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st: patterns of missing data by interviewers

From   Govind Bell Acharya <>
Subject   st: patterns of missing data by interviewers
Date   Sat, 21 Jul 2007 14:44:07 -0400

Hi everyone,

It's my first post and I'll try to make this as detailed as possible, so I apologize if this needs clarification:

For our research, we use telephone interviewers to conduct a number of surveys. At the moment, it is a challenge to detect whether the number of items where the interviewer coded the missing data (don't know or refused options) is above or below the overall mean of missing values. I did something like that using the proc sql command in SAS, but it is (as SAS is in general), extremely unwieldy and creates major issues such as (f) below. In any case, here is what I have in mind

(a)Name (b)# surveys complete (c)# missing (d)# questions asked (e) (c)/(d) (f) [sum of (c)]/[sum of (d)] (g) [(e)-(f)]
John Doe 12 5 120 5/120 7/200 Mary Sue 8 2 80 2/80 7/200
(a) The name of the interviewer;
(b) number of completions for each interviewer;
(c) the raw number of missing numbers totaled for each interviewer (so I guess I would code 0 as nonmissing and 1 as missing and sum them by interviewer);
(d) The total number of questions asked by the interviewer (so if it's a 10 question survey and they completed 8 surveys, they asked 80 questions);
(e) (c)/(d) is the percentage of missing by interviewer;
(f) This is the overall mean of missing data across questions asked and across interviewers. This was something that I have been doing by hand in SAS-- I will run the program, then count the total missing, then go into the code and put those numbers in, which is of course a weird way of doing this;
(g) the difference between (e) and (f)

I am pretty well versed in Stata, but an beginner to advanced beginner level in the programming aspects. I use Stata 9.

Govind Bell Acharya
Assistant Director/Senior Research Associate
Survey Research Institute
Cornell University
391 Pine Tree Rd., Rm 118
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone: (607) 255-0375; fax: (607) 255-7118

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