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Date:         Sun, 16 Jul 2006 15:48:13 -0400
Reply-To:     Sigurd Hermansen <HERMANS1@WESTAT.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Sigurd Hermansen <HERMANS1@WESTAT.COM>
Subject:      Re: Sparklines in SAS?
Comments: To: Paul OldenKamp <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Paul: First that I've heard of sparklines. Interesting idea... A quick scan of the Sparklines chapter of Tufte's book, shows that a basic sparkline is a line or spline graph of a series of points. Hendel's macroprogram appears to be all one would need to generate a sparkline with control limits. I'd say that, following your suggestion, that one could wrap Hendel's macroprogram between ODS statements and generate a sparkline as a graphic cartouche. PROC REPORT style elements can include graphic objects. Tufte appears to be targeting sparklines for time series. Nothing new about graphing time series, but showing a history of, say, lab results for a patient would provide information about trends, cycles, and variability that a point estimate wouldn't have. The same could be said about sales histories, bond prices, seismic readings, etc. I guess you would call commonplace graphs of these crude sparklines as well, but a sparkline seems more oriented to summarizing the history of a specific result. Thanks for starting this interesting thread ... I look forward to seeing suggestions for creating, cataloging, and displaying little sparkline cartouches on reports. If I can find a good application, I'll take a stab at developing a generic SAS method. Sig


From: on behalf of Paul OldenKamp Sent: Sun 7/16/2006 2:31 PM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Sparklines in SAS?

Hello SAS-Ler's,

I'll be attending Edward Tufte's one day course this week in Seattle and this has prompted me to read up on some of his latest ideas.

In his latest book, Beautiful Evidence, there's a chapter on sparklines. Sparklines are "Intense, simple, word-sized graphics". Here are some references to get one started:

You'll notice that there are libraries and utilities for java, PHP, Excel, and Word.

How should one produce sparklines with SAS? I found Marc Hendel's SAS program and examples:

And Dr. Robert Allison uses sparklines in this SAS dashboard example:

but there doesn't seem to be anything else out there. I searched the SAS-L for 'sparkline' and didn't get a single hit. I also did a search of the SI support site and also did not get a single hit!!

It would seem to me that one would want to fairly seamlessly access a data source and generate a sparkline that could be easily inserted in a document. There must be some way to combine the use of SAS/GRAPH, ods (perhaps ods document), to produce an rtf document that could be used as a source for cut and paste. We don't have the add-in for Microsoft Office but this would also seem to be useful functionality for it as well.

How would you program sparklines? What are good applications for sparklines?

Paul OldenKamp Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle

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