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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars19
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on January 22, 2004
Once upon a time, I could not recommend this book highly enough. That's the problem--"once upon a time". In 2004, this book violates what I consider an overriding consideration for instruction books: Never distract the new user with picky details that s/he'll will rarely need in practice.
The first few chapters are written using INPUT and DATALINES; commands to enter data. For those unfamiliar with SAS, that means the authors enter all of their data as lines of text typed inside their command language. No one works that way any more! It's a hold over from the days of punchcards. Does the new user really need to know that
means "look in columns 1-3 for a numerical id, columns 4-5 for numerical age, and column 6 for a character designating gender"? When the 4-th edition was written, the answer might have been yes, but even then it would have been given grudgingly. For more than a few years, data almost always arrive as data sets that have already been made into SAS files or as spreadsheets that can be imported directly into SAS. This method of data input would not be a fatal flaw if the material were in a later chapter or an appendix, but it's woven throughout the text starting with the first example on page 3.
I would love to see this book updated with a more modern view to how data are processed and analyzed, but I can no longer recommend it in its current form.
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on December 7, 1999
Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language by Cody and Smith is a good introduction to the SAS language. This book, while giving a good intro to stats with SAS, is not for everyone. Those with no prior programming experience, particularly with SAS would be better off trying Hatcher and Stepanski's book first (isbn 1-55544-634-5). For those with some SAS knowledge already, this is a great book. It is limited in that some of the finer details of the functioning of the program examples are not explained in full detail. Usually only a brief description of what part of a program example does is given, rather than an explanation of the logic and sequence of how it works and how to generalize it to other examples. The book is also written in a roundabout fashion, with the examples and descriptions of the stats procedures given first, and the explanation of the data step programming techniques given in the second part of the book. This is why this book is fine for those with some knowledge of SAS already, for the second section while clear and to the point is essentially a collection of reference examples, rather than an intro to the logic of SAS programming. For a more complete treatment of the finer workings of SAS programming logic, DiIorio and Hardy's book (isbn 0-534-23760-6) is a better text, and an excellenct compliment to this book.
This book does do an excellent job of introducing the basic stats procedures that SAS/STAT has available, and how to apply them to different data analysis situations. Also, this text has the best introduction to repeated measures designs in SAS that I have read yet. Of particular use is the chapter on using arrays to restructure data sets for use in multivariate analyses. However, this book does not specifically treat multivariate procedures in any depth.
In sum, an overall well done book, but not for the first time SAS novice. Hatcher and Stepanski is a better book for the novice just learning SAS for the first time. Cody and Smith is a book that is perfect for people who already have some knowledge of the basics of SAS, like how to write basic data and procedure statements, and want to get a deeper knowledge of SAS by example. For those who wish to get a better understanding of the logic of how SAS works, particularly for treatments of DO statement recursive loops and of IF-THEN-ELSE conditional statements, DiIorio and Hardy's book is the best compliment for this text.
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on February 25, 2000
Many, if not all Microsoft Windows user, are familiar with so-called defragmentation of hard drive.
This Applied Statistics and SAS programming book by Ron is just such a defragmentator for a heavy SAS user like myself.
I don't think anyone can find many tips, tricks or shortcuts in this book in terms of learning statistics and SAS. In practice, more often than not, I have to do "whatever is necessary" with SAS to get my analytical assignment done. Over time my touch upon SAS becomes "fragmented". No matter how well I organize notes and template, my statistical thought with SAS becomes muddy. This book has repeatedly set me back straight.
I have read many SAS books by so-called pros. This is one of the few that has elegant verse and still makes technical points in simply ways. I don't often see a technical book having a dictionary quality like this one.
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on May 23, 2000
I've been doing data analysis for almost 20 years and recommend this highly. It is not too advanced for the beginning college student or professional, but more weighty than the small Introduction to SAS books (which seem more suitable for those with no experience). Because it interweaves SAS programming with often used statistics (and offers excellent examples and interpretations of output throughout), it is ideal for a stats and/or SAS course.
I find it useful for reviewing SAS steps, and as a quick stats overview. The big SAS books are fine as a reference or for researching more complex and/or narrower questions, but this is far more user-friendly. Highly recommended for the beginning to moderate statistician or programmer.
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on July 14, 2000
SAS is and data management and statistical analysis tool that is extremely popular in industry especially in medical device and pharmaceutical companies. SAS manuals are very good at providing users who have some statistical knowledge with guidance toward the use of various porcedures. Statistical texts often provide users of statistical methods with the necessary basic knowledge. However there are few texts that do both. A trend is developing to introduce basic and advanced statistical methods illustrated through the use of statistical software (particularly SAS). This book does a great job of presenting many applied problems and demonstrating the implementation of the analysis in SAS.
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on May 15, 2002
If you don't have the background of SAS programming. You should read this book. If you have the background of C/C++ and SQL, you will find SAS is very easy to learn.
I spend less time learning SAS concepts when I read this book. In part 1, the author reviews the basic concepts of statistics when running sas. This is very easy to understand!
In part 2, he mentions how to infile the large data in the sas environment. You don't have to type all the data in the sas enviroment in the beginning. It is very useful.
I think this is a good book for beginners who want to know what SAS programming is. I hope the author still can write the book about advanced SAS programming .
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on December 9, 1998
This book provides an excellent introduction to SAS. It melds both the techniques of using the program with the application of it to statistical analysis. As an experienced researcher who has never used SAS, the examples and procedures were clearly described and logically presented. I believe this would be an excellent adjunct to any statistics course. The authors write well and add a touch of humor which departs from the usual arrogance of expertise found in many of the SAS publications that I have seen. I recommend it.
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on July 27, 1998
A very good intro-level SAS book for SAS freshmen. It helps you to do SAS quickies without learning the language in detail. But wherever it touches the language itself, it provides excellent teaching in easy-to-understand English. It's the best book for non-programmers to start using SAS for their everyday statistic and database tasks. The final part of the book contains some (but very limited) tricks for professional SAS programmers. More advanced contents will earn one more star - wait for the next version.
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on June 13, 2000
This is an ideal book for a certain audience, and a good book for many audiences The ideal audience is college-level students or B.A. level professionals who know a little SAS and know a little statistics, and need to know how to combine them. The book is very clear and well organized, and makes no pretence to be what it isn't (i.e. a complete reference to SAS-STAT, a course book in statistics).
A good companion book would be DiIorio's SAS Applications Programming: A gentle introduction.
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on August 24, 2001
In short, this is THE book to have if you are a regular person who needs to use SAS. While most SAS applications are a nightmare for all but the full-time statistician/SAS user, this well-written book makes things seem pretty easy. It includes some useful background material on statistical procedures as well as references for the more inquiring mind. This is an essential companion for SAS in the real-world. SAS would do well to take on some of the suggestions in this book.
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