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One of the best features of Excel is the ease with which a paper-based report can be compiled to include data tables and charts on the same page, all with easily controlled fonts, colors and spacing. The downside to using Excel for such purposes is its limited ability to analyze or manipulate data. For years, the authors small state agency published a paper-based report that consisted primarily of aggregated statistics and charts showing change over time in those statistics, which was compiled using Excel. When SAS introduced ODS it became possible to not only generate the required statistics in SAS, but also generate the output tables and charts in a way that closely resembled the original report format.
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