Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Creating a Data Set Containing Confidence Intervals Using PROC UNIVARIATE

5th September 2010

While you could generate data sets containing means and confidence intervals using PROC SUMMARY or PROC MEANS, curiosity and the need to verify a program using a different technique were what drove me to consider using PROC UNIVARIATE for the task. For the record, the PROC SUMMARY code is below and the only difference between it and MEANS is that it doesn’t produce output by default, something that’s not needed in this case anyway. Quite why there are two SAS procedures doing exactly the same thing is beyond me though I do wonder if the NOPRINT options was a later addition than these two procedures. The LCLM and UCLM keywords are what triggers the calculation of confidence limits and the ALPHA option controls the confidence interval used; 0.05 specifies a 95% interval, 0.1 a 90% one and so on.

proc summary data=sashelp.class mean lclm uclm alpha=0.05;
var age;
output out=sasuser.lims mean=mean lclm=lclm uclm=uclm;

Given that I have had PROC UNIVARIATE producing statistics that MEANS/SUMMARY didn’t in previous versions of SAS (I believe that is was standard deviation that was absent from MEANS/SUMMARY), I might have expected the calculation and export of confidence limits to a data set to be straightforward. Sadly, it’s not a case of simply adding LCLM and UCLM keywords in the OUTPUT statement for the procedure and ODS OUTPUT is needed to create the data set instead. An ODS SELECT statement is needed to pick out the BasicIntervals output object (UNIVARIATE creates quite a few, it seems) that is created through specification of the CIBASIC and ALPHA (performs the same role as it does for PROC MEANS/SUMMARY) options on the PROC UNIVARIATE statement. The reason for the ODS LISTING and ODS RTF statements below is to stop output being sent to the output window in a standard SAS session. For some reason, it appears that you need the sending of output to one of the LISTING, HTML or RTF destinations or there will be no data in the data set; I met up with the same behaviour when using ODS PS, an ODS PRINTER destination. The data set will contain statistics for mean, standard deviation and variance so that’s why there is a WHERE clause on the ODS OUTPUT statement.

ods listing close;
ods rtf body="c:\temp\uni_eg.doc";
ods select BasicIntervals;
ods output BasicIntervals=sasuser.stats(where=(lowcase(parameter)="mean") );

proc univariate cibasic alpha=0.05 data=sashelp.class;
var age;

ods output close;
ods rtf close;
ods listing;

  • All the views that you find expressed on here in postings and articles are mine alone and not those of any organisation with which I have any association, through work or otherwise. As regards editorial policy, whatever appears here is entirely of my own choice and not that of any other person or organisation.

  • Please note that everything you find here is copyrighted material. The content may be available to read without charge and without advertising but it is not to be reproduced without attribution. As it happens, a number of the images are sourced from stock libraries like iStockPhoto so they certainly are not for abstraction.

  • With regards to any comments left on the site, I expect them to be civil in tone of voice and reserve the right to reject any that are either inappropriate or irrelevant. Comment review is subject to automated processing as well as manual inspection but whatever is said is the sole responsibility of the individual contributor.