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st: Re: DTA File Format


From   ariley@stata.com (Alan Riley)
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu, amnon@eighty20.co.za, j2@eighty20.co.za
Subject   st: Re: DTA File Format
Date   Mon, 01 Dec 2003 09:08:52 -0600

Amnon Melzer (amnon@eighty20.co.za) 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
(ariley@stata.com)
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