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st: STATA Wish List


From   stephen.kay@adelphigroup.com
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: STATA Wish List
Date   Wed, 20 Oct 2004 11:14:57 +0100

Hi Everybody.

If anyone can point me to ado files that can accomplish the following
various tasks (or have the described features), I'd be most grateful. I
suspect that some (for understandable reasons) do not exist - in that event
this email may at least serve as my  wish list (pretending my wishes count)
for the programmers at STATA.

I work for a commercial company analysing market research data and routinely
use SPSS and STATA to accomplish tasks. I'd dearly love to ditch SPSS as
it's value for money is extremely low compared to STATA (annual licence at
extortionate cost) and it's statistical/modelling capabilities are far
inferior to STATA.

However SPSS (although I hate to admit it) does have some very nice little
features which are absent in STATA:
*	A variable information screen which is similar in appearance to a
spreadsheet (with scroll facilities) - each row provides information on one
variable - name, variable and value labels. This is great for pinpointing
variables of interest in a dataset containing a thousand variables which you
are not familiar with. 
*	The ability to have more than one syntax (STATA do file) window open
at any one time (and no character limits in each one). I like to have one
syntax file holding data manipulation commands and another file holding the
actual 'analysis' commands.
*	Ability to produce column and row percents in n-way contingency
tables. I know I could use STATA's  "Tabulate" command with the "by" command
to achieve this but the presentation is much better in STATA's "Table"
command but it does not have these percent options.
*	A command similar in spirit to STATA's "tab2" command but instead of
showing every possible two-way tabulation of the variables specified in
varlist you specify a varlist to act as rows (e.g.. 3 variables) and a
separate varlist to act as columns (e.g. 4 variables) and the command then
produces every two-way association of the vars in rows with those in columns
(e.g. 3*4=12).
*	Ability to quickly copy over selected output straight to Microsoft
Word which looks as good as it does in the output window. I know you can
achieve this by running STATA's "translate" command but a quicker way would
be preferred. A two way output screen similar in appearence to SPSS's that
allows users to effortlessly copy over selected output to Word would be
ideal (but I think that's asking a bit much).

Please do not think I am trying to denigrate STATA in any way. For all
"serious analytical"  work I use STATA. Such work by its very nature is
focused on relatively small number of variables where the analysis output
(however advanced) is not copious and is not impacted by any of the lack of
features mentioned above. Unfortunately in my commercial environment I'm
often called upon to produce lots of mind numbing contingency tables and it
is solely in this regard that SPSS has the advantage.

On a purely separate topic in STATA 7 there was a command "graph oneway"
which with the addition of the sub option "box" plotted both a boxplot and
the associated raw points together but could not plot a scaled axis (other
than listing the axis endpoints) . Nick Cox wrote a nice ado "onewplot2" ado
which could plot the scaled axis but did not show the box plot. Does anyone
know if there is a command that can plot the boxplot together with the raw
output on a scaled axis? I have STATA 8 but cannot locate any such graphs.

Any help/advice on anything much appreciated.

Steve





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