SAS training advice

Training advice for analysts wanting to learn to use SAS tools for business and organisational analysis

Interview with Brian Bee provides guidance about selecting the right SAS courses for analysts who want to carry out business style analysis, but do not want to use SAS programming language

BrianBee 4Brian is a very experienced instructor in SAS training courses and brings plenty of practical SAS practitioner experience in use of SAS Enterprise Guide and other SAS tools with him.

We talk with Brian to get the benefit of all this experience. Find out more about Brian’s profile

You should also check out the advice from the SAS Institute website on learning paths, certification, course dates for your location, (advising when and where courses are being run), plus pricing.

Tip to find course dates and locations – click on each course listed below.

You can also call SAS on 04 917 6816 or contact SAS

For any queries about the content on this page please contact us at Knoware for more information

What SAS tool do I use and what courses should I select to be able to use SAS for analysis and reporting work?

Brian: The main SAS tool for analysis is called Enterprise Guide. It is designed to be used by non-programmers and uses a “point and click” and “drag and drop” approach to make it easy for users to access analysis and reporting functionality and for selecting datasets that are already set up for you.

There is a group of courses recommended for learning to use this tool proficiently. These are each 2 day courses.

What skill level do I need to be able to use Enterprise Guide?

Brian: You don’t need any particular technical skill to successfully use this tool. You just need to have an enquiring mind, which is typical of all the analysts I meet. It can help to have in your mind some examples of the types of analysis you are likely to have to perform back in your job, plus the need for reports and graphs so that we can make sure we cover these in the course in sufficient depth for you. You don’t need to bring any data with you as we carry out the analysis on the course using “case study data”.

What will I be able to do after taking these courses?

Brian:  Analysts using Enterprise Guide are analysing existing datasets, which are selected using the “point and click method”.

Once completed, the courses allow you to run all sorts of analysis over your selected data and produce a wide range of reports and graphs. In addition, you will be able to read in data from Excel, DBMS tables and simple flat files (more complex data will require SAS programming skills). You won’t generally need to take any more courses unless you are going on to develop analytical models or get involved with SAS programming.

However, you may find it beneficial to make use of Knoware’s 1 – 2 – 1 coaching service to help ensure that you don’t get stuck when tackling your first few assignments, or if you are getting back into using Enterprise Guide after some time away from regular use.

What other courses might be useful to me?

Brian:  It is likely to be useful for your organisation to progress further using business intelligence techniques and there are a number of courses offered using this approach, plus a range of other courses.

Some examples of popular courses are.

Training advice for people wanting to become SAS Programmers

 

You can also call SAS on 04 917 6816 or contact SAS NZ

For any queries about the content on this page please contact us at Knoware for more information

What courses should I select to start to become a SAS programmer?

Brian: To start with there are two main courses

These are each 3 day courses. There is also a 5 day SAS Programming Fast Track course which combine the 2 x 3 day courses, The Fast Track is very demanding and I generally recommend taking the time to do the two courses, with a short gap between them in order to practice what you have learnt.

Suggestion: If you have no experience with SQL then it may be of assistance to you to take the SAS SQL 1: Essentials course rather than wait for the Advanced SAS courses

What about the Advanced SAS Programming courses?

Brian: I generally recommend that a person gets about 6 months programming work experience after completing SAS programming 1 and 2 before tackling the advanced courses. This is usually sufficient time to become really familiar with the basic building blocks of SAS programming.

There are three main advanced programming courses:

What courses do I take in order to produce data integration and preparation ?

Brian: Data integration (DI) or ETL (Extract, transform and load) can be done in a number of ways – Enterprise Guide provides some data integration capability, SAS programming provides lots of DI capability, and then there is the specialist DI tool for enterprise-wide capability called SAS Data Integration Studio.

The main SAS courses for data integration and preparation are:

Again there is a fast track option for this group of courses, which compresses the time for the courses, (but not the course workload) !

