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Re: st: Spss vs Stata

From   Neil Shephard <>
Subject   Re: st: Spss vs Stata
Date   Mon, 2 Aug 2010 15:51:23 +0000

On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 3:40 PM, Kaulisch, Marc
<> wrote:
> I might exaggerate with weeks but the table mentioned is done in SPSS within a minute or two. No need for extra software... Back in November when I searched after a solution in Stata I - as unexperienced as I am in Stata - needed one or two days to find out what Stata and user-written programs can do and what not....

There is indeed a learning curve with Stata (and don't forget that
you've already gone through this learning curve with Excel/SPSS/Pivot
tables), and it can be frustrating to have to invest time to learn how
to do things in a new piece of software when you could fall back on
something you already "know" (or have already learnt!).  But there's
only one way to reach the top (or near it anyway) of the learning
curve, and its not falling back on what you already know (I speak from
experience having first learnt statistics using Stata and then taught
myself R, and made the decision to ditch WYSIWYMG word-processors in
favour of LaTeX)

> On pivot tables:

Sounds like its definitely a case for -tabulate- or -tabstat- if there
is no need to export the results, otherwise -tabout- and
-collapse-/-contract- in conjunction with -append-/-merge- will
achieve this.

> In another post David Airey ( mentioned the Stata Users meeting this year. I quickly looked through the presentations from Gallup and Reif. But I do not grasp their full meaning for me as a potential user yet. May be there will be clarifiying articles in Stata Journal....

It will come with time.  I still learn new things about Stata all the
time, mainly thanks to being subscribed to Statalist and the great
help that people post (but also from delving in the on-line help and


* On that front I noticed the various historical anecdotes scattered
through the manuals (v11).  Those that I've come across so far have
been a nice (and brief) distraction from the work at hand.

"... no scientific worker has a fixed level of significance at which
from year to year, and in all circumstances, he rejects hypotheses; he
rather gives his mind to each particular case in the light of his
evidence and his ideas." - Sir Ronald A. Fisher (1956)

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