The COMPUTAB procedure provides alternative programming methods for performing most calculations. New column and row values are formed by adding values from the input data set, directly or with modification, into existing columns or rows. New columns can be formed in the input block or in column blocks. New rows can be formed in the input block or in row blocks.
This example illustrates the different ways to collect totals. Table 9.9 is the total sales report for two products, SALES1 and SALES2, during the years 1988–1990. The values for SALES1 and SALES2 in columns C88, C89, and C90 come from the input data set.
Table 9.9: Total Sales Report
C88 
C89 
C90 
SALESTOT 

SALES1 
15 
45 
80 
140 
SALES2 
30 
40 
50 
120 
YRTOT 
45 
85 
130 
260 
The new column SALESTOT, which is the total sales for each product over three years, can be computed in several different ways:
in the input block by selecting SALESTOT for each observation:
salestot = 1;
in a column block:
coltot: salestot = c88 + c89 + c90;
In a similar fashion, the new row YRTOT, which is the total sales for each year, can be formed as follows:
in the input block:
yrtot = sales1 + sales2;
in a row block:
rowtot: yrtot = sales1 + sales2;
Performing some calculations in PROC COMPUTAB in different orders can yield different results, because many operations are not commutative. Be sure to perform calculations in the proper sequence. It might take several column and row blocks to produce the desired report values.
Notice that in the previous example, the grand total for all rows and columns is 260 and is the same whether it is calculated from row subtotals or column subtotals. It makes no difference in this case whether you compute the row block or the column block first.
However, consider the following example where a new column and a new row are formed:
Table 9.10: Report Sensitive to Order of Calculations
STORE1 
STORE2 
STORE3 
MAX 

PRODUCT1 
12 
13 
27 
27 
PRODUCT2 
11 
15 
14 
15 
TOTAL 
23 
28 
41 
? 
The new column MAX contains the maximum value in each row, and the new row TOTAL contains the column totals. MAX is calculated in a column block:
col: max = max(store1,store2,store3);
TOTAL is calculated in a row block:
row: total = product1 + product2;
Notice that either of two values, 41 or 42, is possible for the element in column MAX and row TOTAL. If the row block is first, the value is the maximum of the column totals (41). If the column block is first, the value is the sum of the MAX values (42). Whether to compute a column block before a row block can be a critical decision.