Friday, August 21, 2009

How do you view SAS datasets on an iPhone? You chunk it.

Data Overview
SAS datasets are stored in libraries on the server similar to how files are stored in folders. Each library is associated with a different folder on the server which contains one or more datasets. You then have the option of selecting the library which contains datasets you wish to view. The screen that lists the available datasets can be accessed through the "Dataset" navigational button at the bottom of your screen.

This will list all the available SAS dataset from the specified library. You can then view the contents of the data by selecting on dataset from the list. This is accomplished by tapping anywhere on the row of the displayed dataset name.

Selecting Data
The main dataset screen displays all datasets that you have access to in the specified library. The list displays a short dataset name followed by the more descriptive dataset label below each dataset. You can select a different library by selecting the library name at the top of the dataset view to display the library selection screen as shown here:

Once you select the library, you can then return back to the main Dataset screen by selecting the "Datasets" navigation button at the top. From the list of datasets on the dataset screen, you can view the data by selecting anywhere on the entire row of the dataset name and label. This will then navigate you to the dataset view screen which displays the detail values of the dataset.

The libraries and user access to the libraries are similar to how SAS libraries are created with LIBNAME but managed in the library management tools by an administrator.

Viewing Data
SAS datasets can be very large. BI Flash will break down the data into viewable screens of 20 rows at a time. Upon the selection of the dataset from the main dataset screen, you will be brought to the data viewer.

You can navigate to specific observation of the data by selecting the navigational next and back arrow buttons at the bottom of the viewer. The slider also allows you to quickly jump to a specific segment of the data quickly. You can also tap on the current observation number (1-20) to then be presented with a list of the data chunks. This allows you to navigate across larger sets of data.

The list of "chunks" of data can be scrolled through by swiping vertically. This will allow you to scroll through the entire observation list and select on the specific chink of data to be viewed. Upon selection, it will display data viewer with the data with selected observations.

You can also configure how the variables are to be displayed. These options are available through the button shown here:

This button is a toggle which flips the screen between the data
viewer and the configuration screen shown below:

The options include the following.

  1. Formatted - This will apply any SAS formats or user defined format with the associated format catalog upon the view of the data.

  2. Variable Attributes - This will display the variable label, length and related attributes similar to what you would see in a PROC CONTENTS.

  3. Variable Names - The column header will display the variable name as part of the title.
  4. Variable Label - The column header will display the variable label as part of the title.
  5. Data Block - Defines the chunk size of the data which will be viewed to optimize viewing experience for large datasets

More details are available at BI Flash User Manual....

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