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Home » BI Tools, Data Visualization

SAS Add-In for MS Office: Abe Lincoln Sends Glee in a Snowstorm

Submitted by on 2014-02-18 – 6:54 AM

lincoln loves sasIt’s been really snowy and cold in North Carolina for the past week.  About 5″ of snow fell in 2 hours, which unleashed pandemonium. Power was out for some, flights were cancelled because the airport shutdown, and many people even left their cars beside the road electing to walk home or stay in a hotel for the night. Since I work from home, it was just another working day for me until <cue dramatic music> I needed to go outside. I plucked my heavy winter coat from the closet but couldn’t find my gloves, so I ransacked the pockets seeking their warm comfort. That’s when it happened.

I found a crisp $5 bill in the inside pocket. Yes I did!

Eeeee, I squealed with the same delight all lottery winners experience. Okay – I get it. It was my money already so I was not $5 richer. And with one Lincoln, my only prospects of becoming a loan shark would be to a misguided preschooler on a sugar binge.  However, that knowledge didn’t swipe away my utter and complete glee! 

The same feeling came over me yesterday as I was reading the SAS Add-In for MS Office documentation for any hints to use in my SAS Global Forum (Or Glo Flo) paper called Tips for SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office. That’s when I discovered this little time-saving Excel trick that made me squeal with glee a second time in a week.

Bring Your Own Excel Data

Working as a data analyst, it is not unusual to receive data as a spreadsheet or CSV file. Typically, I use an Excel pivot table or even import the spreadsheet into SAS Enterprise Guide (here’s how) to explore it. Turns out – I can just take the spreadsheet data and use the SAS Tack icon from the Add-In to MS Office to get the same reason. Eeeee, awesome!!!

One of my favorite tasks is the Characterize Data because it provides some really quick summary information about the dataset. Here’s the process:

  1. Select the data you want to analyze in the spreadsheet.
  2. Select the task from the Task Icon. In this case, Describe>Characterize Data.
  3. Select where the results should be sent. A new worksheet seems like a logical choice but you can place the results in the same worksheet or a completely new spreadsheet if you want.
sas add-in for microsoft office

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Then you just follow the wizard to get your results, which is similar to the image below!  

amo_2014-02-17_results

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SAS Statistics at Your Fingertips

If you are an Enterprise Guide user, you had to notice that the Tasks are similar to the ones offered there. This is helpful but they took it a step further. See the Task Gallery choice immediately under the Task icon, you can click on each choice to see all the tasks with a description. Very helpful for new users who may not know what some of these fancy statistical terms mean.

sas add-in for ms office task gallery

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Learn More about the SAS Add-In for MS Office

At the conference, I’ll provide 6 others ways users can take advantage of the add-in. Join me on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10 AM.  The presentation will also be broadcast from the conference, so you might want to check the conference website for more information and other presentations that are broadcast.

Image Credit:  Lincoln picture (which I defaced with SnagIt) is part of the public domain and was found here: Wikipedia.

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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.

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