Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: JP Morgenthal, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds, Pat Romanski

Blog Feed Post

An Introduction to SAS for R Programmers

by Joseph Rickert Life decisions are usually much too complicated to be attributed to any single cause, but one important reason that I am here at Revolution today is that I ignored suggestions from well-meaning faculty back in graduate school to work more in SAS rather than doing everything in R. There was a heavy emphasis on SAS then: the faculty were worried about us getting jobs. This was before the rise of the data scientist and the the corporate model my professors had in mind was: PhD statisticians do statistics and everyone else writes SAS code. I would not be surprised if this is still not the prevailing model in traditional Statistics programs. My bet is there are statisticians everywhere who have yet to come to grips with the concept of a “data scientist”.  Anyway, because of the great cosmic balance, or the bad karma that comes from ignoring well-intentioned advice and the fact that there are quite a few companies out there that want to convert their SAS code to R, I occasionally get to look at SAS code. In the process of interviewing candidates for this kind of work it struck me that there are many people coming to data science through the programming or machine learning routes who have some R knowledge as well as experience with Java, Python and C++ who have never worked with SAS. To this group I offer the following very brief “Introduction to SAS for R Programmers”. So what is SAS exactly? Originally, SAS  stood for “Statistical Analysis System”. Indeed, towards the beginning of his invaluable book, “R for SAS and SPSS Users”, Bob Muenchen characterizes SAS as a system for statistical computation that has five main components: A data management system for reading, transforming and organizing data (The Data Step) A large number of procedures (PROCs) for statistical analysis and graphics The Output Delivery System for extracting output from PROCs and customizing printed output A macro language for programming in the data step and calling PROCS The Interactive Matrix programming language (IML) for developing new algorithms SAS is not a single programming language. It is an entire ecosystem of products (not all seamlessly integrated) that contains at least two languages! While becoming a competent SAS programmer clearly requires mastering an impressive number of skills, quite a bit can be accomplished in SAS with a basic knowledge of the Data Step and the more common procedures (PROCs) in the base and Stat packages. Moreover, as it turns out, these two foundational components of SAS are the very two things that an R programmer is likely to find most strange about SAS. There is really only one data structure in SAS, a file with rows of observations and columns of variables that always gets processed by means of an implied loop. A Data Step “program” starts with the first row of a SAS file executes all of the code it encounters until it comes to a run; statement then looks at the second row of the file and runs through the code again. The Data Step proceeds sequentially through the entire file in this fashion. An excellent presentation from Steven J. First illustrates the process nicely. See slides 36 through 45 for an example of SAS code with a very clear PowerPoint animation of how this all works. It is true that SAS programmers can work with arrays, but this is actually a computational sleight of hand. Arrays are actually special columns in a data set. R programmers are used to an interactive computational experience. Within a session, at any point in time the objects that resulted from a previous computation are available as inputs to the next calculation. There is always a sense of moving forward. If you didn’t compute something as part of the last function you ran, just write another function and compute it now. In SAS, however, one uses the various PROCS to conjure the results in a methodical, premeditated way. For example, something like the following code would run a simple regression in SAS sending the results to the console. proc reg data = myData;model Y = X;run:  However, if you wanted to have the fitted values and residuals available for a further computation, you would have to rerun the regression specifying an output file and the keywords for computing the fitted values and residuals. proc reg DATA = myData;MODEL Y = X / stb clb;OUTPUT OUT=OUTREG P=PREDCIT R=RESED;run; Kathy Welch a statistical consultant at the University of Michigan, provides a very clear example of this linear way of working. Most SAS programming probably gets done by writing SAS macros. Look at Bob Muenchen’s book (or this article) for practical examples of R functions to replace SAS macros. For more advanced work,the SAS/Tool Kit (yet another add on) allows SAS probrammers to write custom procedures. But, from a R programmer’s perspective probably the most exciting SAS product is the IML System which provides the ability to call R from within an IML procedure. The documentation  provides an example of transferring data stored in SAS/IML vectors to R, running a model in R and then, importing the results back into SAS/IML vectors. Actually, if you are an R programmer, all you might really want to do is import data from SAS to R. Thre are at least five ways to do this using functions from various open source R libraries. (Note that some of these methods require preparation steps to be done in SAS.) The document “An Introduction to S and The Hmisc and Design Libraries” on CRAN is also helpful. However, I recommend using rxImport feature in RevoScaleR package that ships with Revolution R Enterprise. Importing a SAS file with rxImport looks like this: rxImport(inData=data,outFile="sasFileName") Not only is it a one step process that does not require having SAS installed on your system, but it reads .sas7bdat files directly into Revolution Analytics' .xdf file format. You can easily work with SAS files that are too large to fit into memory Once in .xdf file format the data can be worked on with RevoScaleR’s parallel external memory algorithms (PEMAs) or written to .csv files or data frames.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid

@ThingsExpo Stories
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...