Fall '98 PhilaSUG Meeting Agenda and Abstracts

Scheduled Agenda
Click on any hyperlinked topic for an abstract
12:30 - 1:00 Registration
1:00 - 1:10 President's opening remarks
1:10 - 1:40 A Technique for Importing External Data into a Relational Database Using
PROC SQL, the Pass-Through Facility and the Macro Language

Paul Doucette, PAREXEL International
1:40 - 2:10 Supporting the "Program Analyze Write Review" Process
with a Development Environment for Base SAS and the Macro Language

Barry R. Cohen, Planning Data Systems, Inc.
2:10 - 2:25 Breakout - Refreshments, Posters
2:25 - 3:10 Graphical Techniques for Displaying Multivariate Data Using SAS/GRAPH
James R. Schwenke, Covance Periapproval Services, Inc.
Brian J. Fergen, Pfizer, Inc.
3:10 - 3:25 Breakout - Refreshments, Posters
3:25 - 3:40 Open Forum, Business Issues
3:40 - 4:25 Designing Edit Check Tracking System with SAS/IntrNet
James Sun, Constat Systems Corporation
4:25 - 4:30 MBCR (Mercifully Brief Closing Remarks)
4:30 IDT (It's Dinner Time)
Light refreshments will be served during breaks

You are invited to join the speakers and the PhilaSUG Executive Committee for dinner at a nearby restaurant at the conclusion of the meeting. The location will be announced at the meeting.

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A Technique for Importing External Data into a Relational Database Using PROC SQL, the Pass-Through Facility and the Macro Language
Paul Doucette
PAREXEL International

Data conversions are not fun, no doubt about that. But if you're lucky, you can usually learn a thing or two from them. This effort was no different. It was not a lot of fun but a lot was learned from it, including some pretty neat PROC SQL and macro tricks. Credit must be given to SAS Tech Support for providing the basis from which this code was developed.

The goal of this conversion was to take safety data from a clinical data management system whose data is stored in Oracle tables residing on a VAX and migrate it to an Adverse Event tracking system built on a SQL/DS database residing on an IBM. Once the data was extracted from the Oracle database and exported to the IBM, SAS was used to perform the data conversion and insert the data into the adverse event (SQL/DS) database. This was accomplished with the use of PROC SQL statements contained in macros. The macros generated and executed program code that contained the SQL code used to insert, update and delete data to/from the database. The SQL code checked status codes and performed rollbacks when errors were encountered during the database update steps.

All of the code was written in SAS 6.07 in the CMS environment and was developed using the Display Manager interface. The PROC SQL Pass-Through facility was used to directly access the SQL/DS database tables.

Paul Doucette is an IS professional with over 10 years experience in systems design and development, project management and technical training and support. Paul has worked with SAS for over 7 years in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and spent 3 years as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Paul joined PAREXEL International as the Manager of the Biostatistics Programming group. The group is responsible for SAS programming for the statistical analysis of clinical data.

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Supporting the "Program-Analyze-Write-Review" Process with a Development Environment for Base SAS and the Macro Language
Barry R. Cohen
Planning Data Systems, Inc.

Pharmaceutical companies do much Base SAS and Macro Language programming in the process of analyzing their clinical trials data. This is one part in their larger process of collecting, managing, analyzing, and presenting this data. Many companies now provide considerable system support for the early part of this process (data collection and management) and for the later part (document publishing and presentation of results). But less has been done to support the analysis part in between; i.e., the process of developing and executing SAS programs for statistical analysis, and then writing and reviewing an analysis document based upon the results of program execution. This "Program-Analyze-Write-Review" process is a major, time-consuming process in any research organization, and I address automated support for it in this paper. After a top-level discussion of the full Program-Analyze-Write-Review process, I focus in more detail on support for the SAS program development component within this process.

Barry R. Cohen is an information systems consultant and President of Planning Data Systems, Inc., a consulting firm in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He has 20 years of programming and systems development experience, including 17 years with SAS Software.

