What Is SAS Scripting?


Heather Bennett

What Is SAS Scripting?

SAS scripting is a powerful tool used in the field of data analytics and statistical analysis. It allows programmers to automate tasks, manipulate data, and generate reports using the SAS programming language.

Why Use SAS Scripting?

SAS scripting offers several advantages over manual data processing:

  • Efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks, SAS scripting saves time and effort. It allows analysts to focus on interpreting results rather than spending hours manipulating data manually.
  • Accuracy: Manual data manipulation is prone to human errors. With SAS scripting, you can ensure consistent and accurate results.
  • Reproducibility: SAS scripts can be saved and reused, making it easy to replicate analyses or share code with colleagues.
  • Flexibility: SAS scripting provides a wide range of functions and procedures that allow for complex data transformations and statistical analyses.

How Does SAS Scripting Work?

SAS scripting involves writing code in the SAS programming language. The code is then executed using a SAS environment, such as SAS Studio or SAS Enterprise Guide.

The basic structure of a SAS script consists of:

  1. Data Step: The Data Step is where you manipulate and transform your data. It allows you to read in raw data, apply filters, create new variables, merge datasets, and perform other operations.
  2. Proc Step: The Proc Step (short for procedure) is used for statistical analysis. It includes a wide range of procedures for descriptive statistics, regression analysis, hypothesis testing, and more.

Here’s an example of a simple SAS script:

data mydata;
  set rawdata;
  where age > 30;

proc means data=mydata;
  var income;

In this script, the Data Step reads in the raw data and applies a filter to select only those records where age is greater than 30. The resulting dataset is then used in the Proc Step to calculate summary statistics for the variable “income”.


SAS scripting is a valuable skill for data analysts and statisticians. It allows for efficient and reproducible data manipulation and analysis, saving time and ensuring accuracy. By mastering SAS scripting, you can enhance your analytical capabilities and streamline your workflow.

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