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Date:         Fri, 19 Nov 2004 20:12:34 -0500
Reply-To:     Arthur Tabachneck <art297@NETSCAPE.NET>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Arthur Tabachneck <art297@NETSCAPE.NET>
Subject:      Re: Use of Variable With 21 Characters


In addition to what has been said already, I can only add the research imperative. That is, if the 21 character field is the best way that you can match those records with their predecessors' data, then by all means the field "must" be kept (unless you definitely won't have a need to review/compare their information in the future).



"Michael F. Murphy" <Michael.F.Murphy@KP.ORG> wrote in message > Dear SAS-L'ers > > I'm reviewing a membership system that includes a variable > called "Membship", created in the days when variable names could not be > more than 8 characters long. > > Membship is a concatination of four variables: > Group number converted to a 5-character string > Subgroup number converted to a 3-character string > Family Account number converted to an 8-character string > Effective date of health care coverage converted to a 5-character string. > > Hence Membship is a 21 character string. > > We are trying to decide whether to keep this variable or replace it with > the following four numeric variables: Group, Subgroup, Family_Acct, and > Eff_Date. I am having trouble coming up with reasons for keeping Membship, > but there may be reasons for keeping it. Can anyone think of reasons for > keeping this 21-character variable instead of the four numeric variables? > > Thanks.

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