How to learn SAS Interface

What is SAS and what it is used for

SAS or Statistical Analysis System is a software that has been designed to manage complex business analytics, manage large bodies of data and provide predictive analytics. It is operated through an interface via its own unique language or what is commonly known as Base SAS. With this software, users can:

  • Manage and organize current data according to requirements such combining it, subsetting it and creating new columns.
  • Examine date from a statistical point of view with techniques such as selecting modern and Bayesian hierarchical models.
  • Be able to access data is a range of formats such as through Excel, SAS tables as well as database files.
  • Create a comprehensive and accurate report of the findings that can be shared easily. The reports can also be saved in a wide range of formats such as RTF, PDF etc.

SAS Interface at a Glance

If you are using PC SAS or using it through a network this is the programming interface that will pop up when you start the program. The windowing environment has 5 windows open by default. The Editor, Log and Output windows are open on the right and which allow users to write code, view results and read messages from the software.

The Results and Explorer windows can be seen on the left and which are used to access files and results. Before writing a program with SAS you will need to see the data you were using. This can be done through data libraries which can be opened and accessed through the Explorer window.

SAS Windowing Environment (Display Manager)

The SAS Windowing Environment or as it is commonly known, Display Manager, is basically an interface for the software. It can be used to detect errors in SAS based programs before they are deployed, has an Explorer window that is used to locate files, several windows that are used for output and logging purposes as well as a table viewer that can be used to edit and view data sets on the program.

The system makes use of primary and internal windows but the former can be several in number and controlled by the X window manager. The latter on the other hand is controlled by the SAS system itself. The top level windows are usually the primary ones as well as most application windows that are controlled by the software program. This includes a comprehensive title bar among other options which can be manipulated at will.

SAS Enterprise Guide

The SAS Enterprise Guide that is used to write programs in the software and which can be used on Windows. Even if you do not know how to write SAS based programs you can use it but it is particularly helpful for experienced programmers. That’s because it has a number of extremely useful advanced features such as the Project Tree, Process Flow windows as well as a windowing environment for SAS etc.

The SAS Enterprise Guide can be used to run reports, organize date and without the need of code. This is one of the main reasons why this program is popular with non-programmers as well. However, experienced programmers who know the language might not prefer to use the SAS Enterprise Guide but it would be ideal to do so.

For one thing, this program offers programmers a number of ways to run code. Besides the ability to type up a program using the Display Manager, the Guide’s point and click features allow users to generate programs that can then be changed and modified later. Besides this, the program actually organizes the work done through it into separate projects for easy accessibility and to allow users to find and log programs along with results.

SAS Studio

The SAS Studio is the latest offering from SAS and it comes with Base SAS just like the Enterprise Guide and the windowing environment. It is designed to run in a browser so it can basically be used on almost all systems including a Mac. The program boasts 2 modes namely the SAS Programmer and Visual Programmer mode that brings the best of both worlds – the windowing environment and the Enterprise Guide.

SAS Code can also be generated through pre-defined tasks in the Studio which are processed on the SAS server. This is located either in a cloud based environment, installed in a localized machine or in a server in a localized environment. Once the processing is complete, the SAS Studio receives the results through the browser.

How to learn SAS interface (give some tips)

The SAS interface is basically designed to take care of a number of different functions ranging from business analytics to data management and predictive analytics. If you know data analytics, then using the software will not be difficult as such. However, if you don’t then you should enroll yourself in a program that teaches SAS training. These courses can also be taken online if you do not have the time or the budget to book a classroom course.

Besides joining a virtual or physical classroom for your training, you can also learn it yourself at home by downloading the SAS University Edition software. SAS online communities are usually enough when it comes to answering issues you might face. The bottom line is that what you want to learn will depend on how you intend to use the software. Lessons in SAS programming and Certification for certain categories is usually enough for this.


Learning how to use the SAS Interface is not difficult whether you are a programmer or not. Besides offering programmers a number of ways to generate and use code, the software is quite extensive and scalable. The interface is quite easy to use and is tantamount in offering predictive analytics that can increase a business’s bottom line and competitive advantage irrespective of industry. It does this by allowing users to combine patterns and come up with commonalities that slash the time predictions take by half.

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