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Software: User comments

Part of what I like about Stata is that it's quasi-"open source"—that is, that econ grad students, stats professors, and etc., can create their own functions and commands and make the ado-files available to the broader Stata community—and that the more popular commands then tend to get included in the next Stata release. [...] SPSS and SAS don't do this.

Dr. Travis Anderson-Bond, Principal Business Analyst, Australia

I really enjoy using Stata and have chosen it as my primary software because the coding is so intuitive, the documentation files are so helpful, and there is always the point and click option available when necessary. Thanks for all you and your team do to produce such a quality resource!

Julie Summey, PhD Student, Graduate Research Assistant, Clemson University, Department of Public Health Sciences

Stata's a great product and a great company, keep up with the excellent work.

Kenneth Benoit, Professor of Quantitative Social Sciences, London School of Economics and Political Science

I'm really impressed with Stata. Today, I went from having zero experience with the package to being able to read in fixed column files, creating and recoding new variables, and a number of other data management tasks. [...] The syntax is so logical and the GUI is very user-friendly.

Linda A. Landon, PhD, ELS, Research Consultant, Research Communiqué

As an assessment coordinator and survey designer I am very pleased with the fact that you added IRT to Stata. I used SPSS for a long while and then about two years ago moved to Stata. I really appreciate the added capabilities and flexibility of Stata.

David I. Hanauer, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The July 2016 edition of the Stata Journal is an excellent example of how innovative extensions to Stata are also taking place in the user community. By designing a development platform that can innovate internally, but at the same time, engage thousands in the user community to enhance the functionality, is a winning strategy that distinguishes Stata from other computing platforms.

Murtaza Haider, Associate Professor of Real Estate Management, Ryerson University

Just wanted to let you know I have been using stata for a couple weeks now and love it. Wish I had ordered sooner! Will be letting my school know, since they have us using SPSS. The SEM builder is awesome.

Benjamin Powers, Doctoral Candidate, Grenoble Ecole de Management

The Stata Journal and the Stata program package itself comply with the highest quality in statistics and they reflect the best practices in many ways. I also work with SAS EG 7.1 WinBUGS and R according to the needs and have therefore some ability to make a comparison. I am enthusiastic about Stata (14) and the accompanying excellent books and papers.

Laszlo D. Molnar, MD, PhD, Central Administration of National Pension Insurance, Budapest, Hungary

I've been a Stata user since the early-2000s and am impressed with how the product has evolved over the years while remaining so intuitive to use. Stata is clearly in tune with its users. I've not yet been faced with an analytical task that Stata couldn't deliver on.

Neville Arjani, Lead, Payments, Payments Canada

I am enthusiastic about Stata because Stata really earns it! I recommend it to many colleagues — particularly for the xt suite of routines. Happy to see that you are now getting into Bayesian methods too — that's ripe for efficient coding and more user friendly diagnostic and error messages!!

Robert Ploutz-Snyder, PhD, PStat(r), Research Professor & Director, School of Nursing Statistical Consulting Team, University of Michigan

I like how Stata has an easy-to-use "click to select" menu (though code is faster) but it also is comparable to R in having user code that you can instantly get along with help files. it's like the best of both worlds.

Heidi P. Celebi, Doctoral Candidate, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Every year or two, I have been training 50 to 100 people at my company in using Stata and otherwise getting users of other packages to use it. What I really like about is that it is not only easy to learn and use at a basic level, but also has tremendous power too. People here rarely have to move outside Stata once they have adopted it.

Dan Sherman, PhD, Managing Economist, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

[Stata] has the best of the open-source world and proprietary software. SSC is like an open-source community and you get all of the help and support from Stata.

M.P. "Trey" Marchbanks III, Associate Research Scientist, Texas A&M University

Stata is a classy outfit to stand behind an ancient perpetual license and allow me to keep using the program with a much newer computer.

Robert Apsler, PhD, Social Science Research & Evaluation, Inc., President

Stata 14 is such a fine statistical software package. The best on the market, to be sure.

Joseph M. Hilbe, Adjunct Professor of Statistics, Arizona State University and Emeritus Professor, University of Hawaii

I am loving [Stata], as there are much more options than SPSS, yet more user friendly than R.

Donny Williams, Sonoma State University

There is a lot to like about stata, but for an epidemiologist the easy of use of the svy commands is not matched in any other package.

George Savva, School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia

I have received and downloaded stata. This is far superior to SPSS and I find it easier to use than SAS.

Audie Daniel Wood, Masters student, Sociology, Idaho State University

Stata's documentation is *amazingly good*.

SPSS's documentation is often inscrutable; Stata's documentation is easy to read, with clear examples and readily understandable formulae and methods, complete with relevant citations. [...] As an educator, I know how hard it is to write about stats clearly and understandably, and I very much appreciate the work done by Stata in this regard.

Stata has become an essential tool in my analysis toolkit because the whole package is top-notch.

Troy C. Payne, Ph.D., University of Alaska Anchorage

The ability to uninstall a copy, and reinstall on another computer is MAGIC! It has allowed me to have one copy on my PC and another on my Mac. So Stata stays with me as I upgrade computers, and is with me no matter which machine I am using. I love it!

Vicky Cardenas

I recently bought Stata in preparation for my PhD comps and it was the best decision I've made in a while. I'd used SAS before (with substantial frustration) and have been flying through the training modules and a book by Alan Acock that I purchased from Stata.

