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st: descripive stats on %tc formatted variables

From   "Kerry MacQuarrie" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: descripive stats on %tc formatted variables
Date   Wed, 27 Jun 2012 19:00:43 -0400

Hello folks,

I am struggling to run the most basic summary statistics on selected
variables in my dataset because they are formatted as %tc (aka clock) data.
For example, a certain variable for waiting time to see a provider is in the
format HH:MM:SS, with a range of 1 minute to 5 hours.  The seconds are
always zero (i.e. always ending in :00) as the times were reported in
minutes with much heaping at :05, :10, :30, and :00 minutes as one might
expect in self-reported data.

I simply want to run some summary statistics such as the mean/median, range,
quintiles, etc.  But I?m tripped up by the formatting.  A straightforward
command like sum varname returns this non-intuitive output:

    Variable |       Obs        Mean    Std. Dev.       Min        Max
         q27 |       766    889268.9     1644010          0   1.80e+07

Do I need to convert the variable into a different format?  Are there
commands to produce the types of summary statistics I?m looking for that are
specific to %tc variables?

Thanks for any pointers.

Kerry MacQuarrie
NSF Fellow and CSDE Trainee
Sociology Department
University of Washington
Tel: 206-450-3857
Skype: kerry.ld.macquarrie

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