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Wed, Jul 17



Validating User-Submitted Data Files with Base SAS by Michael A. Raithel

Do you receive data? Is it always perfectly clean? Since it never is, learn automated methods to validate data using BASE SAS.

Validating User-Submitted Data Files with Base SAS by Michael A. Raithel
Validating User-Submitted Data Files with Base SAS by Michael A. Raithel

Time & Location

Jul 17, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


SAS programming professionals are often asked to receive data files from external sources and analyze them using SAS. Such data files could be received from a different group within one’s own organization, from a client firm, from a Federal agency, or from some other collaborating establishment. Whatever the source, there is likely to be an agreement on the number of variables, variable types, variable lengths, range of values, and variable formats in the incoming data files. Information Technology best practices require that the receiving party perform quality checks (QC’s) on the data to verify that they conform to the agreed-upon standards before the data are used in analysis. 

This paper presents a rigorous methodology for validating user-submitted data sets using Base SAS. Readers can use this methodology and the SAS code examples to set up their own data QC regimen.


Michael A. Raithel is a senior systems analyst for Westat, an employee-owned contract research organization in the Washington, DC, area. He has worked with Information Systems in the commercial and government sectors since 1980. An internationally recognized expert in the use of SAS software in mainframe and UNIX environments, Michael is the author of more than 25 SAS technical papers, over 200 blog posts, and is a popular lecturer at SAS Global Forum and at regional SAS conferences. Michael has been a section chair at SUGI, SESUG, and NESUG, and he co-chaired NESUG in 1995. He has been a keynote speaker at WUSS, SCSUG, PharmaSUG, and a Featured Lunchtime Speaker at SAS Global Forum. Michael has taught SAS classes at SUGI, SAS Global Forum, and at American University in Washington, DC. He has written four books for SAS Press.  His latest book of programmer-related humor, It Only Hurts When I Hit <ENTER>, can be found on Amazon. A copy of the first edition of Tuning SAS Applications in the MVS Environment resides in the Smithsonian Institution of American History.

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July 17

Validating Data Files by

Michael A. Raithel

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