I find myself struggling with what to write about this week. But I’ve learned that at some point in the future I’ll be using SAS mainly instead of R. So I suppose that learning to use SAS as part of MSBA is timely. I’ll still need to use R for the dashboard report that I’ve created, but it seems that most of the projects will move to SAS.
This is good news as knowing how to use multiple tools will be necessary in the world of data science going forward. In fact, I’ve even been looking to learn some D3 to make for more unique and interactive visualizations. And I certainly need to use more Python on a regular basis to keep those skills fresh.
So this week it was working more on the SAS macros mentioned last week. I’ve even saved a few of these macros to my code snippets in SAS Studio because I know that they are going to be useful going forward – especially the import macro.
However, I still think R is a little easier to import and clean files. For example, just this week I was importing and combining several tables I downloaded from the St. Louis Fed’s FRED website. I wrote this function to take the list of file names and combine them into a ready to use data frame for merging with our giving data.
From what I’ve learned of SAS so far, this would take quite a bit more code. And since I’ve written the function importData to take a list, it’s more flexible than a SAS macro would be. Maybe there’s more to learn in SAS, but as of right now I’m not aware of anything as powerful as the dplyr package in R for manipulating data. We’ll see.