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st: RE: utility to create fake dataset?


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: utility to create fake dataset?
Date   Sun, 8 Nov 2009 17:34:11 -0000

I don't get a sense of your precise need here. 

If "looks like" means "is identical with" then you can just -copy- a
data file either inside or outside Stata, but I am pretty clear that you
can't mean that. 

But if "looks like" carries some sense of "but is different" then it
needs a specification of what is meant by "is different". 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Jeph Herrin

I sometimes need to create a "fake" dataset that "looks?
like an existing dataset. For example, a dataset that
must, for health privacy reasons, remain on a remote server,
and I would like to develop code locally to run on it.
Or, I need to make mock tables to share with colleagues
who need to remain blinded for now to actual study data.

Usually, I just do something that seems "good enough", like
sample 5%, expand 20, replace values with random values, etc.
Or, in an extreme case, set obs to be twice the existing obs
and keep the ones with missing data. But the first is not
very satisfying when I need to reassure higher powers that
I have a "dummy" dataset, and the second is not very helpful
for writing final useable code.

So, I'm thinking I'll write a utility to create a 'dummy'
dataset from an existing dataset, but wondered if there was
something out there already. Perhaps there is even a well
established name for this process? My searches for "dummy"
and "fake" dataset have not been fruitful.

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