What courses do I take in order to produce web reporting and dashboards?

Brian: There are a number of ways in SAS to produce web reporting and to create dashboards. The two main options are:

  • SAS Enterprise BI Server The Web Report Studio component creates interactive web reporting, and the SAS BI Dashboard component is for developing Dashboards. There are a range of courses that covers these areas, with the main course for BI Developers being
  • Creating Business Intelligence for Your Organisation: Fast Track
  • SAS Visual Analytics: This is a new approach using in-memory analytics to produce high-quality results very quickly.  The main course for SAS Visual Analytics is:
  • SAS Visual Analytics: Fast Track

Note: Mark Bodt from Knoware has presented an informative paper at the 2014 SAS Global Forum in Washington USA discussing a range of ways that you can use SAS to produce Dashboards. You can access Mark’s paper here

What courses do I take if I am going to be responsible for data quality and cleansing ?

Brian: The key SAS tool for this function is DataFlux Data Management Studio. There are three main courses:

Again there is a fast track option for this group of courses, which compresses the time for the courses.

What do you think about certification and what is involved ?

Brian: I personally think certification is a good thing for a SAS professional as it provides an independent measure of how much you have taken in from the course training and it is undoubtedly helpful to your future career.

The certification involves a 3 hour exam with multi choice questions set by an examining board, and is supervised and run by a separate independent examining body to carry more weight as a qualification (i.e. not SAS or Knoware).

The exams are challenging and require plenty of study and practice in order for you to succeed well. I generally advise taking the certification exam 1 to 2 weeks after completing the course and preferably within one month if at all possible.

 

What about the Advanced SAS Programming courses?

Brian: I generally recommend that a person gets about 6 months programming work experience after completing SAS programming 1 and 2 before tackling the advanced courses. This is usually sufficient time to become really familiar with the basic building blocks of SAS programming.

There are three main advanced programming courses:

What courses do I take in order to produce data integration and preparation ?

Brian: Data integration (DI) or ETL (Extract, transform and load) can be done in a number of ways – Enterprise Guide provides some data integration capability, SAS programming provides lots of DI capability, and then there is the specialist DI tool for enterprise-wide capability called SAS Data Integration Studio.

The main SAS courses for data integration and preparation are:

Again there is a fast track option for this group of courses, which compresses the time for the courses, (but not the course workload) !

What courses do I take in order to produce web reporting and dashboards?

Brian: There are a number of ways in SAS to produce web reporting and to create dashboards. The two main options are:

  • SAS Enterprise BI Server The Web Report Studio component creates interactive web reporting, and the SAS BI Dashboard component is for developing Dashboards. There are a range of courses that covers these areas, with the main course for BI Developers being
  • Creating Business Intelligence for Your Organisation: Fast Track
  • SAS Visual Analytics: This is a new approach using in-memory analytics to produce high-quality results very quickly.  The main course for SAS Visual Analytics is:
  • SAS Visual Analytics: Fast Track

Note: Mark Bodt from Knoware has presented an informative paper at the 2014 SAS Global Forum in Washington USA discussing a range of ways that you can use SAS to produce Dashboards. You can access Mark’s paper here

What courses do I take if I am going to be responsible for data quality and cleansing ?

Brian: The key SAS tool for this function is DataFlux Data Management Studio. There are three main courses:

Again there is a fast track option for this group of courses, which compresses the time for the courses.

What do you think about certification and what is involved ?

Brian: I personally think certification is a good thing for a SAS professional as it provides an independent measure of how much you have taken in from the course training and it is undoubtedly helpful to your future career.

The certification involves a 3 hour exam with multi choice questions set by an examining board, and is supervised and run by a separate independent examining body to carry more weight as a qualification (i.e. not SAS or Knoware).

The exams are challenging and require plenty of study and practice in order for you to succeed well. I generally advise taking the certification exam 1 to 2 weeks after completing the course and preferably within one month if at all possible.