Sending SAS Enterprise Guide Data to Microsoft Excel

By | May 1, 2010

saslogo A strong point of SAS Enterprise Guide is that it interacts seamlessly with many data types using the Microsoft Jet Engine (Excel .xls, Access .mdb, dBase .dbf, Lotus.wk?, Paradox .db, and text files .txt .csv etc).  To provide even more flexibility, there are also a few different ways in Enterprise Guide to output data to Excel.  A user can export their data to Excel, export to Excel as a step in a project, or they can right-click on a data set and select Send To –> Microsoft Excel.  The latter is a convenient feature that many users are comfortable with, but in Enterprise Guide 4.1, your results might not be what you expect.

One data set that we were working with included a date variable which was stored as a DATE9. format.  A user complained that every time she exported the data it ended up in DATETIME format, and all of the zeroes from the time complicated her project.  I tried to replicate her problem many times by exporting the same data set into Excel and I ended up with DATE9. every time.  I finally asked her to send screen shots of what she was doing, and noticed what she called “export” was actually using “Send To –> Microsoft Excel”.  I explained that to get the results she wanted, she needed to use the “real” export technique.  After I solved this problem, I browsed to support.sas.com and sure enough, SAS had already identified this issue in Microsoft Excel might not maintain date formats in SAS Enterprise Guide.  Apparently this issue is fixed in Enterprise Guide 4.2 but I have not tested it yet.

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