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Wandering through the blog: random, unfocused thoughts on research, SAS etc.

The NIH stimulus grants were supposed to be announced in August. Many people I know have already been turned down, no surprise since there were 10,000 applications for 200 grants. I checked on grants.gov last night and our proposal has been assigned a panel with a review date of 10/2009 which is very weird since I thought the grants were to be announced in August.  I am just happy we are still in the running. We may have been shifted over to some other competition. I know some of the institutes had extra funding for Comparative Effectiveness Research (which ours was not) and other specific interests of the particular institute. This was the most interesting, exciting research I had proposed in a long time.  For now, I am not committing to any new projects just in case we get funded. In any event, it was a ton of fun writing it, and how often can you say that about a grant proposal?

Bouncing back and forth between SAS, SAS EG, SPSS and a very tiny bit of Stata. Things I am learning that I like and don’t like

SPSS doesn’t do Cochrane-Armitage test for trend analysis – I mean, of course you can program it, but it is not an option, where in SAS it is incredibly simple

Proc freq data = datasetname ;
table variable1*variable2 / trend norow nocol nopercent scores=table;

I swiped this code out of a short and sweet paper from PharmaSug


SAS Enterprise Guide is good for data analysis and graphs but anything that uses functions, merges files, sorts files it is a little clunkier. While it may work fine for lots of people – the Excel and Access users of the world, of which there are approximately ten jillion – I do think some things still require code or are easier with it.  Recoding lots of variable using arrays,  use of functions like the input function and many more are much easier just writing SAS code.

Enterprise Guide does have some benefits to recommend it, though, in addition to the graphics, the much easier ways of doing summary tables (yes, I can type out proc tabulate code no problem but that is not 99.9% of the general public). I like how it is much easier to change data attributes from characteric to numeric and vice-versa. SPSS has had that for a long time. It used to be a bit of a pain in SAS and with EG there is nothing to it.

In short, though, computers are wonderful.  I wrote a SAS program to pull all the paid-up users out of our database and am sending them all an email on how to renew their license with the setinit attached. I wrote a second program to pull out all those who haven’t paid and email them a reminder. Since my computer did all the work, I am going  to reward myself for a job well done by heading over to the library and reading through the new Stata manuals to see if there is anything interesting on survival analysis. After that, I think I will see what is in these new SPSS modules that I received a month or so ago and still have not had  time to examine – complex samples, exact tests and other goodies.

What more could a person ask out of  life ? (Well, except for getting that grant funded.)

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