[R] Inefficiency of SAS Programming

Chu, Roy roychu at gmail.com
Fri Feb 27 19:45:05 CET 2009


Also because no one wants to put their neck out on a chopping block to
suggest R without technical support and the like.  If you use SAS,
there's a cascade of blame available, but it's not immediately
available for R.

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM, Bryan <thespamhouse at gmail.com> wrote:
> My apologies, this obviously doubles as my "for registration purposes"
> account and so I don't often send from it - I was not intentionally being so
> secretive : )
>
> At any rate, I completely agree, but of course it's a reciprocal
> relationship.  The software is written in SAS because that's what the
> organizations use, the organizations use SAS because that's what the
> programs are written in...  For better or worse, SAS's integration in big
> bureaucracies is the main thing that keeps it competitive in the marketplace
> and viable.  There aren't a lot of other contexts in which their pricing
> structure would work.
>
> Bryan
>
> On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 12:48 PM, Frank E Harrell Jr <
> f.harrell at vanderbilt.edu> wrote:
>
>> spam me wrote:
>>
>>> I've actually used AHRQ's software to create Inpatient Quality Indicator
>>> reports.  I can confirm pretty much what we already know; it is
>>> inefficient.
>>> Running on about 1.8 - 2 million cases, it would take just about a whole
>>> day
>>> to run the entire process from start to finish.  That isn't all processing
>>> time and includes some time for the analyst to check results between
>>> substeps, but I still knew that my day was full when I was working on IQI
>>> reports.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> To be fair though, there are a lot of other factors (beside efficiency
>>> considerations) that go into AHRQ's program design.  First, there are a
>>> lot
>>> of changes to that software every year.  In some cases it is easier and
>>> less
>>> error prone to hardcode a few points in the data so that it is blatantly
>>> obvious what to change next year should another analyst need to do so.
>>>  Second,
>>> the organizations that use this software often require transparency and
>>> may
>>> not have high level programmers on staff.  Writing code so that it is
>>> accessible, editable, and interpretable by intermediate level programmers
>>> or
>>> analysts is a plus.  Third, given that IQI reports are often produced on a
>>> yearly basis, there's no real need to sacrifice clarity, etc. for
>>> efficiency
>>> - you're only doing this process once a year.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> There are other points that could be made, but the main idea is I don't
>>> think it's fair to hold this software up, out of context, as an example of
>>> SAS's (or even AHRQs) inefficiencies.  I agree that SAS syntax is nowhere
>>> near as elegant or as powerful as R from a programming standpoint, that's
>>> why after 7 years of using SAS I switched to R.  But comparing the two at
>>> that level is like a racing a Ferrari and a Bentley to see which is the
>>> better car.
>>>
>>
>> Dear Anonymous,
>>
>> Nice points.  I would just add that it would be better if
>> government-sponsored projects would result in software that could be run
>> without expensive licenses.
>>
>> Thanks
>> Frank
>>
>>
>>>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
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>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
>>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>>> http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
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>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Frank E Harrell Jr   Professor and Chair           School of Medicine
>>                     Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University
>>
>
>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
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>



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