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Many users of SAS System software, especially those working with large datasets, are often confronted with processing time challenges. How can one reduce the amount of CPU required to retrieve specific data? In this paper, an "Outside the box" approach using a matching method utilizing Proc Format replaces the CPU heavy Sort/Sort/Merge. It is ideal for situations when a key from one file is needed to extract data from another file. It is more apparently useful when at least one of the files is quite large. This method has been proven time and again to decrease CPU by 70%-80% and is effective on all platforms utilizing Base SAS.
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