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st: DTA File Format
I would hazard a guess that this data file is in IBM 360 'column
binary' format. You don't see them very often these days - based on
punch-card formatting ideas - though it is still sometimes used with
market research data (eg Quantime software).
You should get in touch with the supplier, as a paying customer, to get
something else. Otherwise, both SPSS and SAS are supposedly able to
read such formats (with SPSS you need to specify a FILE HANDLE with
Regards - Steve
# Amnon Melzer (email@example.com) wrote
# > I'm hoping someone on this list can help me.
# > I have just purchased a data set from a data provider, in DTA format. I am
# > not a STATA user, so I need some help interpreting it.
# > I wish to load the data up into a MySQL database. However, I do not
# > understand how to interpret the DTA file. Most of the rows are fine, I
# > understand them fully. But when a respondent has a multiple answer to a
# > particular question, a * is put there and there are some extra characters at
# > the end of the line. See below for an example. Look at the third row:
# > ...
# > 710001 494949
# > 032
# > 710001 1 27
# > 036
# > 710001 * 9* 9* 952 111314120000001000060
# > 038^?@L@L@L
# > ...
# This does not appear to be a Stata-format .dta file. There is no
# centralized registry of file extensions, so application developers
# are free to choose any extension they wish. The data above, while
# named .dta, does not appear to be Stata .dta.
# My advice is to talk to the data provider about the source of the
# data and the program they used to export it. Stata-format .dta files
# are binary and are not human-readable in a text editor.
# - --Alan Riley
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