To pick the winners of the 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes book, my first thought was to print the list and then put everyone’s name in a hat. Angela brilliantly suggested that we use one of the SAS Random functions. However, since there was a list of names I really needed a random number between two values. This brought to mind the MS Excel RANDBETWEEN function – but how do you translate that function to SAS Enterprise Guide code?
Getting a Random Number between Two Values
I have to admit for a one-off process like picking a random number, MS Excel would be my goto tool. MS Excel has a function called RANDBETWEEN() that allows you to provide two numbers and it then selects a random value between those two numbers. I tried to use the SAS RANDOM functions – but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work in 5 minutes (my personal patience meter) so I needed an expert.
Consult with a SAS Expert
Lucky for me SAS-L had the answer – it’s one of the places I search for SAS tips when I’m stuck. In August 2000, Mark Terjeson wrote a post called “Just for Fun: Excel-SAS Corollary Functions/Formula” describing how to translate some common Excel functions into SAS. This is where I found the magic. In the following figure, you can see the code I used to select the two winning numbers. After getting my two numbers, I matched the line number to the spreadsheet line number to get Michelle Homes and Wex Lee. Congratulations you have won a copy of the 50 Keys to Learning SAS Stored Processes!
No Worries if You are not the Winner!
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