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Old 12-18-2006, 07:07 AM
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ACCtuary ACCtuary is offline
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Lightbulb Simple SAS Questions

Tom - can we make this a sticky?

I just wanted people to know where they can find some answers to simple
SAS questions. Not that I mind helping, but there are so many places to search for SAS answers.

One issue is that there's so much help that new users tend to get overwhelmed early.

Getting Started from Scratch

If you're not working for a company, and wish to learn SAS, I would suggest plunking down the $125 ($100 if you buy it on sale) and buying the SAS learning edition. It's full featured enough to learn from - data sets are limited to 1500 observations, yet the system includes some good add-ons (SAS/STAT, SAS/QC, SAS/ETS) so you can learn beyond the base package. It even comes with its own book.

Resources from the SAS Institute (needs updating, as they have reorganized. These links are not guaranteed to work, but I will update them in late May)

To get quick answers, I would try in this order:

Examples of SAS Code : Definitely check this out if you've read the documentation and you want to see how the code is actually used. You can cut and paste right into your own code.

SAS Documentation - In addition to being a reference manual, there is also a "Concepts" manual here that deserves a full reading. - Main SAS Support Page

And don't forget live help. If your company has licensed SAS, support should be available.

Outside Resources

The SAS-L list (registration required to post, none to browse)

These should get you past most beginner issues.

Update! 7/22/08

There is an online forum that seems to be well populated at

There is not, however, any reef there.

Intermediate Questions

The websites from various SAS user groups have their proceedings online. Many SAS Questions concern the reading of data in various formats. The INPUT statement has many options, and requires some patience to master.

Here's a Beginner's Guide to the Input Statement

that answers many questions that have been asked on actuarialoutpost.

Do a search at SAS Global Forum Online Proceedings to find other topics of interest.

Of course, the SAS user community has a culture of being helpful, so you'll probably get your question answered even if you didn't RTFM (read the manual).

SAS Users Groups

If you use SAS reasonably frequently - or your SAS usage will extend across several projects, consider supporting your local and regional SAS Users Groups. A Google search of "SAS User Group" should turn up the ones appropriate for your area.


Always include the version of SAS you are using with any question that you ask anybody in the broader SAS community. Even if it's the same one you asked about two weeks prior

Update! 1/1/08 - Has links to many regional SAS papers - The website of an experienced SAS consultant.

Get a Date!

Q: Why is 1/1/60 the zero point for SAS Dates?

Some good resources for SAS Dates:
Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but Markov Chains excite me.

Last edited by ACCtuary; 07-22-2008 at 10:16 AM..
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