SAS Terminology – Latest SAS Glossary For Data Science

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In this SAS Glossary tutorial, we will list down the important SAS Terminology, that you will come across while learning SAS. Before we start the SAS Terminology, you can first revise the concept of SAS Programming Language.

Today, we will talk about SAS Terminology, which are used in SAS Programming and are helpful in Data Science. SAS is used for predictive analytics, advanced analytics, multivariate analyses, business intelligence, and data management.

So, let’s discuss different SAS Terminologies.

1. Access Descriptor

A SAS/ACCESS file describes data to SAS software that is present in a PC file. You use an access descriptor as a master descriptor file from which you can create view descriptors.

2. Browsing Data

The process of viewing the observations in a file.

3. Column

A column is a vertical component of a PC file. Each column has a unique name and contains data of a specific type and with certain attributes. A column is analogous to a variable in SAS terminology.

4. Column Function

Argument of the function is an operation that computes over each value in the column. For example, AVG (SALARY) is a column function.

5. Data Type 

An attribute of every column is in a table. The data type indicates the operating environment that how much physical storage to set aside for the column and the type of data that the column contains. It is similar to the type attribute of SAS variables.

6. SAS Data Value

In SAS software, a unit of character or numeric information is present in a SAS data set. A data value represents one variable in an observation.

7. SAS Database

SAS Database is an organized collection of related data. In most relational database management systems, a database contains objects such as tables, views, and indexes.

8. Database Management System (DBMS)

An integrated software package that enables you to create and manipulate data in the form of databases.

9. Engine

An engine is a part of SAS software that reads from a file or writes to a file. Each engine allows SAS software to access files that have a particular format. There are several types of engines.

10. File

A file is a collection of related records that are treated as a unit. SAS files are processed and controlled through SAS software and are stored in a SAS data library.

11. Format

The format is an instruction that SAS software uses to display or write each value of a variable. Some formats are supplied by SAS software. Other formats can be written by the user with the FORMAT procedure in base SAS software.

SAS Terminology | Latest SAS Glossary 2018

Part -2 SAS Terminology | Latest SAS Glossary

12. Index

The purpose of SAS indexes is to optimize WHERE-clause processing and to facilitate BY-group processing. We also use these indexes to optimize WHERE-clause processing and join processing.

13. Informat

An informat is a pattern that SAS software uses to determine how values that are entered in variable fields should be interpreted. SAS software provides a set of standard informats and also enables you to define your own custom informats.

14. Libref

Libref is the name that is temporarily associated with a SAS data library. For example – In the name SASUSERS.ACCOUNTS, the name SASUSER is the libref. You assign a libref with a LIBNAME statement or with operating system control language.

15. Member

Member is the SAS file in a SAS data library.

16. Member Name

A name that is given to a SAS file in a SAS data library.

17. Member Type

A name by SAS software that identifies the type of information in a SAS file. Member types include ACCESS, DATA, CATALOG, PROGRAM, and VIEW.

18. Missing Value

A value in SAS software that indicates that no data stores in the variable for the current observation. By default, SAS software represents a missing numeric value with a single period, and a blank space represents missing character value.

19. Observation

The horizontal component of a SAS data file. An observation is a collection of data values that associate with a single entity, such as a customer or state. Each observation contains one data value for each variable in the data file. An observation is analogous to a row in a PC file.

20. PROC SQL View

SQL procedure creates a SAS data set (of type VIEW). A PROC SQL view contains no data; instead, it stores the information that is for reading data values from its underlying files, which can include SAS data files, SAS/ACCESS views, DATA step views, or other PROC SQL views.

On execution, a PROC SQL view’s output can be either a subset or a superset of one or more underlying files.

21. Record

It is analogous to a SAS observation.

22. Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)

A database management system that organizes and accesses data according to relationships between data items.

SAS Terminology | Latest SAS Glossary 2018

SAS Terminology | Latest SAS Glossary

23. Row

The horizontal component of a PC file. A row is analogous to a SAS observation.

24. SAS Data File

A SAS data file contains both the data values and the descriptor information that associates with the data, such as the variable attributes.

In previous releases of SAS software, all SAS data sets were SAS data files. SAS data files are of member type DATA. In SAS software, a PROC SQL table is a SAS data file.

25. SAS Data Library

A collection of one or more SAS files that SAS software recognizes and that references and stores as a unit. Each file is a member of the library.

26. SAS Data Set

Descriptor information and its related data values, organized as a table of observations and variables that can be processed by SAS software. A SAS data set can be either a SAS data file or a SAS data view.

A SAS data set arranges in a rectangular, two-dimensional format. Each item in a SAS data set is a data value. Data values in a row compose an observation, and those in a column compose a variable.

27. SAS Data View

A SAS data view contains only the descriptor and other information to retrieve the data values from other data sources. PROC SQL views, SAS/ACCESS views, and DATA step views are considered SAS data views. SAS data views are of member type VIEW.

28. Structured Query Language (SQL)

The standardized, high-level query language that is used in relational database management systems to create and manipulate database management system objects. SAS software implements SQL through the SQL procedure.

29. Table Alias

A temporary, alternate name for a table that is specified in a FROM clause. We optionally use table aliases to qualify column names when table joins.

30. Table Lookup

A processing technique in which information retrieves from an auxiliary source, on the basis of values of variables in the primary source.

31. Target Variable

The variable to which the result of a function or expression is assigned.

32. Variable

A column in a SAS data set. A variable is a set of data values that describe a given characteristic across all observations. In the ACCESS procedure, variables are created from the PC files’ columns or fields.

33. View

View is a definition of a virtual dataset. This file contains no data but describes or defines the store data.

This was all on SAS Terminology Tutorial. Hope you like our explanation of SAS Glossary.

34. SAS Data Mining:

Methods for identifying trends and connections in data.

35. SAS ETL Studio:

SAS ETL Studio is an extract, transform, and load (ETL) application for data warehousing and integration.

36. SAS Forecast Studio:

A time series forecasting and modelling tool

37. SAS Viya:

An extension of SAS’s capabilities for advanced analytics and machine learning is SAS Viya, a cloud-native platform.


So, these were some of the most important as well as frequently used SAS terminology. Hope you all liked it. If you have any queries, post your doubts in the comments section below.

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