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Re: st: Spss vs Stata

From   "E. Paul Wileyto" <>
Subject   Re: st: Spss vs Stata
Date   Mon, 02 Aug 2010 00:37:29 -0400

My two cents. Graphics is the only bad aspect of Stata, but SPSS is almost as rudimentary in graphics. If you want publication quality graphics quickly, the only package to consider is SigmaPlot. I do analysis in Stata, quickly collapse and reshape data for graphs, and copy the reshaped data into SigmaPlot. Excel cannot match any of SigmaPlot's capabilities, and it exports to EPS, PDF, or JPG. Also, you can copy & paste figures without background directly to powerpoint for a nice colored background.


On 8/2/2010 12:14 AM, Stas Kolenikov wrote:
SPSS, especially these days as it has become the "predictive
analytics" software rather than a statistical package for social
sciences, seems to operate from the viewpoint of "I click here, I
click there, and I drag this into a report -- voila". Stata has
traditionally been oriented at more meditative researchers in academic
settings who are less concerned with flashy presentations, as that's
rarely a selling point of a research paper. Also, SPSS is only good
under Windows, while Stata takes a lot of (well substantiated) pride
in working under all common operating systems.

A number of tools exist to go from Stata output to other external
programs, such MS Word/Excel, on one hand, and LaTeX, on the other. I
am certainly in the latter camp, and I get everything I need from
-estout- and low level -file- commands with which I write my results.
Of course there are times when I have to do some copy/paste, and
that's less convenient than from SPSS. More MS-specific tools are
available with -outreg-, -xmltab-, and probably five or so others.

On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 7:04 PM, Yves Therriault<>  wrote:
Dear Stata users,

I've been using SPSS for 20 years. For the time being, I still use a
six years old version of SPSS (12.01). For many reasons, I told my
organisation that I would rather purchasing one licence of Stata
instead of upgrading to the newest release of SPSS (18.0).

A few months ago, I've asked former SPSS users to write about their
experience with Stata. Generally, people who have decided to switch
from SPSS to Stata aren't looking back.

In order to learn the basics of Stata more easily when the software is
installed on my computer, I bought 3 introductory books : A Gentle
Introduction to Stata ; An Introduction to Stata for Health
Researchers and, finally Data Analysis Using Stata.

I'm interested to hear from those who made the switch to Stata and
particularly about the lurning curve regarding the management of Stata
output. Generally, Stata seems to be far more superior to SPSS in many
ways. But, in my humble opinion, Stata is currently far behind SPSS
concerning how it displays its output. I'm aware that a lot of
routines have been written by Stata users to customize outputs though.

Just in case Stata programmers were monitoring this list, I would be
very pleased if the company decided to "improve" the output display in
a future release. Perhaps, another possible feature would gave the
user the choice between a "standard" Stata output and a Spss-like

E. Paul Wileyto, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
Tobacco Use Research Center
School of Medicine, U. of Pennsylvania
3535 Market Street, Suite 4100
Philadelphia, PA  19104-3309

Fax: 215-746-7140

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