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st: Quick display of categorical data


From   "Michael I. Lichter" <MLichter@Buffalo.EDU>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Quick display of categorical data
Date   Thu, 26 Jun 2008 13:21:17 -0400

Hi. I have what ought to be a common problem: I'm beginning to analyze some survey data, and much of the data consists of responses to questions on a 1-5 scale, a few responses on a 1-3 scale, and a few responses to limited nominal scales. I have too many cases (1,000+) to learn anything from a stemplot (although I suppose I could sample 1/10 of the cases for this purpose), which isn't meant for categorical data anyway, and it's way, way too cumbersome to individually create and print bar charts using Stata graphics (unless there's something I don't know about how to do this, which is likely). Ideally, what I'd like is a display something like this:

Some inter |
esting var |
iable | Freq. Percent Cum.
------------+----------------------------------- Never, ever | 315 30.79 30.79 30 X X
Maybe once | 204 19.94 50.73 X X
Occasionlly | 149 14.57 65.30 20 X X X
Pretty oftn | 55 5.38 70.67 X X X X
Always! | 300 29.33 100.00 10 X X X X
------------+----------------------------------- X X X X X
Total | 1,023 100.00 1 2 3 4 5

I would happily settle for just the ASCII bar chart, and a horizontal bar would be fine. The point is to be able to get a sense of the data at a glance, without wasting a bunch of paper. Does anything exist along these lines? Am I overlooking something really obvious? My search didn't reveal anything ... Thanks in advance.

Michael Lichter, Ph.D.
Wandering Research Analyst
Buffalo, NY

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