This paper gives an introduction to some basic but critically important concepts of statistics and data analysis for the SAS programmer who pulls or manipulates data, but who might not understand what goes into a proper data analysis. We first introduce some basic ideas of descriptive statistics for one-variable data and then expand those ideas into many variables. We then introduce the idea of statistical significance and then conclude with how all these ideas can be used to answer questions about the data. Examples and SAS® code are provided.
In many of the SAS Institute publications about the new ODS statistical graphics, there is an introductory statement that defines an “effective” graph as one that reveals “patterns, differences and uncertainty that are not readily apparent in tabular output” (Kuhfeld, 2010; Rodriguez, 2008; Rodriguez and Cartier, 2009). Developing a good graph becomes a challenge, however, when input data map to crowded displays with overlapping points or lines.