  3. SAS is case insensitive while R is case sensitive. This is a blessing especially for variable and dataset names.
  4. SAS deals with Datasets than can be considered the same as Rs Data Frame.
  5. R’s flexibility in data types is not really comparable to SAS as it is quite fast enough.
  6. SAS has a Macro Language for repeatable tasks
  7. SQL is embedded within SAS as Proc SQL and in R through sqldf package
  8. You have to pay for each upgrade in SAS ecosystem. I am not clear on the transparent pricing, which components does what and whether they have a cloud option for renting by the hour. How about one web page that lists product description and price.
  9. SAS University Edition is a OS agnostic tool, for that itself it is quite impressive compared to say Academic Edition of Revolution Analytics.
  10. R is object oriented and uses [] and $ notation for sub objects. SAS is divided into two main parts- data and proc steps, and uses the . notation and var system
  11. SAS language has a few basic procs but many many options.
  12. How good a SAS coder you are often depends on what you can do in data manipulation in SAS Data Step
  13. Graphics is still better in R ggplot. But the SAS speed is thrilling.
  14. RAM is limited in the University Edition to 1 GB but I found that still quite fast. However I can upload only a 10 mb file to the SAS Studio for University Edition which I found reasonable for teaching purposes.



Analytics 2012 Conference


Analytics 2012 Conference

SAS and more than 1,000 analytics experts gather at

Caesars Palace
Caesars Palace

Analytics 2012 Conference Details

Pre-Conference Workshops – Oct 7
Conference – Oct 8-9
Post-Conference Training – Oct 10-12
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Keynote Speakers

The following are confirmed keynote speakers for Analytics 2012. Jim Goodnight Since he co-founded SAS in 1976, Jim Goodnight has served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.

William Hakes Dr. William Hakes is the CEO and co-founder of Link Analytics, an analytical technology company focused on mobile, energy and government verticals.

Tim Rey Tim Rey  has written over 100 internal papers, published 21 external papers, and delivered numerous keynote presentations and technical talks at various quantitative methods forums. Recently he has co-chaired both forecasting and data mining conferences. He is currently in the process of co-writing a book, Applied Data Mining for Forecasting.


Plan to come to Analytics 2012 a day early and participate in one of the pre-conference workshops or take a SAS Certification exam. Prices for all of the preconference workshops, except for SAS Sentiment Analysis Studio: Introduction to Building Models and the Business Analytics Consulting Workshops, are included in the conference package pricing. You will be prompted to select your pre-conference training options when you register.

Sunday Morning Workshop

SAS Sentiment Analysis Studio: Introduction to Building Models

This course provides an introduction to SAS Sentiment Analysis Studio. It is designed for system designers, developers, analytical consultants and managers who want to understand techniques and approaches for identifying sentiment in textual documents.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7, 8:30a.m.-12p.m. – $250

Sunday Afternoon Workshops

Business Analytics Consulting Workshops

This workshop is designed for the analyst, statistician, or executive who wants to discuss best-practice approaches to solving specific business problems, in the context of analytics. The two-hour workshop will be customized to discuss your specific analytical needs and will be designed as a one-on-one session for you, including up to five individuals within your company sharing your analytical goal. This workshop is specifically geared for an expert tasked with solving a critical business problem who needs consultation for developing the analytical approach required. The workshop can be customized to meet your needs, from a deep-dive into modeling methods to a strategic plan for analytic initiatives. In addition to the two hours at the conference location, this workshop includes some advanced consulting time over the phone, making it a valuable investment at a bargain price.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7; 1-3 p.m. or 3:30-5:30 p.m. – $200

Demand-Driven Forecasting: Sensing Demand Signals, Shaping and Predicting Demand

This half-day lecture teaches students how to integrate demand-driven forecasting into the consensus forecasting process and how to make the current demand forecasting process more demand-driven.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7; 1-5 p.m.

Forecast Value Added Analysis

Forecast Value Added (FVA) is the change in a forecasting performance metric (such as MAPE or bias) that can be attributed to a particular step or participant in the forecasting process. FVA analysis is used to identify those process activities that are failing to make the forecast any better (or might even be making it worse). This course provides step-by-step guidelines for conducting FVA analysis – to identify and eliminate the waste, inefficiency, and worst practices from your forecasting process. The result can be better forecasts, with fewer resources and less management time spent on forecasting.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7; 1-5 p.m.

