Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Bridging the gap for SAS beginners

Melissa Hill, Julie Kezik

In a new interview, Data Management Essentials Using SAS and JMP authors Julie Kezik of the Yale School of Public Health and Melissa Hill of Cd3 Inc.describe how their accessible guide is the ideal resource for SAS users and instructors.

According to Time’s Money Magazine, SAS is the top valuable career skill, potentially leading to pay boosts of over 6.1%. In a world where data science is taking over and infiltrating almost every field, basic knowledge of SAS is becoming essential in the job market. Find out more about the rise of big data and what other data skills made the list

Here’s how Julie Kezik and Melissa Hill picture their book fitting into this trend:

What prompted you to write Data Management Essentials Using SAS and JMP? What void does it fill in regards to SAS and JMP instruction?

In an effort to make our data team more efficient we decided to equip our support staff with some useful SAS tools. We looked for references and manuals to instruct this type of user, but weren’t satisfied with available resources, so we developed our own. Our team quickly became more independent and efficient. Our experience was so positive, that we wanted to share it with others who might be in a similar situation.

Our book really fills the “beginner” void. We literally start from the very beginning. Our target audience is not made up of regular users with specific tasks they need to complete or who want to develop a more in-depth working knowledge of the product, but rather the group of users who need to work with SAS for short periods of time on an irregular basis. Such users might include a student who typically works with different software and is provided with a SAS dataset to do a thesis project or an employee who is providing intermittent support or coverage for a full-time programmer.

Can you comment on the future direction of SAS usage?

SAS is a powerful tool unmatched by its competitors. It provides a stable environment and consistent, quality technical support. SAS consumers span a wide range of industries: government, defense, retail, science, travel, small business, the list goes on. Due to the software’s large customer base and presence in over 40 countries, it is our expectation that SAS is not only going to be around for a while but will also continue to grow.*

Data Management Essentials Using SAS and JMP is a no-frills tutorial demonstrating the skills necessary to use these statistical systems. How can instructors also incorporate this work into formal instruction?

The guide is really designed with the instructor in mind, it provides clear and concise curriculum to teach basic programming methods. It is unique in that we provide exercises and solutions. When the material is applied with some additional instruction, students will undoubtedly be able to explore, interpret, process and summarize data independently.

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*Neither author is affiliated with SAS Institute Inc.

About The Authors

Melissa Hill

Melissa Hill is a Clinical Programmer at CD3 Inc. where she uses SAS to perform and support the design and programming of clinical data structures related to drug development. Prio...

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Julie Kezik

Julie Kezik is a biostatistician at the Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. Her primary research interests are asses...

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