The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates had a saying: “Know thyself.” In statistics, it's important to know thy data. You need to have knowledge of the distribution and characteristics of your data before you can successfully perform other analyses. If your data are quantitative in nature (e.g., a measure such as height or the volume of liquid in a bottle), the SAS® procedures in this chapter can help you glean a lot of information from the numbers.
PROC MEANS is useful for evaluating quantitative data in your data set and for creating a simple summary report. Using this procedure, you can calculate simple statistics that include the mean and standard deviation, plus the minimum and maximum, all of which allow you to see quickly whether data values fall within allowed limits for each variable. If a data value is smaller or larger than expected, check your data to determine if the value has been miscoded.
PROC MEANS can be used for the following: