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SAS MS Add-In: Why are there two variables with almost the same name?

Submitted by on 2011-10-03 – 6:00 AM One Comment

Recently while setting up a report in SAS Add-In for Microsoft Excel, I was going to create a graph using an information map. When trying to assign the chart values, I realized I had several very confusing  variable names.  When the information map was created, I know I had everything neat looking due to my own OCD about variable names.

As shown in the following figure, the red boxes with the  (1) – you can see the names are confusing.  Turns out Name_2 and Order Month_2 were variables I had copied to create new variables.  After changing the options to (2) Show Labels – my wonderful (3) variables names were there.

This turned out to be an important change, the Name_2 was actually the Customer name “decoded” and the variable called customer was a custom format I had applied to the customer variable. In the second list, you’ll notice that Customer (after the Sales measure) turned into Group.

Making it Permanent

You may want to advise your users to update their Options so the labels are always used. From the SAS ribbon, select Tools > Options. In the Data tab, select Display labels instead of variable names from the Settings area.

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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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