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Archive of Past Presentations

05Mar1999 Meeting

Additions to the SAS System including ODS
Paul Kent, SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC

The BASE procedures group (a.k.a. Information Products) at SAS Institute has been hard at work adding new and useful features to the heart of the SAS System. Covered are:

  • General additions to SAS Software that should make the programmers life an easier one.
  • New SUMMARY/TABULATE options like percentiles, independent ordering of class variables, and the pre loading of the class-variable space using formats and/or a data sets of desired class level values.
  • The ODS statement for producing output data sets and HTML output from all SAS procedures, High Fidelity Printing and more. ODS is an acronym for Output Delivery System.
  • ODS specific additions to PROC REPORT, PROC TABULATE and the SAS/Graph Procedures.

Paul has been a SAS User for almost 20 years and has worked for SAS Institute far longer than he thought he'd hold any single job. Paul's previous contributions to SAS Software include PROC SQL; the WHERE Clause and TCP/IP connectivity. Currently Paul manages the developers responsible for ODS and the majority of BASE SAS Procedures.


What Your Mother Never Told You About the Query Window
Janet E. Stuelpner, ASG, Inc., Cary, NC

The query window is a point and click way to extract data from a table. With very little instructions, you can create an SQL program to gather data, manipulate it and create reports. Does it have limitations? The answer to that is yes. Is there a work around for those limitations? The answer is also yes. This presentation will explore what some of the limitations are in the query window and how to program around them.

Janet Stuelpner provides programming support for clients in may industries that include: pharmaceutical, banking, brokerage. She also provides both individual and group technical training when needed at the client sites. Janet has several degrees in the sciences and has been a SAS user for 18 years. She has experience in the MVS, UNIX, OS/2 and Windows environments. Originally a systems programmer, she has now turned her focus to applications programming. In the last several years, she has given many presentations at local, regional and national conferences and has been a frequent presenter to our group.



11Jun1999 Meeting

The New FDA Industry Guidelines for Electronic Regulatory Submissions
Rich Vachal, President Industry Dynamics Associates

In January 1999, the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) published its new Industry Guidelines for providing Regulatory Submissions in Electronic Format. This presentation will provide an overview of the key concepts contained in these Guidelines and discuss specific compliance issues with respect to bundling SAS datasets, programs and documentation along with the electronic dossier. It will conclude with a short demonstation of a guidelines-compliant integrated review environment utilizing SAS, Microsoft Explorer and Acrobat Reader.

Rich Vachal is President of Industry Dynamics Associates, Inc. located in Somerset, NJ. Since 1984 IDA has operated as a pharmaceutical industry technical support firm specializing in SAS analytical programming and e-submission software verification and packaging services. He has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the College of William and Mary and a graduate training in econometrics and statistics from Rutgers.


PROC LP for Dummies -or- How to decide which NFL games to attend
Bob Bertolatus, Consultant

In the March NJSUG newsletter, I proposed a problem for solution in my "Mind Iron" article below. After receiving no answers I decided to "tackle" it myself. The selection of fifteen football games to attend in seventeen weeks of football season is a task we can understand.

  • On "1st down", the topic of Operations Research will be introduced.
  • Secondly, the data step programming required to present the problem to PROC LP will be attempted.
  • On third, we will plunge into the problem with varying preferences for the 1998 season.
  • Finally, we'll go for broke and modify our work to solve for 1999 schedule (with 31 teams).

Bob, who serves on the executive board of NJSUG, has been a computer consultant since 1985, working mostly in the SAS environment. He also teaches Computer Fundamentals and SAS at Raritan Valley Community College in North Branch. Bob received his B.S. and M.S. from Rutgers University in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research.

Mind Iron
Bob Bertolatus (title refers to pumping iron for the mind, i.e. mental exercise)

I've come up with an intriguing task that I'd like to present as a challenge to the New Jersey SAS Users Group. Suppose one wanted to truly experience the NFL and see each of the thirty teams in action, in person. Can it be done ? It seems possible because to see thirty teams, you need to attend fifteen games. The NFL season extends for seventeen weeks. So this task should have a solution ( if not many).

