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Home » Enterprise Guide

SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 – Data Exploration Feature

Submitted by on 2012-06-13 – 8:26 AM 4 Comments

I really dig the SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 – Data Explorer Tool.  How many times have you received a new data set that you know nothing about? While it’s not like it takes forever to run some PROC FREQ/MEANS – but what if it’s already done for you or can be done quickly?  Did that get your attention?

Here’s how to use this new feature with your data.  

Open Data Exploration from File Menu

From the File menu, select Open > Data Exploration.  Then navigate to the dataset you want to open.  I am using SASHELP.SHOES since many of you may already be familiar with it.

The dataset is open and a new window appears to the right side of the dataset. At the bottom of the window, you can view some general information about the dataset (i.e. 395 rows and 7 columns).

SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 Data Explorer Tool 1

All the Statistics You Can Handle

This is what I really like – I can run all statistics for all variables at once.  From the new window, click the Charts icon and then Click to run all statistics. Notice when I selected the Charts icon, the window changed to list each variable type (character, numeric, currency) with the count. After a few moments, you will see each variable now has statistics and chart icons. The Product variable for instance shows the Distinct values and the total count of non missing values.  When you click the icon you can see an enlarged view of the chart.  Pretty cool?SAS Enterprise Guide Data Explorer Tool 2  


Tailor Your Statistics

You can customize what information is shown for all statistics. Click the Setting icon and the Select Statistics window appears.  Select what you want to display – lots of choices!!!  For instance, for Date/Time you may not find the Average that interesting.

SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 Data Explorer Tool 4

Get Column Statistics

You can also get statistics for the individual columns by clicking on them.  In the screenshot – you can see how the differences for the character and numeric values.  For the Product column (shown with the 1), I selected the Distinct Values choice. I can easily see the result.  This is similar to the Excel Auto Filter feature. With the numeric variable, Sales (shown with a 2), you can see some statistics, such as the mean, mode, and lower CLM.

SAS Enterprise Guide 5.1 Data Explorer Tool 2


Other Thoughts

I’m running SAS EG 5.1 in a virtual environment on a fast machine with small datasets. The statistics were returned almost immediately. I did see some options where you can further filter results and control how many observations are considered.  So someone else will have to tell me if the larger datasets cause issues with this feature.

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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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