Statistical Graphics Procedures by Example: Effective Graphs Using SAS by Dan Heath and Sanjay Matange – Review

Here is my Amazon Review on Statistical Graphics Procedures by Example: Effective Graphs Using SAS by Dan Heath and Sanjay Matange

If you’re anything like me, I have been keeping up with the advancements of SAS Graphics by Googling SAS Global Forum (SGF), SGPLOT, and Graphics etc. and beside either typing Sanjay Matange or Dan’s Heath name. As a consequence I’ve got lots of Dan’s and Sanjay’s SGF Paper as my favorites, and inevitably have become quite good at creating Graphics 🙂

This book is the end of storing multiple graphical favorites, searching the internet for help, and wondering how to plot good quality graphs with ease! This book is mostly for SAS 9.2 users and goes through the basics of the “new” SG Procedures step by step really well. It shows you how to create nice single cell plots, and describes plot types that can be overlaid and go together, such as a scatterplot and a regression line. It also shows you how to produce paneled plots (multiple plots on one page) which is a well sought after plot, amongst other things. This book touches on the new graphical options in SAS 9.3 and touches on the more advanced techniques, such as attribute maps, which is a really neat way to plot grouped data exactly how you want it, regardless of any missing groups.

I liked that there were specific plot templates based on the business you were in. I found the Health and Life Sciences Chapter really helpful, which showed how to create Forest plots with Summary Statistics and Adverse Events Timeline graphs. Towards the end of the book it gave details on the graph image types that were available, and the pros on cons of each. This was great as it has been an increasing subject of interest.

The only downsides of this book is I would have liked it to also have talked about the DISCRETEOFFSET option in terms of Jittering plots at the lowest level (such as Subject ID) too, and talked more about SGRender and Graph Template Language (GTL). However with regards to talking more about GTL, this is based on the knowledge I know the authors have on the subject and I can imagine the difficulty in actually incorporating GTL as it is a huge subject and there is a steeper learning curve than learning SGPLOT, SGPANEL and SGSCATTER which this book is focused on too.

I recommend this book for anyone that wants to learn the basics and foundations of producing, nice publication ready graphics easily in SAS 9.2 or 9.3 or for any other intermediate or advanced graphical user that would like to sharpen their graphical skills.