I've got multiple data files that have mostly the same data (1700+ variables). But the experiment generating the files has been manipulated (so some files are missing 2 variables). Also, some of the measures were skipped so we are missing data and the missing data was substituted with a 99 by the software, though some of those variables are actually character fields.
I need to concatenate these files but I have two problems. Some variables are defined as character and numeric so SAS can't match them for the stacked data set. Additionally, the text fields are open ended responses so the number of characters in each response varies greatly. The software used the number of characters to set the length of the variable, so if the first response for that variable only had 14 characters, every response added after that gets truncated at 14 characters.
I think what I need to do is go through and fix the variables that are in question. That is, change them to character and set a fixed number character number so each data set matches.
Problem: I'm just learning SAS... well, not really. I used it in 1989 on a DOS machine. It's changed A LOT.
Kind of lost and frustrated and the online materials are going over my head...