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st: Presenting categorical data


From   Tim <lists@timbp.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Presenting categorical data
Date   Wed, 01 Apr 2009 19:35:07 +1100

Dear Statalist

I have a small dataset (n=51 with many missing values). There are about 17 variables, all categorical with 6 to 10 categories in each (although some categories can be sensibly combined). I also have a list of 24 comparisons that the researcher would like to look at.

It seems to me the only viable approach is to simply display the data in a way that highlights interesting features. True?

So I would like to know what commands I should be investigating, whether built-in or user-written.


As an example, here is one tabulation from the dataset:


Use policy |         Knowledge of PEG
    guide |      Poor   Adequate  Above ave |     Total
-----------+---------------------------------+----------
        1 |         0          6          2 |         8
        2 |         6          2          1 |         9
        3 |         0          3          1 |         4
        4 |         0          7          1 |         8
        5 |         0          7          3 |        10
-----------+---------------------------------+----------
    Total |         6         25          8 |        39

Knowledge was actually a 5-point scale from None to Excellent.
Use policy guide is 3 categories of No (don't need to; no guide exists; guide not suitable) and 2 categories of Yes. I think the interesting result is that all the people with poor knowledge claimed that no guide exists. The table can show this (and of course will be better with proper labelling), but I am sure there are better ways to present this.

-scatter- with -jitter- gives me a graph that I think is a good starting point. But then adding categorical labels to the axes becomes a hassle. I expect -scatter- is not the right tool -- what more appropriate commands exist?

Or is my whole approach to this dataset wrong?

Tim

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