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Posts: 38

# how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

So this seems very simple but very wired problem has confused me for so long, and it never happened like this before... Here it is:

I am calculating a variable called M_final = 8-(M1+M2+M3+M4+M5+M6+M7+(M8/4)

all M1 to M8 are numerical values, so I would expect M_final be a numerical value as well, also with decimal points (because M8/4), later I will need this M_final to create a character category like HighScore, LowScore

 ID M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 M7 M8 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 5 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 6 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 8 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 9 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

So my code in data step is (as easy as it is):

M_Score = 8-(M1+M2+M3+M4+M5+M6+M7+(M8/4));

but this is what SAS keeps showing me in Log:

Numeric values have been converted to character values at the places given by:

(Line)Column).

-> it points to the line above

I am very confused why it happened and how to make it work as it should.

I've tried to use input to force the values back from character to numeric values, but it creates another problem that all decimal points are lost....

Thank you!

Accepted Solutions
Solution
‎10-20-2017 09:07 AM
Posts: 5,624

## Re: how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

Maybe M_score or M_final already exist as a character variable in your input dataset.

PG

All Replies
Super User
Posts: 24,001

## Re: how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

One of the variables in your formula is not numeric.

Run a PROC CONTENTS and check the type.

Solution
‎10-20-2017 09:07 AM
Posts: 5,624

## Re: how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

Maybe M_score or M_final already exist as a character variable in your input dataset.

PG
Contributor
Posts: 38

## Re: how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

I thought about it, but no, M_final / M_score (sorry I keep using them interchangeably) is created rather than already exist
Posts: 1,848

Super User
Posts: 24,001

## Re: how to prevent SAS forcing calculated numeric values into character values

Post the PROC CONTENTS output.

Contributor
Posts: 38