SAS Enterprise Content Categorization: An Introduction

This course gives an introduction to methods of unstructured data analysis, document classification and document content identification. The course also uses examples as the basis for constructing parse expressions and resulting entities.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7; 1-5 p.m.

Introduction to Data Mining and SAS Enterprise Miner

This course serves as an introduction to data mining and SAS Enterprise Miner for Desktop software. It is designed for data analysts and qualitative experts as well as those with less of a technical background who want a general understanding of data mining.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1-5 p.m.

Modeling Trend, Cycles, and Seasonality in Time Series Data Using PROC UCM

This half-day lecture teaches students how to model, interpret, and predict time series data using UCMs. The UCM procedure analyzes and forecasts equally spaced univariate time series data using the unobserved components models (UCM). This course is designed for business analysts who want to analyze time series data to uncover patterns such as trend, seasonal effects, and cycles using the latest techniques.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1-5 p.m.

SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler

This seminar will provide a brief introduction to the use of SAS Enterprise Guide for graphical and data analysis. However, the focus will be on using SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Enterprise Miner along with the Rapid Predictive Modeling component to build predictive models. Predictive modeling will be introduced using the SEMMA process developed with the introduction of SAS Enterprise Miner. Several examples will be used to illustrate the use of the Rapid Predictive Modeling component, and interpretations of the model results will be provided.
View outline
Sunday, Oct. 7, 1-5 p.m

Saving Output in R for Presentations

While SAS language has a beautifully designed ODS (Output Delivery System) for saving output from certain analysis in excel files (and html and others), in R one can simply use the object, put it in a write.table and save it a csv file using the file parameter within write.table.

As a business analytics consultant, the output from a Proc Means, Proc Freq (SAS) or a summary/describe/table command (in R) is to be presented as a final report. Copying and pasting is not feasible especially for large amounts of text, or remote computers.

Using the following we can simple save the output  in R


> getwd()
[1] “C:/Users/KUs/Desktop/Ajay”
> setwd(“C:\Users\KUs\Desktop”)

#We shifted the directory, so we can save output without putting the entire path again and again for each step.

#I have found the summary command most useful for initial analysis and final display (particularly during the data munging step)


# I assigned a new object to the analysis step (summary), it could also be summary,names, describe (HMisc) or table (for frequency analysis),
> write.table(nams,sep=”,”,file=”output.csv”)

Note: This is for basic beginners in R using it for business analytics dealing with large number of variables.


pps: Note

If you have a large number of files in a local directory to be read in R, you can avoid typing the entire path again and again by modifying the file parameter in the read.table and changing the working directory to that folder





and so on…

maybe there is a better approach somewhere on Stack Overflow or R help, but this will work just as well.

you can then merge the objects created ajayt1 and ajayt2… (to be continued)

Faster Distinct Values using Proc Freq in SAS

I recently stumbled upon the nlevels function in SAS. It is awesome in terms of processing speed, given that the alternative is PROC SQL, COUNT(DISTINCT) etc etc

Truly the fastest way to find uniqueness in vars is use the nlevels in PROC  FREQ – and why do we need to find levels in character variables- well to check for binary variables (2 values), constants (just 1 level), and simple data analysis stuff.

See this extract from-

ods output nlevels=levels;
proc freq nlevels;
tables _char_ /noprint;

Analytics 2011 Conference


The Analytics 2011 Conference Series combines the power of SAS’s M2010 Data Mining Conference and F2010 Business Forecasting Conference into one conference covering the latest trends and techniques in the field of analytics. Analytics 2011 Conference Series brings the brightest minds in the field of analytics together with hundreds of analytics practitioners. Join us as these leading conferences change names and locations. At Analytics 2011, you’ll learn through a series of case studies, technical presentations and hands-on training. If you are in the field of analytics, this is one conference you can’t afford to miss.

Conference Details

October 24-25, 2011
Grande Lakes Resort
Orlando, FL

Analytics 2011 topic areas include:

WPS Version 2.5.1 Released – can still run SAS language/data and R

However this is what Phil Rack the reseller is quoting on

Windows Desktop Price: $884 on 32-bit Windows and $1,149 on 64-bit Windows.

