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SAS Info Map: Change Source Table Names from Klingonese to English

Submitted by on 2012-01-11 – 4:00 AM

I love the way some data tables get named.  After a while you begin to learn the patterns – but geez sometimes I think a true alien was involved.  The names are cryptic and when the tables are place in SAS Information Map Studio – it gets confusing.  You can change the name for your information map to help you understand as you create the necessary joins.

IT Table Naming Department

IT Table Naming Department on Break  

Image courtesy of Cartoon-A-Day

Using SAS Information  Map Studio to Rename Data Tables

In SAS Information Map Studio, you can make changes to the base tables.  For instance, the Oracle name may be tblEmployeeJibberish or a similar name that does not help you remember the content or why you wanted to link to the table. You can change the table name and select columns to include or omit. Right-click the table title bar and select Properties from the pop-up menu.

Making Your Own Decoder Ring

After infiltrating the secret table naming area (aka Table Properties) – you can really enjoy yourself. The Table Properties window has three panes: Definition, Resources, and Columns. 

Definition: You can change the name of the table. This can help when the table uses a cryptic database title, such as tblemployeeall.  A human readable title, such as SALES STAFF may help you remember what you were doing the next time you have to edit the information map.  Changing the name here does not change the metadata.  The real table name is kept in the ID field. [You probably thought it worked that way.]

Resource: You can get more information about the table metadata.

Columns: You can select any columns you want to omit.  This prevents the SQL query that builds the information map from pulling these data items in the default query. It might be helpful for particularly large tables or when you have security concerns. You can also chose how you want new data items handled. For instance, if the table is updated with new columns you may not want to ensure they do not display.

Tip! You probably want to recall this action so later you are not wondering why the new columns you just added are not there.


Check out the other tips about SAS Information Map Studio.

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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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