Reflecting back to the simpler times of my past when I studied Operations Research, I recognize this as the type of problem that OR solved. But back in the 70s, we only formulated the problem, maybe tried a 3x3 by hand and that was the end of it. Your mission ( if you decide to accept ) is to pick only one game each week to attend to see all thirty teams once and only once. Once the problem is formulated, various constraints can be added to truly flex your noggin:

  • Avoid/prefer Monday or Sunday night games ( & Thurs & Sat ), 1:00 pm vs 4:00 pm games
  • Avoid/prefer artificial turf - domed stadiums
  • Moderate/extreme temperatures ( North in September, South in December or vice versa )
  • Minimize travel ( like analyst John Madden traveling by bus )
  • Try to see the weaker teams at home to enjoy closer games ( maybe cheaper tickets )
  • Try to see evenly/poorly matched games
  • Start in week three, then go to for 15 straight weeks
  • Prefer smaller or larger cities

The data can be grabbed from the WWW. Use the 1998 season. Here is a 1998 schedule file with the schedule and additional information about the teams ( New! 31Mar99 ). If you so desire, your efforts can be published here to strut your mental physique in front of your peers ( email me). Have fun!



15Sep1999 Meeting

Longitudinal Data Techniques: Looking Across Observations
Ronald P. Cody, Ed.D, Dept. of Environmental and Community Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

One of the most difficult tasks for a SASŪ programmer is to perform operations across multiple observations. For example, you may have a data set of patient visits, with a variable number of visits per patient and the data for each visits stored in a separate observation. Some of the techniques for working with such data include the RETAIN statement, FIRST. and LAST. logical variables, the LAG function, and the use of multiple SET statements (each with a separate FIRSTOBS= option). Other techniques for summarizing data for each patient (such as the number of visits, the mean and median of some variables) involve procedures such as PROC FREQ, PROC MEANS and PROC UNIVARIATE to output summary data sets. This talk will demonstrate and discuss these techniques.

Dr. Ron Cody is an Associate Professor in the department of Environmental and Community Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey. He has been a SAS user for more than 20 years and is the author of Applied Statistics and the SASŪ Programming Language (fourth edition), published by Prentice Hall. Along with Ray Pass, he has written a book called SASŪ Programming by Example, a book of annotated SAS examples, published by the SAS Institute as part of their Books by Users series. His latest books, also published by the SAS Institute, are The SAS Workbook, and the SAS Workbook: Solutions. He is currently under contract with the SAS Institute for a book on Data Cleaning Techniques. Ron has presented invited papers for numerous local, regional, and national SAS conferences.


Discontented with PROC CONTENTS? Expand it with FMTLIB
Irene Mendelson

In the pharmaceutical industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidelines on the documentation it wants to accompany data and programs to support the electronic form of a New Drug Application (NDA) on CD-ROM. In short, the FDA thinks that PROC CONTENTS is not enough to tell the whole story on a data set and wants to see all of the values and codes for any formats used.

The key is to tap into information about the data set and its variables that is displayed in PROC CONTENTS and into information about variable formats and values displayed through special options on PROC FORMAT. These two information sources can be joined together using PROC SQL, output into a spreadsheet, and then copied and pasted into Word, where some final editing may be required. Although this does require a few steps, the benefits of this degree of automation are clear when facing manually combining PROC CONTENTS and PROC FORMAT output for many data sets with many variables, as is typically the case with a drug submission.
Although this technique was developed specifically for the submission of the electronic form of a New Drug Application (NDA) on CD-ROM, it has wider application for others who are discontented with what PROC CONTENTS has to offer.

Irene Mendelson was first introduced to SAS in 1987 and has used it off and on since then in her work in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently an independent consultant doing clinical trials programming support at a major pharmaceutical company. Her areas of interest include SAS/GRAPH, SAS Macro, and SAS/FSP. She was an invited speaker for three straight SUGIs, giving various papers and a hands-on workshop. She has also given papers at NESUG, NYASUG, and NJSUG. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the NorthEast SAS Users Group and is fulfilling the User Group liaison role, and was the Conference Co-Chair for NESUG'98 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.