What do you want if the length of the account is less than or equal to 4 characters?
Is the Account numeric or character?
If account is character valued and leave the account alone if there are 4 or fewer characters:
data have; input Account :$10.; datalines; 123456 34567898 1234 ; data want; set have; if length(account) ge 5 then account = cats(repeat('x',length(account)-5),substr(account,length(account)-3)); run;
Please not the use of a data step to provide some working values. That way we don't have to ask questions like is the Account numeric or character.
CATS concatenates string values ignoring leading and trailing spaces, Repeat will create the same character a number of times look at the documentation as to why the -5 gets involved.Length returns the number characters excluding trailing spaces. Substr selects a number of characters from a given starting position in the string. If there is no length it uses from the given position to the end of the string. Again look at the values for why -3 is used instead of -4.
This is only one way.
Brute force method:
do i = 1 to length(account) - 4; substr(account,i,1) = "x"; end;
If this is/becomes a comon practice at your site, you might want to look into adding masking capabilities to your infrastructure.
On SAS9 this is managed in Federation Server or DQ/QKB.
There are also external databases that offers this in the data layer, wich is more flexible than hard rewrite of values.
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