Why use SAS in finance: SAS is a distinguished software package in statistics with more than 40-year development history. Starting from as a scripting tool to do ANOVA for agricultural experimental design in North Carolina, SAS has been heavily built on generalized linear model. For example, SAS institute consistently improve linear model procedures, from Proc Anova, Proc Glm, Proc Mixed to the latest Proc Glimmix. In a summary, SAS is pretty good at processing and analyzing any linear or non-linear models. However, the foundation for finance model, such as fixed income products and derivatives, is continuous-time equations, such as Black-Scholes formula. Most likely, quantitative analysts tend to price the products by solving those equations. So, in a word, the finance analyst is always working with equations, or many equations. Obviously here SAS is not good at it. Yes, SAS has more than 900 functions. And they are still not enough to keep up with the fast-pace of Wall Street. That is why the quants use Matlab, C++ and Excel VBA, instead of SAS. Then how the quants need to create their own equations in SAS? And how they build their function library or include the 3rd party library? Proc Fcmp may be the rescue.
Why Proc Fcmp? Finally we have Proc Fcmp, an equation editor. Proc Fcmp is a formidable tool for building function and even function library. All self-built or third party functions are stored in customer-specified package for future usage. Like Excel VBA, Proc Fcmp can construct equivalent subroutine and function. The nice thing is that all the function-based variables are encapsulated without any explicit declaration ( I hate nested macros: the variables would surf around from here to there). In addition, SAS Function Editor is an excellent tool viewer to manage and check all functions.
Conclusion: Look at the codes below, you see that Excel VBA and SAS Proc Fcmp are quite similar. A VBA developer can switch to SAS developer very smoothly in a short period. Also many people can work with a function package simultaneously through a distant SAS server, while each of them builds individual function. The quants may feel more comfortable to use SAS than VBA. Another good thing is that, by using Proc Proto, C++ function can be introduced into Proc Fcmp. That means that even C++ developer can also explore the turf of SAS language. Given that SAS is also a wonderful database management software, I expect that more and more people would embrace SAS through Proc Fcmp in the finance area.
Reference: Jørgen Boysen Hansen. Using the new features of Proc Fcmp in risk management at dong energy A/S. DONG Energy A/S.
'USE EXCEL VBA TO TO GRADE THE SCORES OF 28 STUDENTS Function Grade(score) If IsGrade(score) Then Select Case score Case Is <= 60 Grade = "F" Case 60.5 To 70 Grade = "D" Case 70.5 To 80 Grade = "C" Case 80.5 To 90 Grade = "B" Case IS > 90 Grade = "A" End Select Else Grade = " " End If End Function /*USE PROC FCMP TO GENERATE THE FUNCTION */ proc fcmp outlib=sasuser.myfunction.grade; function grade(score); select; when (Score GE 90) return ("A"); when (Score GE 80) return ("B"); when(Score GE 70) return ("C"); when (Score GE 60) return ("D"); when (Score NE .) return ("F"); otherwise; end; endsub; run; quit; /*APPLY THE FUNCTION TO GRADE THE SCORES OF 28 STUDENTS*/ options cmplib=sasuser.myfunction; data exam_one_graded; set exam_one; Grade_one=grade(score); run;