Three New Additions to my SAS Shelf
In my blog post What SAS Books Are On My Shelf, I present the SAS books that I have accumulated over time and my thoughts on them. Since then, three new additions have made their way on to my shelf. Three books on three very different subjects. In this post, I present my three new books and my thoughts on them.
The Three New Books
- High Performance SAS Coding by Christian Graffeuille. For some time, I had been looking for a SAS book with a hardware/performance perspective. For some reason, not too many are around, though performance is one of the hottest and most necessary topics to discuss at the moment. It turns out, High Performance SAS Coding was exactly what I was looking for. I have read the book cover to cover and I have to say, it is one of my new favorites. It gives you a brief introduction to the hardware of a computer or server setup. Then it goes on introducing how SAS takes advantage of these. Finally, loads of tricks and tips on how to improve the performance of programs are presented. Some more basic than others. I learned tons from this book.
- Analyzing Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves with SAS by Mithat Gonen. I use to think that Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Curves were restricted to logistic regression. Also, I have never dug deeper than thinking if the area under the curve was somewhat close to 1, my model was good. It turns out there is a lot more to learn on the topic. This book gives a nice and basic introduction to the concepts of false positives/negatives sensitivity and specificity among many other features leading to the ROC curve as a general tool for assessing predictive models. Furthermore a few macros are written to plot ROC curves and improve on curves created by various procedures. A very nice book indeed.
- Exchanging Data From SAS to Excel: The ODS Excel Destination by William E. Benjamin, Jr. I have not read this book cover to cover. I have only read the first few chapters, since I do not exchange that much data from or to Microsoft Excel. But if I did, I would use the ODS Excel Destination after reading this book. Once you are familiar with ODS destinations, using the ODS Excel destination is much easier than using PROC EXPORT as most programmers do. Worth a read. Especially if you frequently exchange data between the two platforms.
This post presented three new additions to my book shelf. There will be more additions in the future, no doubt. Of the three, the one that blew my mind the most was definitely High Performance SAS Coding by Christian Graffeuille. I read the entire book and I am going to do it again. And even if I read it 100 times, it still would not compare to the time it is going to save me, when implementing the techniques in my programs.
There are many different ways to gain SAS knowledge. Reading books is just one of them. For other great learning material, check out Learn SAS Programming.