04 Apr

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Fourth Edition

Available at Amazon.com

Available at Amazon.com

This is the kind of technical book that I really like.  It takes a topic, breaks it into simple and logical chunks and rolls through them with an example for each.  And, it does a good job of it.

First, this book is not an in-depth comprehensive review of statistics.  It’s directed at the SAS language, and for the most part, lines up nicely with the SAS Base certification.

Second, it’s not a deep review of the SAS language.  It takes you through most of the basics into some slightly more advanced topics.  As a starter kit, which is what it’s meant to be, it’s really good.

Third, and I’ve seen this put some people off, it has a relatively casual style to it.  I happen to like that style of writing.  I don’t need to read another stale author (especially since I have to proofread the stuff I write).  I’d rather read a book with examples from a frog jumping contest, than some of the alternatives.  It’s just plain more interesting.

Now, with the semi-negative out-of-the-way, here’s is what the book does.  It takes you through a series of examples, around 100, give or take, using SAS.  Most, but not all, of the chapters / sections are only a couple of pages in length, usually, two.  The examples are quick, easy to follow and well done for the most part.

The book covers the following topics:

  • Data sets
  • PROC SORT, PROC PRINT and a few others.
  • ODS
  • Combining data sets.
  • SAS Macros.
  • Graphing.
  • Exporting data.
  • Debugging data.

Like I said earlier, it’s not in-depth, but as a companion to the SAS Base Certification Guide, or as introduction to the language, it’s an excellent buy.  I have no problems recommending this book to someone wanting to learn SAS.

There is one negative about the book, it’s not cheap.  This, unfortunately, is a consistent trend with SAS books.  However, unlike the SAS certification books, this one is available used at a reduced price.  You can get it at the link below:

The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Fourth Edition

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