Chapter 20: DATA Step Processing

Why Use a DATA Step?

Using the DATA step is the primary method for creating a SAS data set with base SAS software. A DATA step is a group of SAS language statements that begin with a DATA statement and contains other programming statements that manipulate existing SAS data sets or create SAS data sets from raw data files.

You can use the DATA step for

  • creating SAS data sets (SAS data files or SAS data views)

  • creating SAS data sets from input files that contain raw data (external files)

  • creating new SAS data sets from existing ones by subsetting, merging, modifying, and updating existing SAS data sets

  • analyzing, manipulating, or presenting your data

  • computing the values for new variables

  • report writing, or writing files to disk or tape

  • retrieving information

  • file management.


A DATA step creates a SAS data set . This data set can be a SAS data file or a SAS data view. A SAS data file stores data values while a SAS data view stores instructions for retrieving and processing data. When you can use a SAS data view as a SAS data file, as is true in most cases, this documentation uses the broader term SAS data set.

SAS 9.1.3 Language Reference. Concepts
SAS 9.1.3 Language Reference: Concepts, Third Edition, Volumes 1 and 2
ISBN: 1590478401
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 258 © 2008-2017.
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