Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Software In a growing economy and globalization the need for a better statistical analysis tool in the business world become inevitable. There are a number of statistical software that have been developed to fulfill this dynamic need. Statistical software is important it allows mangers to analyze the past performance, understand the present and predict the future there by enable them to make well informed decision. One of the most powerful statistical software is SAS. SAS is an abbreviation for statistical analysis system .
In this short article I will try to view in brief what SAS software is and its advantage over the other leading statistical software SPSS. According to the official web site of SAS, the software developed in 1976 by one of the independent software vendors SAS institute of Cary in North Carolina (Institute). SAS is a comprehensive data analysis software . It is a tool for managers that helps them in the analysis of data in to productive as well as predictive insight. This enable them to have more accurate and informed decisions.
SAS program helps to analyze vast amount of data and calculate different statistical measures that helps business managers and or researchers in their decision making. The SAS system is a tool to organize and analyze a collection of data using SAS programming statements. SAS program has a collection of SAS statement in a logical sequence. Generally there are two main components of SAS programs the data Step and the procedure step (Spector). The data step used to prepare the data for one of the procedures. The data step create a SAS data set , reads data from external source or modify other previously created SAS data set .
The procedure step perform analysis on the data, and produce (often huge amounts of) output (Spector). The Advantage/ Limitation of SAS over SPSS Along with SAS the other major competitor in statistical software is SPSS. SPSS (statistical packages for the social sciences) is one of the most popular computer package for statistical analysis that most universities around the world use. (Yaffee) . With respect to data management, SAS has capability of better data management tools and better handling of very large data set . It is useful for managers or researchers with large data set and more complex statistical analysis.
It is more powerful as well as more complicated (Yaffee). It also easier to merge; to concatenate data sets and to pipe the output from one data set into that of another with SAS than it is with SPSS. SAS is more diverse and flexible than SPSS. SAS is more flexible in the degree of control it gives user. It gives greater diversity of statistical test, greater control of what optional procedures to use. On the other hand, SPSS has limited set of procedures and tests available for users. “The number, power and flexibility of SAS statistical procedures are generally greater than those of SPSS.
For categorical data analysis SAS offers more tests than does SPSS” (Yaffee 4). From the user friendly perspective SAS application has rigid program syntax and lack of sufficiently detailed help menu (Yaffee). Effective use of SAS requires preexisting knowledge of statistics, SAS program syntax and SAS output layout. On contrast SPSS strength lies in its ease of use and instructional documentation; graphic user interface and its relative comprehensive approach. Basically the program developed for the audience of social scientists while SAS audience is considerably broader (Yaffee).
Cost wise, although SAS has been powerful in analytical and data management it remains very expensive. A lot of big companies capable of using it since they have the financial capacity. According to the SAS website, it is used at more than 39000 sites including 90% of the fortune 500 companies to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers ( ). While SPSS has been more useful for smaller business being affordable and easier to understand (Yaffee). Given the limited scope and time of this article, in general we can say Sas is more comprehensive and powerful statistical program intended for broader audience.
It is effective in data management and more divers and flexible than SPSS. However it remains to be expensive and hard to use. In recent years a lot refined however there still remain a gap. So SAS has to focus with time to refine and incorporate more user friendly features. And effort has to be made to make the program affordable to smaller business to encompass wider users. Works Cited Institute, SAS. SAS Institute Home Page: http://www. sas. com. Spector, Philp. “An Introduction to The SAS System. ” 2004. Yaffee, Robert A. Connect Statistics and The Social Sciences (1996).
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