SAS Programming for Business Analytics

SAS is one of the leading providers of business intelligence and predictive analytics software.

There is increasing demand in the graduate labour market for analysts with SAS programming skills. SAS is also becoming increasingly useful to analysts for combining different datasets into databases (data fusion) as well as for customising analytical modelling techniques. Organisations such as BT, Barclaycard, Littlewoods and GE money use SAS as their standard software for data analysis. In fact, it is such organisations that have advised us that we should be teaching basic SAS skills to our students.

This module is primarily a 'support' course on the various postgraduate programmes and courses. This module will provide an introduction to SAS programming whilst giving the participants experience of using an advanced data base and a versatile statistical programming language. SAS, through our relationship with them, are supporting this course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Access and combine complex data using SAS
  • Explore data in SAS and conduct exploratory data and statistical analysis
  • Analyse data and estimate regression models using SAS
  • Produce output results, interpret them and write a report and/or presentation using the outputs
  • Develop programmes in SAS for repetitive analysis
  • Master the technical application of the SAS statistical programming language, including the incorporation of techniques and contributions from the relevant literature.
  • Develop cognitive abilities and non-subject-specific skills in professional report writing and developing clarity of thought

Outline lecture plan

  • Introduction to SAS software and the SAS programming language
  • Reading/accessing data in SAS
  • Combining and manipulating data in SAS
  • Summary statistical analysis in SAS
  • Modelling and analytics in SAS: linear regression
  • Develop SAS programmes for repetitive analysis
  • Presentation of output in SAS
  • Producing SAS output for use in other software applications

Teaching methods

Lectures and workshops. In this course you will be learning how to use and implement advanced statistical software through application and experience. In the lectures we will typically overview new material prior to applying these in the computer lab workshops. Each workshop session is designed with a step-by-step guide that provides practical experience of applying new concepts. Additional practical exercises and tasks are provided for you to develop your understanding in your own time. Working through the material at your own pace in the workshops will allow us to be able to devote more attention to helping you individually with any problems whilst using SAS during these sessions.


100% coursework


Lent Term

Core texts 

Useful texts to supplement the course materials:

Delwiche, Lora, D. (2003) The Little SAS book: a Primer, 3rd Edition, SAS institute.

Der, G. and Everitt, B. (2002), A Handbook of Statistical Analyses using SAS, 2nd Edition, Boca Raton

Online documentation from (full documentation is available here. How to access it will be mentioned in the lectures).

In addition, chapters from selected texts will be recommended at various points in the course. Texts will be chosen to provide the best coverage of a particular topic. Journal papers will also be part of the reading list and will play an important role in preparing for seminars.

Module tutor

Dr Chris Kirkbride