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st: RE: statalist-digest V4 #2490


From   "roy wada" <roywada@hotmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: RE: statalist-digest V4 #2490
Date   Mon, 16 Oct 2006 18:11:49 -0400

The implication that the business people are consistently and persistently making a mistake by not using Stata is not credible. Information leaks everywhere. The important thing is what people actually do with the leaked information.

The recent spread of data mining is a case in point. Michael Lewis's book, Moneyball, was heavily criticized for the view that the baseball roster was inefficient. To make the story short, after the book came out in 2003, the statistical approach at the Oakland As has been hired away or replicated by other teams within the year. The Red Sox fans should thank Michael Lewis for their 2004 season, including the World Series.

The information about Stata has leaked long ago. What did the business people do with the leaked information? Structural equations are rarely used in data mining. The unbiasedness of esimators or the robustness of standard errors doen't matter, either. You just want your data handled properly. A business manager with 100gb of data is not going to settle for 1gb of analysis at a time.

Stata is meant for researchers, but not because the business people are not smart enough to figure it out.

I am not sure if Stata can penetrate the business market without a signficant changes in how it handles memory. It's probably not a coincidence that SAS followed the development of harddrives in 1960s and Stata followed the spread of integrated RAM in 1980s.

Strategic positions have been taken, which are highly defensible, but you can't easily invade the other side either. Changes would be imposed if someone invents a memory that is both fast (RAM) and permanent (harddrive), but that seems unlikely in the near future. There is no doubt that Stata has been adversely affected by the memory management under the 32-bit Windows (the 1.4gb limit). You can blame it on the othe Bill G.

Roy


The indications do appear to be that Stata has made less impact on business than competitors
-- which goes in a perfect circle with Stata
aiming squarely at researchers -- but your initial analysis sounds like a spoof or parody of Economics 100.

So the market seizes all opportunities and with perfect efficiency???

Your analysis seems to leave no scope for ignorance
or prejudice to have any effect.

Even in economics several Nobel Prizes have gone
to people who pointed out that decision-making is a whole lot more complicated than that.

And in business itself many companies have spent
large fortunes on data mining and so forth, mostly because they _hoped_ that that would give
them an advantage over the competition....

The key question is who makes the decisions and what information do they have. What information
do people have in business when they decide against Stata, or do not decide for Stata?

Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk

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