My favorite experience from my internship this summer was being able to learn SAS, a statistical programming language. I love building up my programming skills and understanding the different ways datasets can be created, manipulated, and analyzed. While my mentor initially gave me a brief introduction into working with SAS, I had time to explore, manipulate, and fully work with our data in SAS myself. I’ve learned about a few different statistical procedures that can be run in SAS as well as developed my understanding of statistics.
Specifically, I learned about importing and exporting data and output, running descriptive statistics (such as frequency tables and means), running regression models, creating graphs, and subsetting data in SAS. When working with a dataset, it is important to not only understand its structure and variables, but also to know how to properly subset data by applying conditional statements. From this, I feel as if my background in programming helped me pick up SAS more easily. In fact, working with SAS has also contributed to strengthening my programming skills as well. I thoroughly enjoyed working on my project and critically thinking about how to go about planning our analyses. Our dataset of interest for our project has data on over 50,000 people, and I worked on figuring out how to apply exclusion criteria on conditions such as age, health status, etc. in order to define our subpopulation of interest. I also worked on examining the variables in the dataset and assessing their distributions to see which variables we could use in our analyses.
Overall, I am proud of my work this summer and I believe that this experience has been helpful for me as I consider pursuing some kind of career involving data analysis because I have gained exposure to another program used for working with data. I plan on not only learning more statistics, but I also hope to continue developing my statistical programming skills in SAS.