SAS

Blogs on the SAS software

Skew this

September 21, 2014
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Skew this

The skewness of a distribution indicates whether a distribution is symmetric or not. A distribution that is symmetric about its mean has zero skewness. In contrast, if the right tail of a unimodal distribution has more mass than the left tail, then the distribution is said to be "right skewed" […]

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The frequency of letters in an English corpus

September 19, 2014
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The frequency of letters in an English corpus

It's time for another blog post about ciphers. As I indicated in my previous blog post about substitution ciphers, the classical substitution cipher is no longer used to encrypt ultra-secret messages because the enciphered text is prone to a type of statistical attack known as frequency analysis. At the root […]

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Read from one data set and write to another with SAS/IML

September 17, 2014
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Read from one data set and write to another with SAS/IML

Many people know that the SAS/IML language enables you to read data from and write results to multiple SAS data sets. When you open a new data set, it is a good programming practice to close the previous data set. But did you know that you can have two data […]

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Handling run-time errors in user-defined modules

September 15, 2014
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Handling run-time errors in user-defined modules

I received the following email from a SAS/IML programmer: I am getting an error in a PROC IML module that I wrote. The SAS Log says NOTE: Paused in module NAME When I submit other commands, PROC IML doesn't seem to understand them. How can I continue the program? The […]

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An exploratory technique for visualizing the distributions of 100 variables

September 10, 2014
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An exploratory technique for visualizing the distributions of 100 variables

In a previous blog post I showed how to order a set of variables by a statistic. After reshaping data, you can create a graph that contains box plots for many variables. Ordering the variables by some statistic (mean, median, variance,...) helps to differentiate and distinguish the variables. You can […]

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Order variables by values of a statistic

September 8, 2014
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Order variables by values of a statistic

When I create a graph of data that contains a categorical variable, I rarely want to display the categories in alphabetical order. For example, the box plot to the left is a plot of 10 standardized variables where the variables are ordered by their median value. The ordering makes it […]

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Ciphers, keys, and cryptoquotes

September 4, 2014
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Ciphers, keys, and cryptoquotes

Today is my fourth blog-iversary: the anniversary of my first blog post in 2010. To celebrate, I am going to write a series of fun posts based on The Code Book by Simon Singh, a fascinating account of the history of cryptography from ancient times until the present. While reading […]

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How to create a hexagonal bin plot in SAS

September 2, 2014
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How to create a hexagonal bin plot in SAS

While I was working on my recent blog post about two-dimensional binning, a colleague asked whether I would be discussing "the new hexagonal binning method that was added to the SURVEYREG procedure in SAS/STAT 13.2." I was intrigued: I was not aware that hexagonal binning had been added to a […]

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Counting observations in two-dimensional bins

August 27, 2014
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Counting observations in two-dimensional bins

Last Monday I discussed how to choose the bin width and location for a histogram in SAS. The height of each histogram bar shows the number of observations in each bin. Although my recent article didn't mention it, you can also use the IML procedure to count the number of […]

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Choosing bins for histograms in SAS

August 25, 2014
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Choosing bins for histograms in SAS

When you create a histogram with statistical software, the software uses the data (including the sample size) to automatically choose the width and location of the histogram bins. The resulting histogram is an attempt to balance statistical considerations, such as estimating the underlying density, and "human considerations," such as choosing […]

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