How to use PROC R in SAS

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The number of languages and tools for Statistical Analysis has been rapidly increasing in recent times. Every tool being developed however has it’s own pros and cons. For example, SAS, a very popular commercial tool is easy to use, but expensive; R, on the other hand, is free and powerful, but requires programming/tool expertise, due to lack of accountability and minimum support.

30 July


Continued efforts towards enabling usage of multiple languages in a single tool has allowed users proficient in a particular technology/language to also benefit from the advantages of other languages. To mention a few are the R packages to integrate C++ and SQL, Python package to integrate R, SAS package to integrate SQL.

Similar to PROC SQL, the programming interface that enables writing SQL scripts within SAS codes, PROC R is developed as an interface between R and SAS. It Enables Native R Programming in the Base SAS Environment. Using Proc_R, the SAS users can access the extensive statistical and visualization capabilities of R.

The Proc R SAS Macro was developed by Xin Wei, who published a paper in Jan 2012 in the “Journal of Statistical Software” explaining its implementation and usage.

Setup for Proc_R:

  1. The Proc_R.sas library can be downloaded from the link: http://www.jstatsoft.org/v46/c02
  2. Save the file.
  3. Edit the file – Search for rpath option. Change its value to point to the absolute location of your R executable.

SAS Syntax to use Proc_R:

%include “C:\Proc_R.sas”;

%Proc_R (SAS2R =, R2SAS =);

******************************

***Your R Code Here***

******************************

;

%Quit;

Explanation:

Include the Proc R package in your SAS code. Specify the absolute or relative path of the Proc_R.sas source file.

The Proc_R macro contains two macro variables as input parameters called SAS2R (that defines the mechanism to convert SAS datasets to R dataframes) and R2SAS (that defines the mechanism to convert R dataframes into SAS datasets).

Write your R code snippet within the Macro.

The comfortable use of R in SAS has greatly simplified the analytics procedure, however the above Macro works only for windows and the updated Proc_R macro for the latest base SAS versions are also not available yet. However the mentioned drawbacks are negligible compared to the advantages the interface provides.

Reference:

For more coding examples and implementation of functionalities of Proc_R, you can refer to the paper written by Xin Wei :

http://www.jstatsoft.org/v46/c02/paper

Related Posts:

The Power of R – And Why it’s an Essential Skill for Data Analysts
Examples of How R is Used
Top 8 Reasons to Learn SAS

 

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