Small Book Review: The Little SAS Book

sasbook2To start learning SAS, I decided to read a book different from the dozens of SAS users manual in PDF. According to the nice Amazon reviews, I took the one from Delwiche and Slaughter: The Little SAS Book, A Programming Approach (4th ed.). The book is easily readable since it is composed of two-pages articles. Each one focuses on a specific task or function of SAS. The authors discuss about SAS Base programming notion (no Data Integration Studio or Enterprise Guide GUI). Note that they also wrote a book for Enterprise Guide.

The book is divided in 10 chapters that go through reading data sets, building reports, combining data sets, writing macros, using grahics, debugging SAS programs, etc. Some appendices are very useful such as “Coming to SAS from SPSS” and “Coming to SAS from SQL”. The last one is important since the SAS SQL langugage (PROC SQL) is slightly different from the standard SQL langugage. After working on SAS with this book for a few months I realised that it is very convenient for basic tasks. Any simple task you don’t know? Just look in the index and you will find the corresponding function. However, for more advanced topics, the book is a bit light. Well, according to the title, this seems to be normal.

The Little SAS Book is very easy to read. In addition to being easily searchable, one can read it from A to Z. Although technical, it is not boring since subjects are divided in two pages. In conclusion, the Little SAS Book is an excellent book to start SAS with. It is also a very useful companion book for basic functions. For more advanced issue, you will have to look in the SUGI papers, ask the SAS support team or find a more advanced book. To be honest I liked the book so much that I ordered the Enterprise Guide one…


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