# SAS | COALESCE Function with Examples

Last Updated : 30 Jul, 2019

The COALESCE function is employed to pick the first non-missing value in a list of variables. In other words, it returns the first non-blank value of each row.

Let’s produce a sample dataset in SAS to know how COALESCE perform.

Example:

 `data ``temp``; ` `    ``input roll_no a1-a4; ` `    ``cards;12 . 98 52 .  ` `        ``23 79 . 67 .  ` `        ``14 90 82 88 85  ` `;run; `

Output:

• COALESCE : First Non-Missing Value

 `data exam; ` `set` `temp``; ` `first_non_miss_val = ``coalesce``(``of` `a1 - a4); ` `run; `

If you examine the output shown within the image below, you’d realize COALESCE returns 98 in first observation which is the first non-missing value among a1 = ., a2 = 98, a3 = 52, a4 =.

• COALESCE : Last Non-Missing Value

Let us suppose you want to find out last non-missing value instead of first. For that, there is no such function available which will return last non-missing value but to achieve that we can reverse the list of variables and calculate the first non-missing value which would be equivalent to last non-missing value. Indirectly, we are considering to evaluate variables from right to left instead of left to right.

 `data exam; ` `set` `temp``; ` `last_non_miss_val = ``coalesce``(``of` `a4-a1); ` `run; `

Output:

Note: coalesce(of a4-a1) is equivalent to coalesce(a4, a3, a2, a1).