SAS : Extracting numbers and text from alphanumeric string

Suppose you wish to extract numbers and text from alphanumeric string in SAS. It is a common data manipulation task in retail and ecommerce industry. Many times numerical value in Product ID refers to a sub-product category. It's not easy to crack this puzzle as it requires a good knowledge of SAS functions. In SAS, you can use COMPRESS function to accomplish this task.

Let's create sample data

The following SAS program creates sample data which would be used further.
data abc;
input a $;
data abc1;
set abc;
b = compress(a,'','A');
c = compress(a, b);


Compress : Extract Numbers and Text

Variable "b" contains numeric values and variable "c" contains characters.

It returns a character string with specified characters removed from the original string.

COMPRESS(string, characters_to_be_removed, modifier)

  1. In the above example, compress(a, '' , 'A') uses 'A' as modifier which means removing alphabetic characters from the original string.
  2. The second compress function eliminates numeric values which are stored in variable b.
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About Author:
Deepanshu Bhalla

Deepanshu founded ListenData with a simple objective - Make analytics easy to understand and follow. He has over 10 years of experience in data science. During his tenure, he has worked with global clients in various domains like Banking, Insurance, Private Equity, Telecom and Human Resource.

2 Responses to "SAS : Extracting numbers and text from alphanumeric string"
  1. Didnt understand comment function. plz explain

  2. Didnt understand *compress function. plz explain


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