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st: Switching from SPSS to Stata

Subject   st: Switching from SPSS to Stata
Date   Sat, 18 Jul 2009 16:55:49 -0400

Dear Statalisters,

I'm working as a research analyst in public health since 1990. I've always
used Spss for my statistical analysis (the current version I have is the
outdated 12.1 release). I always work with the Spss syntax language, almost
never with the GUI (maybe one or two times a year).

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take a look at an evaluation
copy of Stata 10. Although I'm not a statistician, it seems to me that
Stata is a far more superior statistical software that Spss. One of the
things I like about Stata, it's that Stata is a "complete package"
relatively to the Spss base software (well, it's true that it is now known
as PASW ...). In order to get with Spss what Stata offers, one has to buy
rather expensive add-on modules. One of the features I like the most about
Stata, is the possibility to analyse data from complex surveys (like the
Canadian Community Health Surveys - CCHS). It's not possible to do that
with the Spss base version. Stata also appears to me to have a much better
online help and documentation. And, to the say the least, the Stata support
staff is terrific.

In my humble opinion, the only advantage I see in Spss over Stata is that
the Spss output is nicer than Stata's. It's easy to edit an Spss output
(insert a title for example) and distribute it as an PDF file to those who
haven't Spss installed on their computer.

I'm particulary interested to hear about the experience of former strong
Spss users who decided to switch to Stata. Beside the fact Stata has much
more statistical procedures, is more powerful, and is much less expensive
to buy (as we don't have to purchase add-on modules to get "a complete set"
of statistical procedures), for what reasons did you decide to do so ?  I
would be very grateful if you could give me a few reasons that could help
me to convince the administration department here to purchase Stata instead
of the next release of Spss (version 18.0)

Thank you very much.

Kind regards,

P.S. Sincere apologies for the very bad English grammar and syntax.

Yves Therriault, Ph. D.
Agent de recherche
Surveillance de l'état de santé de la population (Santé publique)
Direction de la planification, des ressources informationnelles et
Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Côte-Nord
Téléphone    (418) 589-9845   Poste 2312 ; Téléc. (418) 589-8574
Courriel :

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