[R] Inefficiency of SAS Programming
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.
> 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
>>> Running on about 1.8 - 2 million cases, it would take just about a whole
>>> 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
>>> 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
>>> of changes to that software every year. In some cases it is easier and
>>> 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.
>>> the organizations that use this software often require transparency and
>>> not have high level programmers on staff. Writing code so that it is
>>> accessible, editable, and interpretable by intermediate level programmers
>>> 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
>>> - 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.
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>> Frank E Harrell Jr Professor and Chair School of Medicine
>> Department of Biostatistics Vanderbilt University
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