Most helpful positive review
A good comprehensive intro to stats using SAS.
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.