**Numeric Precision - Take a Big Byte?**

As Cody & Pass say, "there is considerable controversy concerning the appropriate length of SAS numeric variables."

One possible rule:

Store all numbers in 8 bytes

The **advantage** of this is the machine always stores numbers in the full precision that the machine can muster; You can do no better than this in terms of precision.

The **disadvantage** of this is that you may be using more storage space than necessary; You may be able to use less disk space.

The rule for BIOS524:

Don't loose precision but store *all* variables in the smallest number of bytes.

In particular:

Store** character variables** with a length of the longest character value.

Store numeric variables whose values are **not integers** in 8 bytes.

Store **integers** in the number of bytes indicated in the table, above.

Store **dates** in 4 or 5 bytes (they are integers).