Mr. Cohen provides services to a broad range of industries, including a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. His most recent experiences have involved the design and performance testing of SAS-based client/server configurations for analytic processing, general support for SAS processing on the UNIX platform, and design of an Integrated Development Environment for SAS program development.

Mr. Cohen is a co-founder and the President of PhilaSUG, the Philadelphia Area SAS Users Group. He is an accomplished author and invited speaker at SAS User Group and other industry conferences, and also chairs SAS conference sections.

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Graphical Techniques for Displaying Multivariate Data Using SAS/GRAPH
James R. Schwenke and Brian J. Fergen
Covance Periapproval Services, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.

When measuring several response variables, multivariate statistical techniques, such as multivariate analysis of variance, are often more powerful in detecting differences among populations than traditional univariate techniques. The increased power of multivariate techniques is achieved by utilizing the correlation among the various response variables measured on a single experimentation unit. In recent years, a number of graphical techniques and computer software packages have been developed for viewing multivariate data through computer monitors. These techniques use various combinations of color, shape and movement to display data, attempting to describe the multidimensional relationship of the response data in two dimensions. However, these techniques do not always transfer easily to the printed page for use in reports or research documents.

This paper is a review of two traditional graphical techniques, the profile and Andrews plots, which have proven to be very useful for displaying multidimensional data. The pinion plot is introduced as an alternative 2-dimensional graphical technique for displaying multivariate data. The pinion plot is compared to the profile and Andrews plots for describing differences among populations and as a graphical tool for detecting multivariate outliers.

James Schwenke is the Associate Director of the Biostatistics Department for Covance Periapproval Services Inc. located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. He has a Ph.D. in statistics from Kansas State University. His dissertation research involved the development of statistical tests using hold-out data sets for model validation.

In his current position at Covance, Dr. Schwenke is responsible for all statistical activities, including design, analysis, quality assurance and writing reports and manuscripts of Phase IIIb and IV clinical trials. In addition, he consults regularly with data managers, clinicians and business development specialists, and he is responsible for providing statistical training to members of clinical and data management staffs.

Dr. Schwenke has published 31 articles on statistical issues in a wide variety of scholarly journals, and he has presented 24 papers at national conferences. This is his first presentation before a SAS User's group.

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Designing Edit Check Tracking System with SAS/IntrNet
James Sun
Constat Systems Corporation

Edit check is one of critical steps in clinical trial data processing. It has a major impact on the overall quality of clinical studies. In the past, some SAS based edit check systems only utilize SAS for limited computing service in a central or local environments. With newly introduced SAS/IntrNet, developers are able to add document management functionality within SAS, and deploy comprehensive systems on an intranet setting. This paper illustrates a working prototype of edit check system, which is able to generate standardized edit check queries, track their resolutions and monitor the overall progress of data cleansing process.

The prototype is essentially a multi-level SAS/IntrNet application. Some technique issues are addressed in designing this kind of applications. Furthermore, the author will discuss the likely impact when such a system is built upon a standardized / modularized CRF design.

James Sun is a Sr. System Analyst with Constat Systems Corp. He has worked as a statistician or SAS programmer in pharmaceutical industry. With over 8 years SAS experiences, he has developed several SAS based applications for data processing and clinical trial project management. His current interest is in designing and implementing process control / document management application with SAS/IntrNet for clinical trial data processing. He is an executive committee member of New Jersey SAS User Group. He has presented many papers at SUGI, NESUG, PharmaSUG, and local user groups. Two of his papers received awards at SUGI'98 and PharmaSUG'98.

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Modeling Dynamic Behavior with Object Interaction Diagrams
Perry Watts, IMS Health
Il-Yeol Song, Drexel University

Object Interaction Diagrams (OIDs) model dynamic behavior by showing how system components interact to complete core tasks defined in software project design. While seemingly intuitive, diagram elements are not consistently defined, and methods for constructing an OID have not been described in the literature. Also there is a lack of understanding about how OIDs relate to each other and to other system diagrams.

