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Top 50 SAS Interview Questions and Answers For Fresher, Experienced



Introduction

SAS (Statistical Analytics System) is a popular tool for Data Analytics and this is pretty easy to learn especially for those people who know SQL already. SAS is one of the leading including R and Python and works amazingly when it comes to handling a large amount of data and options for parallel computation. If you will look at the SAS job trends then it covers approx. 70%  data analytics market and R is covering only 15 percent of the total market share. 

So, if you are a tech-savvy and wanted to hire as a SAS expert then this blog is a perfect guide for you to learn all important questions that may be asked during a SAS interview. The questions are segregated based on the difficulty level and you can pick the most relevant section as per your expertise to reap the maximum benefits from this post. This blog is one-stop solutions where you will find the maximum number of questions to boost your interview preparation.

Read: What Is SQL Candidate Key? Difference between Primary Key & Candidate Key

Basic SAS Interview Questions

Q1). How will you define the SAS (Statistical Analytics System)?

This is the most expected question asked by interviewers if you are a fresher. This is a software suite that is mainly needed for data analytics, business intelligence, data management, multivariant analysis, predictive analysis, etc. The concept was introduced by the SAS Institute and provides an interactive graphical user interface with plenty of advanced options by SAS language. The interface can be quickly accessed by non-technical users too and easy to learn by anyone.

Read: How to Use Alter, Drop, Rename, Aggregate Function in SQL Server?

Q2). Why should you choose SAS over other data analytics tools?

Here is a list of reasons that will explain to you why should you choose SAS over other data analytics tools –

  • SAS is quite easy to learn even by non-technical users, especially if you have a SQL background.
  • The data handling capabilities of tools are just marvelous even when compared to R and Python programming languages.
  • SAS has an interactive graphical interface that can be customized with little learning only.
  • SAS has a wide range of tools where deployments are well tested and controlled in a real-time environment.
  • SAS is a market leader in jobs at the global level. It currently holds 70 percent of the market share.

Q3). How will you explain the features of the benefits of the SAS tool?

The tool can provide the following benefits for your business –

  • Effective Business Solutions
  • Market leader in Data Analytics
  • A DBMS software for data access management
  • Excellent Reporting and graphics
  • Visualization as graphs or charts (either simple or complex)

Read: How to Use Alter, Drop, Rename, Aggregate Function in SQL Server?

Q4).  What are the SAS framework capabilities?

The SAS framework has four capabilities, these are Analyze, Access, Manage, and Present.

What are the SAS framework capabilities?

Q5). What is the meaning of OUTPUT Statement in a SAS program?

To save the summary statistics in a SAS dataset, Output statement is needed. This information can be used further for creating more customized reports.

Q6). What is the meaning of the STOP Statement in a SAS program?

To break the processing of current data sets quickly, the STOP statement is needed.

Q7). How “drop = dataset” option is used in the set statement?

If you are interested in processing a certain set of variables and don’t want to appear then in the new dataset then the “drop = dataset” option is used in the set statement.

Read: How to Use Alter, Drop, Rename, Aggregate Function in SQL Server?

Q8). How “drop = dataset” option is used in the data statement?

If you are not interested in processing a certain set of variables and don’t want to appear then in the new dataset then the “drop = dataset” option is used in the data statement.

Q9). How data is accessed from an external data file in SAS?

When data is accessed from some external file then only observations are considered and variables need to declare again if you want to use them.

Q10). How data is accessed from an existing dataset in SAS?

If you wanted to access data from the existing dataset then use the SET statement and values of variables will be retained from one observation to another.

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Advanced SAS Interview Questions

Q11).  Name a few data types that are frequently used in SAS.

They are divided into two categories majorly – Character and Numeric.

Q12). How will you differentiate functions and procedures in SAS?

In the case of functions, the values of arguments are supplied across an observation. In the case of procedures, there is only one given to each variable.

Q13). How are SUM function and “+” operator different in SAS?

Sum function will return the total of non-missing arguments and the “+” operator returns the missing value of any argument value is left behind.

Read: Learn SQL Union All Query Operators with Examples

Q14). What is the benefit of the end = data set option in SAS?

To read the last value from an unsorted dataset to appear in the new data set, end = data set option is used in SAS.

Q15). Give an example when SAS is not able to convert the character value to numeric value automatically.

When dollar ($) sign is added before a variable, the conversion process is blocked by the dollar sign and it is not covered to numeric values later.

Q16). How will you differentiate the PROC SUMMARY and the PROC MEANS?

Proc Means produce statistics for subgroup only if it is sorted first. At the same time, Proc Summary can produce statistics for all groups automatically.

Read: Learn SQL Union All Query Operators with Examples

Q17). How can you delete duplicate values in a dataset?

To delete the duplicates values in a dataset, use the “Proc SQL” command.

Q18). What is the benefit of using the “Proc SQL” command in SAS?

First of all, it will scan each statement for syntax errors. Now, it will decide how the SQL query should be executed in SAS. A particular table is loaded into the data engine and related calculations are performed. After this, the final table is created in the memory and it is sent to the OUTPUT table described in the SQL.

Read: Learn SQL Union All Query Operators with Examples

Q19). Can you explain the PUT function and INPUT function in SAS?

For numeric to character conversion, put function is used. For the character to numeric conversion, the input function is used.

20). What is the maximum length that can be assigned to the target variable by scan function?

This is 200

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SAS Logical Interview Questions

Q21). What is the significance of TRANWRD function in SAS?

To remove the repeated occurrence of a pattern of characters within a character string, TRANWRD function is used in SAS.

Q22). Name a few functions that are frequently used by SAS developers?

Scan, Trim, tranwrd, Catx, Substr, Index, Find, Sum.

