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See you lata, Prepare Data!

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If you've recently transitioned to the new SAS Viya for Learners 4 environment, you might be eager to dive back into your data preparation tasks using familiar tools from previous versions. However, if you're a visual data prepper, you probably noticed that the Prepare Data application (SAS Data Studio) is no longer available.


But have no fear, the functionality is still here - we will just hop into Develop Code and Flows (SAS Studio)!

First, let’s understand the differences between the two applications - Prepare Data vs. Develop Code and Flows.

Interface and Navigation

  • Prepare Data in SAS Viya 3.5: Featured a user-friendly, visual interface tailored specifically for data preparation tasks.
  • Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4: Offers a more comprehensive environment, combining visual data preparation with powerful coding capabilities. You can create and manage data flows visually, but also have the flexibility to write and execute code for more complex tasks.


  • Prepare Data in SAS Viya 3.5: Focused primarily on data cleaning, transformation, and preparation through a series of visual tools and workflows.
  • Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4: Maintains all the data preparation features you’re accustomed to, while also integrating robust coding and scripting capabilities. This allows for greater customization and control over your data workflows.

Learning Curve

  • Prepare Data in SAS Viya 3.5: Designed for ease of use, especially for those who prefer a visual approach to data manipulation.
  • Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4: While it offers visual tools similar to Prepare Data, it also provides an opportunity to deepen your coding skills. The transition might require some initial adjustment, but the added functionality and flexibility are worth it.

Let’s get into the nitty gritty
You will find the Prepare Data in SAS Viya 3.5 functionality in three places within Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4. And don’t worry, they are still low-code!

1. Steps: Individual actions or commands that you can execute within a data flow or code execution. They represent the building blocks of your data preparation and analysis workflow. Steps can include actions such as importing data, filtering records, merging datasets, or performing transformations.


Bonus: You can create your own Custom Step!



2. Tasks: Predefined, reusable components designed to perform common data manipulation and analysis operations. They provide a higher level of abstraction compared to individual steps, often bundling multiple steps into a single operation.



3. Snippets: Reusable pieces of code that you can quickly insert into your programs.They are designed to save time and ensure consistency by allowing you to reuse common code patterns and logic.



Wow! If we were talking merges, this would be a one-to-many when switching from Prepare Data in SAS Viya 3.5 to Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4!


Key Benefits of this Transition

  • Integrated Environment: Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4 combines data preparation, coding, and flow management in one place, streamlining your workflow.
  • Enhanced Flexibility: The ability to switch between visual tools and code allows for more complex and customized data processes.
  • Future-Proof Skills: Learning to navigate and utilize Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4 equips you with valuable coding skills, enhancing your data science and analytics capabilities.

By embracing Develop Code and Flows in SAS Viya 4, you can continue to efficiently prepare your data while also expanding your analytical capabilities. If you want more inspiration for the possibilities within Viya for Learners, check out @LGroves' post: Need reasons to get excited about SAS Viya for Learners 4 (VFL4)? Start Here! 


Don't miss out on this opportunity to advance your data analytics capabilities with the most innovative platform available. Sign up for SAS Viya for Learners 4 with your academic email address today and start transforming your data into insights! And as you migrate your data preparation into Develop Code and Flows, leave a comment about your new favorite step, task, or snippet!


Great article @Rachel_McLawhon !  I have shared this information with my team as we need to look forward to modernizing DI Studio job and eventually moving to VIYA and SAS Studio.  Great intro and info to help us get started!  Thanks so much!

Thank you Rachel for the detail on the transition of the transformations available in the Prepare Data option from version 3.5 to SAS Data Studio from version 4. As you indicate, they have their important differences, such as the Gender Analysis transformation, I do not see it available in SAS Data Studio. As well as the Suggestions functionality that we had in version 3.5. The latter was a badge of SAS Viya 3.5.

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