Statistical Graphics Procedures by Example: Effective Graphs Using SAS

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SAS Institute, 2011 - MATHEMATICS - 370 pages
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Sanjay Matange and Dan Heath's "Statistical Graphics Procedures by Example: Effective Graphs Using SAS" shows the innumerable capabilities of SAS Statistical Graphics (SG) procedures. The authors begin with a general discussion of the principles of effective graphics, ODS Graphics, and the SG procedures. They then move on to show examples of the procedures' many features. The book is designed so that you can easily flip through it, find the graph you need, and view the code right next to the example.

Among the topics included are how to combine plot statements to create custom graphs; customizing graph axes, legends, and insets; advanced features, such as annotation and attribute maps; tips and tricks for creating the optimal graph for the intended usage; real-world examples from the health and life sciences domain; and ODS styles.

The procedures in "Statistical Graphics Procedures by Example" are specifically designed for the creation of analytical graphs. That makes this book a must-read for analysts and statisticians in the health care, clinical trials, financial, and insurance industries. However, you will find that the examples here apply to all fields.


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If you're anything like me, I have been keeping up with the advancements of SAS Graphics by Googling SAS Global Forum (SGF), SGPLOT, and Graphics etc. and beside either typing Sanjay Mantage or Dan's Heath name. As a consequence I've got lots of Dan's and Sanjay's SGF Paper as my favorites, and inevitably have become quite good at creating Graphics :)
This book is the end of storing multiple graphical favorites, searching the internet for help, and wondering how to plot good quality graphs with ease! This book is mostly for SAS 9.2 users and goes through the basics of the "new" SG Procedures step by step really well. It shows you how to create nice single cell plots, and describes plot types that can be overlaid and go together, such as a scatterplot and a regression line. It also shows you how to produce paneled plots (multiple plots on one page) which is a well sought after plot, amongst other things. This book touches on the new graphical options in SAS 9.3 and touches on the more advanced techniques, such as attribute maps, which is a really neat way to plot grouped data exactly how you want it, regardless of any missing groups.
I liked that there were specific plot templates based on the business you were in. I found the Health and Life Sciences Chapter really helpful, which showed how to create Forest plots with Summary Statistics and Adverse Events Timeline graphs. Towards the end of the book it gave details on the graph image types that were available, and the pros on cons of each. This was great as it has been an increasing subject of interest.
The only downsides of this book is I would have liked it to also have talked about the DISCRETEOFFSET option in terms of Jittering plots at the lowest level (such as Subject ID) too, and talked more about SGRender and Graph Template Language (GTL). However with regards to talking more about GTL, this is based on the knowledge I know the authors have on the subject and I can imagine the difficulty in actually incorporating GTL as it is a huge subject and there is a steeper learning curve than learning SGPLOT, SGPANEL and SGSCATTER which this book is focused on too.
I recommend this book for anyone that wants to learn the basics and foundations of producing, nice publication ready graphics easily in SAS 9.2 or 9.3 or for any other intermediate or advanced graphical user that would like to sharpen their graphical skills.
Kriss Harris


Chapter 4 Basic Plots
Chapter 5 Fit and Confidence Plots
Chapter 6 Distribution Plots
Chapter 7 Categorization Plots
Chapter 8 Axes Legends and Insets
Chapter 9 Annotation and Attribute Maps SAS 93
Chapter 10 Classification Panels
Chapter 11 Comparative and Matrix Plots
Chapter 12 Health and Life Sciences Graphs
Chapter 13 Business Graphs
Chapter 14 Styles
Chapter 15 ODS Destination and ODS Graphics Options
Chapter 16 Tips for Graph Output

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About the author (2011)

Sanjay Matange is Research & Development Director in the Data Visualization Division at SAS, responsible for the development and support of the ODS Graphics software. This includes the Graph Template Language (GTL), Statistical Graphics (SG) procedures, ODS Graphics Designer, and other related graphics applications. Sanjay has been with SAS for more than 20 years. He is co-author of two patents and author of two SAS Press books.

Dan Heath is a principal systems developer at SAS Institute. A SAS user for more than 17 years, Dan specializes in SAS/GRAPH software, ODS Graphics, and related graphing technologies. Dan has been a speaker at a number of regional and local users' group meetings, including SAS Global Forum, PharmaSUG, and Pacific Northwest SUG. He received a BS degree in computer science from North Carolina State University.

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