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AW: st: AW: Switching from SPSS to Stata

From   "Martin Weiss" <>
To   <>
Subject   AW: st: AW: Switching from SPSS to Stata
Date   Sun, 26 Jul 2009 16:01:50 +0200


R is similar in that you can inspect the underlying code which is also true
of large parts of Stata. If my econometrics teacher had taught/pushed R for
several semesters, who knows what I might be using today. But he did not. So
I tried to learn R on my own during my early days as a PhD student, with the
help of some expensive books and the pdf manuals, and had to learn the hard
way that only the licence for R is free, not the insight how to operate the

I found data handling in R particularly difficult, and Stata made that a
breeze :-) It also provided me with dialog boxes to get a grip on the
syntax. It is hard to exaggerate their influence on my grasp of Stata. And
it had these brilliant manuals that let you take a look under the hood with
their "Methods and Formulas" section, and give worked examples and
literature references for further reading and to cite in a paper submission.
In short, Stata excells at everything that put me off in R.

All of which makes the licence fee for Stata suddenly look extremely small.
Just think about the -additional- hours you spend on putting together the
pieces that you need for a research project in R, and even after the first
project you are in the black with Stata. That is at least my experience.
Also, having played around with Stata 11 for the last couple of days, I am
more convinced than ever that you do want Stata to be your major
econometrics package on your computer! The pdf manuals, for instance, are
simply brilliant :-) Everything searchable and clickable!

And there has never been a more exciting time to join the Stata community,
with the posts on Statalist significantly up from the -already high- traffic
of the last years!


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
[] Im Auftrag von Ronggui Huang
Gesendet: Sonntag, 26. Juli 2009 15:41
Betreff: Re: st: AW: Switching from SPSS to Stata

I would be thankful if you can elaborate your ideas on R vs. Stata.
R is superior than SPSS and is quite similar to Stata to some extent, I


2009/7/19 Martin Weiss <>:
> <>
> I have had pretty much similar experiences, although I came from "R" and
> SPSS. Still, it is very good to see you here in this vibrant Stata
> community.
> Just to kill off that last point you mentioned favoring SPSS. Here is code
> that automatically converts a -log- to PDF on your windows machine. If you
> have a MAC, you can use -translate- directly, and if you do not, you
> install the free Miktex utilities and off you go:
> ***
> //to log in an additional log and have it transferred to pdf
> //can set -linesize-
> set linesize 120
> //close if open
> capt log close newlog
> di in red _rc
> log using mylog.smcl, name(newlog) replace
> sysuse auto, clear
> reg price we head gear
> log close newlog
> //translate
> translate mylog.smcl, replace
> //need Miktex utilities running on computer for this step
> !ps2pdf
> capt erase
> !start mylog.pdf
> ***
> Martin
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von:
> [] Im Auftrag von
> Gesendet: Samstag, 18. Juli 2009 22:56
> An:
> Betreff: st: Switching from SPSS to Stata
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> financières
> 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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HUANG Ronggui, Wincent
PhD Candidate
Dept of Public and Social Administration
City University of Hong Kong
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