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In what situations is using '+' more beneficial than using 'SUM()'?

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 77

In what situations is using '+' more beneficial than using 'SUM()'?

In the following example, because of missing numeric data, using the plus sign to add horizontally across variables results in an overall missing value as well. However, using SAS's SUM function will display what I am expecting.

Because of that, in what circumstances if any would using a plus sign be more beneficial?

Thank you for your time.

data test;

    x = 10;

    y = .;

    z = 7;

    test1 = x+y+z;

    test2 = sum(x,y,z);

    label test1='x+y+z' test2='sum(x,y,z)';

run;

proc report data=test nowd;

run;

Super User
Super User
Posts: 7,407

Re: In what situations is using '+' more beneficial than using 'SUM()'?

Hi,

One benefit of sum() is that you can use arrays:

data want;

     array col{*};

     result=sum(of col{*});

run;

Above assumes variables called col1-colx, not checked the code. 

Then of course the missing to number addition, sometimes you want to get a result even if . + 2 = .

Super User
Super User
Posts: 6,502

Re: In what situations is using '+' more beneficial than using 'SUM()'?

You said it yourself already. When you WANT the sum to be missing when any of the individual terms are missing.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 77

Re: In what situations is using '+' more beneficial than using 'SUM()'?

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something crucial.

If I want to treat missing values essentially as 0s, then I can use SUM and be fine.

If I want to account for missing values, then I would use +.

Thanks again.

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