The Bridge to R is available on the Windows platforms and is available for free to customers who
license WPS through MineQuest,LLC. Companies and organizations outside of North America
may purchase a license for the Bridge to R which starts at $199 per desktop or $599 per server

Windows Server Price: $1,903 per logical CPU for 32-bit and $2,474 for 64-bit.

Note that Linux server versions are available but do not yet support the Eclipse IDE and are
command line only

WPS sure seems going well-but their pricing is no longer fixed and on the home website, you gotta fill a form. Ditt0 for the 30 day free evaluation

Data File Formats

The table below provides a summary of data formats presently supported by the WPS Core module.

Data File Format Un-Compressed
Read Write Read Write
SD2 (SAS version 6 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 7 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 8 data set)
SAS7BDAT (SAS version 9 data set)
SASSEQ (SAS version 8/9 sequential file)
V8SEQ (SAS version 8 sequential file)
V9SEQ (SAS version 9 sequential file)
WPD (WPS native data set)
WPDSEQ (WPS native sequential file)
XPORT (transport format)

Additional access to EXCEL, SPSS and dBASE files is supported by utilising the WPS Engine for DB Filesmodule.

and they have a new product release on Valentine Day 2011 (oh these Europeans!)

From the press release at

WPS Version 2.5.1 Released 

New language support, new data engines, larger datasets, improved scalability

LONDON, UK – 14 February 2011 – World Programming today released version 2.5.1 of their WPS software for workstations, servers and mainframes.

WPS is a competitively priced, high performance, highly scalable data processing and analytics software product that allows users to execute programs written in the language of SAS. WPS is supported on a wide variety of hardware and operating system platforms and can connect to and work with many types of data with ease. The WPS user interface (Workbench) is frequently praised for its ease of use and flexibility, with the option to include numerous third-party extensions.

This latest version of the software has the ability to manipulate even greater volumes of data, removing the previous 2^31 (2 billion) limit on number of observations.

Complimenting extended data processing capabilities, World Programming has worked hard to boost the performance, scalability and reliability of the WPS software to give users the confidence they need to run heavy workloads whilst delivering maximum value from available computer power.

WPS version 2.5.1 offers additional flexibility with the release of two new data engines for accessing Greenplum and SAND databases. WPS now comes with eleven data engines and can access a huge range of commonly used and industry-standard file-formats and databases.

Support in WPS for the language of SAS continues to expand with more statistical procedures, data step functions, graphing controls and many other language items and options.

WPS version 2.5.1 is available as a free upgrade to all licensed users of WPS.

Summary of Main New Features:

  • Supporting Even Larger Datasets
    WPS is now able to process very large data sets by lifting completely the previous size limit of 2^31 observations.
  • Performance and Scalability Boosted
    Performance and scalability improvements across the board combine to ensure even the most demanding large and concurrent workloads are processed efficiently and reliably.
  • More Language Support
    WPS 2.5.1 continues the expansion of it’s language support with over 70 new language items, including new Procedures, Data Step functions and many other language items and options.
  • Statistical Analysis
    The procedure support in WPS Statistics has been expanded to include PROC CLUSTER and PROC TREE.
  • Graphical Output
    The graphical output from WPS Graphing has been expanded to accommodate more configurable graphics.
  • Hash Tables
    Support is now provided for hash tables.
  • Greenplum®
    A new WPS Engine for Greenplum provides dedicated support for accessing the Greenplum database.
  • SAND®
    A new WPS Engine for SAND provides dedicated support for accessing the SAND database.
  • Oracle®
    Bulk loading support now available in the WPS Engine for Oracle.
  • SQL Server®
    To enhance existing SQL Server database access, a new SQLSERVR (please note spelling) facility in the ODBC engine.

More Information:

Existing Users should visit where you can download a readme file containing more information about all the new features and fixes in WPS 2.5.1.

New Users should visit where you can explore in more detail all the features available in WPS or request a free evaluation.

and from it seems they are going on the BIG DATA submarine as well-

Data Support 

Extremely Large Data Size Handling

WPS is now able to handle extremely large data sets now that the previous limit of 2^31 observations has been lifted.

Access Standard Databases

Use I/O Features in WPS Core

  • CLIPBOARD (Windows only)
  • DDE (Windows only)
  • EMAIL (via SMTP or MAPI)
  • FTP
  • HTTP
  • PIPE (Windows and UNIX only)
  • URL

Use Standard Data File Formats