SAS is a fourth-generation programming language (or 4GL). According to Wikipedia, a fourth-generation programming language is "a programming language designed with a specific purpose in mind such as the development of commercial business software." All 4GLs are designed to reduce programming effort and minimize the time and cost it takes to develop software. That's just one of the benefits you will gain by learning SAS!
What all this really means is that the SAS System is an integrated system of modular software products. It enables you to:
- enter, retrieve and manage your data easily
- create slick reports and pretty pictures
- analyze your data statistically and mathematically
- plan, forecast and make decisions concerning your business
- manage your projects and perform research on how you conduct your operations
- improve the quality of your processes, as well as
- develop entirely new software applications.
In addition, you can also use SAS for many large-scale functions, such as data warehousing, data mining, human resources management, decision support, and financial management.
Originally, the acronym "SAS" stood for "Statistical Analysis System." Because the system has now grown to be so diverse and can do so much more than perform statistical analyses, the SAS Institute now no longer treats "SAS" as an acronym, but rather the software's name.