How to Import CSV Files into SAS

This tutorial explains how to import CSV files into SAS, along with examples.

Syntax to import CSV file into SAS

You can use PROC IMPORT to import a CSV files into SAS. The syntax of PROC IMPORT is as follows:

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    GETNAMES=YES;
RUN;
  • OUT: Specify name of the dataset to be imported into SAS
  • DATAFILE: File location of CSV file which you want to import
  • DMBS: Specify CSV Format
  • REPLACE: Optional argument. If the file already exists, replace it.
  • GETNAMES: Optional argument. By default, it takes first row as variable names. If the file doesn't have a header,set GETNAMES=NO.
Example 1: Import Data from CSV File into SAS

Suppose you have data in CSV file named customers.csv. You can import it into SAS using the code below.

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    GETNAMES=YES;
RUN;

The code above uses the PROC IMPORT procedure in SAS to import a CSV file located at "/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv". The imported data will be stored in a dataset named "newdata". The DBMS option is set to CSV, telling SAS the file format is CSV. The REPLACE option is specified, which means that if a dataset with the same name already exists, it will be replaced. The GETNAMES option is set to YES, indicating that the first row of the CSV file contains variable names. It is by default so you can exclude this option if you want.

To view and print the dataset, you can use proc print data=newdata;

Import CSV Files in SAS
Example 2: Import Data from CSV File without Header into SAS

If your CSV file does not have header, you can use GETNAMES=NO option in PROC IMPORT.

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    GETNAMES=NO;
RUN;
Example 3: Import Data from CSV File with Custom Delimiter into SAS

By default, SAS considers comma (,) as a delimiter which separates the values in the CSV file when importing using PROC IMPORT. To change delimiter, you can specify it in the DELIMITER= option in PROC IMPORT. The following code uses semicolon (;) as a delimiter.

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    DELIMITER=";";
RUN;
Example 4: Change Starting Row in PROC IMPORT

You can use the DATAROW= option to import a CSV file from a specific row. The following code imports the CSV file from 5th row.

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    DATAROW=5;
RUN;
Example 5: Guess the Data Type when Importing a CSV File

By default, PROC IMPORT makes decisions about the data type in SAS by examining the first 20 rows of the CSV file. This helps determine whether a variable should be treated as numeric or character. To change it to 30, you can use the GUESSINGROWS=30 option.

PROC IMPORT OUT=newdata
    DATAFILE="/home/deepanshu88us0/mydata/customers.csv"
    DBMS=CSV
    REPLACE;
    GUESSINGROWS=30;
RUN;

How to Import a CSV File into SAS Studio

Please follow the steps below to import a CSV File into SAS Studio.

  1. Navigate to the desired folder where you want to import the CSV file. It is located on the left-hand side of the screen under Server Files and Folders pane.
  2. Right click on the folder and then click on Upload Files.
  3. Click on Choose Files and then locate and select the CSV file you want to import. Then click on Upload button
  4. In the folder where file is imported, locate the imported datafile and then right click on it and select the Import Data option.
  5. Click on the Run button to start importing.
  6. SAS Studio will import the CSV file and create a new dataset. By default, the imported dataset will be available in the WORK library.
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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 worked with global clients in various domains like Banking, Insurance, Private Equity, Telecom and HR.

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