The goal of this poster is to resolve these issues by systematically examining the structure and role of the OID in object-oriented (OO) systems design. First, we take a look at how prominent developers use OIDs in their designs. Next the structure of an OID is examined in detail, and recommendations for clarification are presented. Then a heuristic method for OID construction is described. An analysis of a set of library OIDs corroborates the heuristic by reproducing the profile of entity, control, and boundary object stereotypes described in the literature. The heuristic method represents a first effort in the field of OO design to describe how an OID should be constructed.

We also show that communicating OIDs are not systematically connected to each other. Relationships can be fully understood if OIDs are organized hierarchically with strategically positioned connector buttons that enable the viewer to both "drill down" to subordinate OIDs and to "roll up" to calling OIDs for a complete, detailed trace through a system. We conclude the paper by bringing together all of our recommendations for syntax changes into a single enhanced OID that will hopefully improve the quality of software design.

Perry Watts is a senior statistical programmer at IMS Health. She has been using SAS software since 1988 to summarize scientific studies, portray statistical models, and develop presentation graphics for health-care research. She recently completed a Master's Degree in Information Systems at Drexel University in Philadelphia. An earlier version of this paper co-authored by Perry and Cher ping Wong won the 1998 ASIS Excellence Award presented by the Drexel University and Delaware Valley Chapters of the American Society of Information Science.

Perry has presented papers at SUGI, NESUG, and PhilaSUG. She is a long-term member of PhilaSUG's Executive Committee.

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A Color Scheme for SCL Programs
Rick Aster
Breakfast Communications

The Source window of SAS/AF software lets you apply color to the text of SCL programs you edit. This poster shows the commands you use to apply color and demonstrates the value of a color scheme in improving the readability of an ordinary SCL program.

Rick Aster is a SAS programming expert and the author of Professional SAS Programmer's Pocket Reference and several other books and tapes on SAS software. He lives in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and until recently, spent most of his time working as a SAS programming consultant in the greater Philadelphia area.

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Using AUTOEXEC.SAS to Customize SAS Sessions
Jennifer Price

There are several features in SAS that can be used to organize your SAS session before it begins. This paper will examine how this can be done using AUTOEXEC.SAS. One of the features of AUTOEXEC.SAS is that it can be customized for different projects. For example, most projects have a unique libname, format library and macro library. You may have standard libnames, formats and macro libraries as well. These can all be set up using AUTOEXEC.SAS.

The SAS AUTOEXEC.SAS is an external file located in the same physical location as SAS.EXE. It is run when SAS is executed. The solution I found to organize my sessions by project is the following:

  • Each project has a libname that is unique to that project. This libname is used by all programmers and in all programs related to that project.
  • Each project has a format library. Each programmer adds the formats they need to a single library that is then accessed by all programmers on the project.
  • Each project has a macro library in addition to the standard macro library used in all projects.

Jennifer Price is a Consultant with nine years experience in analyzing, summarizing, and reporting clinical trials data. Her specialties include internet applications, program validation, converting and importing data and data reporting. Specializing in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Other interests include computer hardware, software and networking, and web based applications. SAS experience covers Base SAS, SAS Macro Language, SAS/STAT, SAS/GRAPH and SAS/FSP. Jennifer is active in PhilaSUG, NESUG and PharmaSUG.

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SAS G3d Animation and Graphic Viewer System
Shi-Tao Yeh

This paper presents an illustration of SASG3D graphic animation and the SAS macros to generate HTML-based files for viewing SAS graphics on Web pages. The macros can create a graphic viewer system to review and manage these SAS graphs and G3D animation on Web pages. The discussion includes but is not limited to:

  • Preparing SAS G3D graphics output
  • Converting SAS graphics into HTML code
  • Providing a SAS macro to generate a viewer system
  • Illustrating a sample viewer system.

The SAS products used in this paper are: SASBASE, and SAS/GRAPH with no limitation of operating systems.

Shi-Tao Yeh is a consultant at EDP Contract Services with assignment to SmithKline Beecham. His area of expertise is base SAS, SAS/STAT. SAS/GRAPH, SAS/AF, SAS/FSP and SAS Macro. He has a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a SAS user for 22 years.

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Last Update: October 27, 1998