Q23). How will dates work in SAS data? 

Date SAS Date Value
January 1, 1959 -365
January 1, 1960 0
January 1, 1961 366
January 1, 2003 15706

Dates in SAS

  A SAS date is a numeric value equal to the number of days since January 1, 1960. Also, there are plenty of tools that can be used to read printed data in SAS datasets.

Q24). Look at the following SAS and calculate the number of observations given in the program.


Data finance;
Amount=1000;
Rate=.075/12;
Do month=1 to 12;
Earned +(amount+earned)*(rate);
Output;
End;
Run;

Here, the total number of observations would be 12.

Q25). How will you differentiate the do-while and do until options in SAS?

Do While the option is executed at the beginning of Do loop, if the result is false then it will never be executed again. At the same time, Do Until option is used at least once.

Read: What is Complex SQL Queries? Explain Complex SQL Queries with Examples

Q26). How can you specify the condition within Do Loop?

It can be done by doing while and do until options in SAS.

Q27). How will you check the total number of iterations given in the program?


data work;
do i=1 to 20 until(sum>=200000);
year+1;
sum+2000;
sum+sum*.10;
end;
run;

Here, the do loop will run until the sum does not become greater than or equal to 20000 or until the loop executes 10 times as per the given program.

Q28). How is a scan function defined in the SAS?

Here is the general syntax is given for the scan function in SAS –


scan(argument,n,delimiters)

Here, arguments will define the expression that you wanted to scan, n will specify the total number of characters to read, and delimiters will specify how characters will be enclosed in a single quotation.

Q29). Can we define the special characters as numeric data types too?

No, it should be defined as the character data type only.

Q30). Take an example where one variable contains the numeric values only, can you still define it as character data type too?

Yes, it depends on how variables are used within a SAS program

Read: What is Complex SQL Queries? Explain Complex SQL Queries with Examples

SAS Tricky Interview Questions

Q31). What can be the size of the largest dataset in SAS?

The length can go up to 32,767 variables for a dataset in SAS.

Q32). Do PROC REPORT’s defaults are different from the PROC PRINT’s defaults or they could be the same as well?

They are generally different by each other but there are certain conditions when meaning for both the options is the same as well.

Q33). Give an example where the meaning of PROC REPORT’s defaults and the PROC PRINT’s defaults is same?

They are the same for variable/columns in position order and rows ordered as they appear in the data set.

Read: Power BI - Getting Started with Query Editor in Power BI

Q34). What is the trailing @ and @@ in SAS?

The trailing @ option is used in column pointer to hold the line. At the same time, the trailing @ @ option is used to hold the line even more strongly.

Q35). For the Proc Report, what is the meaning of group and order variables?

When the variables are declared as the group variables then rows with the same values will be collapsed. At the same time, order variables are used to create summary reports and group variables are used for list reports.

Q36). How can the default statistics be defined for the Means Procedures?

These are the mean, standard deviation, n count, maximum, or minimum values etc.

Q37). How can you produce the summary reports in SAS?

Use proc report and define the variable as group variable to create the summary report.

Read: Power BI - Getting Started with Query Editor in Power BI

Q38). How decimal places can be controlled for the variable when using PROC Means?

Define the MAXDEC= option, and you are done.

Q39). How will you define the Class statement in SAS?

The Class Statement can be applied to any data set even if values are sorted properly or not.

Q40). How can you define the BY Statement in SAS?

For the BY Statement, vales must be first sorted before you use it.

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SAS Analytics Interview Questions

Q41). How can you generate reports in Proc Means and Proc Summary?

In the case of the Proc Means, reports are generated by default. On the other hand, you should use the Print option to generate a report in Proc Summary.

Q42). How can you specify the variable to be processed in the FREQ Procedure?

It can be done by Table Statement.

Q43). How will you use the Proc FREQ and Proc MEANS in SAS?

PROC FREQ is used for category variables and Proc Means is used for numeric variables in SAS.

Q44). For the Proc FREQ, how can you generate the list output for cross-tabulations?

TABLES variable-1*variable-2 <*…..variable-n>/ LIST;

Read: How to Create Database in Microsoft SQL Server?

Q45). How can you merge or combine datasets in SAS?

data combined;

merge data1 data2;

run;

Q46). How can you define the interleaving in SAS?

The job of interleaving operation is to combine independent multiple sorted data sets into a single combined dataset.

data combined;

set data1 data2;

by year;

run;

With this code, the dataset can be sorted and combined together.

Q47). Which one is more suitable to combine datasets either one-to-one merge or match-merge options?

Well, as per my experience, I will recommend using a one-to-one merge option than the match-merge option.

Q48). What do you mean by the Append procedure in SAS?

To add one dataset at the end of another dataset, the Append procedure is used in SAS.

Q49). Which procedure is used to analyze the data deeply?

Well, you can BMDP procedure here for data analysis.

Q50). How can you define the Proc UNIVARIATE procedure in SAS?

The variable is suitable for elementary numerical analysis and how well the data is distributed across datasets.

Read: How to Create Database in Microsoft SQL Server?

What’s Next?

This blog “SAS Interview Questions for Freshers, Intermediates, and the advanced workforce” gives you a sound idea of questions that are usually asked by interviewers and help you in passing the interview during the first attempt. This list is not enough but you should consider taking online SSIS training or Learn SAS for free by availing our self-learning courses at a huge discount with JanBask Training. 

Moreover, if you are not sure of online training classes and its benefits, register for a demo class and clear all your doubts by interacting with certified mentors during the LIVE session. On the completion of the SSIS online training, you will learn to swim in the career pool of database tools and how they can be used for robust data management. All the Best! 

Read: SQL Server Indexes-All You Need to Know

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