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Houston Users Group - SAS

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HUGS has been linking together members of the SAS User Community in the Houston area for over two decades albeit with a couple of dry spells. We sponsor meetings to review topics of general interest to the local users, and offer a forum for sharing information between companies and people in the local network.


Meetings are held roughly three times a year, whenever we get up the energy and resources to put together a program. Our greatest difficulty is finding willing and able speakers to prepare a presentation for our group. If you have a subject which is near and dear to your heart, and are willing to spend some time preparing and presenting - please contact We will put you on the agenda for a meeting in the near future.

Next Meeting

Friday, December 8th, 2017.

12-3 PM (lunch provided - choose sandwich type when registering using the link below)

Meeting Agenda:

Speaker: Renato Luppi, Principal Solutions Architect, SAS

Talk #1:
What’s New in SAS® Visual Analytics 7.4
SAS® Visual Analytics gives customers the power to quickly and easily make sense of any data that matters to them. The latest release of SAS® Visual Analytics on SAS 9.4, version 7.4, delivers requested enhancements to familiar features. These capabilities include dynamic text, custom geographical regions, improved PDF printing, and enhanced prompted filter controls, There are also enhancements to report parameters and calculated data items. This presentation provides an overview of the latest features of the SAS® Visual Analytics 7.4 on SAS 9.4, including use cases and examples for leveraging these new capabilities.

Talk #2:
An introduction to SAS® Viya and SAS® Visual Analytics 8.2
SAS® Viya is a cloud-enabled, scalable, fault-tolerant, and elastic architecture. It provides an in-memory analytics engine that delivers everything you need for quick, accurate and consistent results. This presentation gives an introduction to SAS® Viya and explains how it complements SAS® 9.4, augmenting the SAS Platform to enable everyone – data scientists, business analysts, developers and executives alike – to collaborate and achieve innovative results faster. The presentation ends with an overview of SAS Visual Analytics 8.2, one of the many solutions that take advantage of this extension of the SAS Platform.


University of Houston Campus
Health and Biomedical Sciences Building
Room #315 (3rd floor)
4849 Calhoun Rd.
(MapQuest: Search 4811 Calhoun Rd.)
Houston, TX 77204
4811 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204

RSVP: Please register by clicking here

Driving Directions

Here is a mapquest link to the building: MapQuest link to Health and Biomedical Sciences Building

Parking: The best place to park is across the street on the west side of Calhoun in the Welcome Center & Garage. This link shows the Health and Medical Sciences building and the Welcome Center and Garage.

The cost for parking is $3 per hour with a $12 maximum per day.

Lost?: If you need assistance, please call 832-842-7023.

Last Meeting

Friday, August 4th, 2017.

1-3 PM

Meeting Agenda:
Speaker: Kirk Paul Lafler, Software Intelligence Corporation
Kirk Paul Lafler is an entrepreneur, consultant and founder of Software Intelligence Corporation and has been a SAS user since 1979. Kirk is a professor at UCSD Extension, application developer, data analyst, SAS Certified Professional, emeritus sasCommunity advisory board member, mentor, and provider of IT consulting services and education to SAS users around the world. As the author of six books including Google Search Complete! (Odyssey Press. 2014) and PROC SQL: Beyond the Basics Using SAS, Second Edition (SAS Institute. 2013), Kirk has written hundreds of papers and articles; been an Invited speaker at hundreds of SAS International, regional, special-interest, local, and in-house user group conferences/meetings; and is the recipient of 25 “Best” contributed paper, hands-on workshop (HOW), and poster awards. His popular SAS Tips column, “Kirk’s Korner of Quick and Simple Tips”, appears regularly in several SAS User Group newsletters and Websites, and his fun-filled SASword Puzzles are featured in and many SAS Newsletters.

Talk #1:
Five Little Known, But Highly Valuable and Widely Usable, PROC SQL Programming Techniques
The SQL Procedure contains a number of powerful and elegant language features for SQL users. This presentation highlights five little known, but highly valuable and widely usable, topics that will help users harness the power of the SQL procedure. Topics include using PROC SQL to identify FIRST.row, LAST.row and Between.rows in BY-group processing; constructing and searching the contents of a value-list macro variable for a specific value; data validation operations; data summary operations to process down rows and across columns; and using the MSGLEVEL= system option and _METHOD SQL option to capture information into the processes during query evaluation, the algorithm selected and used by the optimizer when processing a query, testing and debugging operations, and other processes. Intended Audience: All SAS, Database, and SQL users

Talk #2:
Exploring the World of Fuzzy Matching Programming Techniques Using SAS® Software
Data comes in all forms, shapes, sizes and complexities. Stored in files and datasets, SAS® users across industries know all too well that data can be, and often is, problematic and plagued with a variety of issues. One issue, in particular, stems from the complexities associated with linking, or matching, records from two or more datasets where a common unique identifier, referred to as the key, is not reliable or does not exist. Because users routinely match records from two or more datasets using merge, join, and/or hash programming techniques, a unique, and reliable, identifier is essential for matching purposes. But, what happens when a unique identifier such as a subscriber name, mailing address, and/or email address is misspelled, has one or more characters transposed, or is partially and/or incorrectly recorded? This presentation introduces what fuzzy matching is, the variety of data issues users have to deal with, popular data cleaning and organization techniques, functions such as SUBSTR, SCAN, INDEX, COMPRESS, COMPBL, COMPARE, TRANSLATE, CAT, COMPGED, and SOUNDEX (for phonetic matching), and an assortment of programming techniques used to resolve key identifier issues and to successfully merge, join and match less than perfect or messy data.

HUGS Board

If you need to contact someone regarding HUGS: (General issues) (to join list, RSVP for a meeting, or interested in presenting)