Linda Leitz, CFP, EA, and Co-owner, It's Not Just Money, Inc

When I got my master's in mathematics at MIT in '82 I wrote my own Fortran routines to do gamma distribution regression because there was nothing out there - SAS, SPSS, or the old BMDP that could do it. Now I wouldn't use anything but Stata period. I don't think anything now comes close to the reliability, accuracy, and ease of use of Stata.

Raymond R. Hyatt, Ph.D., President, Freeport Development Strategies, LLC

The new generations of sociologists who are exposed to Stata in our classes love it. It is definitely the leading package in our discipline. I was one of the first adopters in Sociology back when Stata was in version 1.0 (about 1984-5). Stata was a much smaller company back then, but the customer service and support are just as friendly and amazingly responsive today as back then.

Mark Fossett, Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University

Using Stata for our analyses makes remedial corrections easy: just make a correction to the do-file, and re-run. Clean. Graceful.

Dr. Travis Anderson-Bond, Business Analyst, Australia

Without doubt Stata is an amazing, sophisticated and wonderful statistical package. I am very pleased.

Willy Rice, School of Law, St. Mary’s University

Stata is a very powerful, very reliable, and very flexible program.

Marc Feldesman, Department of Anthropology, Portland State University

I’m new to Stata (1.5 months), but I have already began to love the programmability.

Michael Ingre, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University & National Institute for Psychosocial Medicine

I was introduced to Stata while a Ph.D. student at Penn back in 1993 or 94, and have found it to be the best and most user-friendly statistical package.

James Chriss, Sociology Department, Cleveland State University

These are without competition the best-written and organized manuals for complex software I have ever seen, and certainly the only ones that on occasion make me laugh out loud.

Charles Murray, Bradley Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

I just wanted to let you know that I think your licensing procedure that allows users to install a copy at work and at home is simply wonderful. It allows me to be more productive. Thanks for being so reasonable in an age when reasonableness seems to be lacking!

Jack Laverty, Columbia Gas of Ohio

Stata is awesome! I have been using it to do analyses on panel data. Love it! [...] As a statistician I get to learn new software it seems almost monthly. I have to tell you...Great software, great service too. You guys run rings around SPSS they want to nickel and dime me for everything.

Elaine Bellucci, Statistician, Bellucci Company

Stata = best general purpose statistical program on the market!

Martin Biewen, School of Business & Economics, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

As a biostatistician with responsibility for dealing with daily inquiries from the medical and dental schools in my university, I find that Stata provides the broadest statistical base for data analysis—particularly with regard to the less commonly found routines, such as survival analysis (including Cox’s regression), conditional logistic regression, ordered and multinomial logistic regression, Poisson regression, and negative binomial regression.

Alan Kelly, Department of Statistics, Department Community Health & General Practice, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Stata is easy to use, very powerful, includes most non-linear models people usually think of (and that other packages only include as add-ons).

Jose Camoes Silva, M.I.T. Sloan School of Management

I think you have a wonderful statistical package, and your company is always very helpful whenever I have questions.

Georg Dranitsaris, Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital

Just loaded my Version 11 of Stata, and am really pleased with the new features. The addition of having the PDFs of the manuals is quite a bonus! Every fall, I teach a course that introduces about 70 new people (all budding medical researchers) to Stata, and it continues to be an invaluable teaching tool, as well as a highly efficient method for data analysis. Keep up the great work!

Joanne Garrett, Center for Women’s Health Research, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

I have been doing my research work by the use of Stata/SE release 11 for a week (freshly).

I would like to communicate that the new Variables Manager and Data Editor are, in my opinion, terrific! And the new Factor Variables module also does rouse my admiration, indubitably.

It is really a great pleasure to invoke Stata every day!

Mariusz Mianowany, Academy of Humanities & Economics, Poland

We’ve been using our [...] copy of Stata 9 for over a year now, and have been able to accomplish some tremendous things with it. I’d like to extend warm thanks for your generosity, as well as some praise for a really excellent piece of software.

First of all, Stata deserves high marks for being easy to learn. Programming is so easy that I practically never write repetitive commands anymore.

I’ve been very pleased with Stata’s graphing abilities, and we use Stata-generated graphs extensively in our political coverage to explain poll averages and other quantitative data in ways that our competitors can’t. (For example, see here: http://blogs.forbes.com/trailwatch/2008/04/obama-holds-rec.html and here: http://blogs.forbes.com/trailwatch/2008/05/the-message-of.html; click on the graph images to enlarge.) Stata performs so well that I'm delighted to credit it at the bottom of every graph that we create.

Stata’s data-handling abilities are outstanding; I use Stata to comb through databases when I’m doing preliminary research before starting on articles, and I’ve developed lots of article ideas from data that Stata makes it easy to examine.

In short, excellent software-the best program of any sort that I’ve ever used. I look forward to opening it up every day.

Jonathan Bruner, Forbes Magazine

I have taken one of the Stata Web Courses and have used it extensively since ’89 as well as using it for my dissertation. I have found it be one of the most satisfactory stats packages on the market.

Kevin Wilhite, Indiana University

I am busy converting my whole department to Stata; the manuals are marvels of clarity and win them over every time.

Christie Brown, Assistant Professor of Marketing, The University of Michigan

I discovered this remarkable package several months ago and am still amazed by its depth and breadth. It is also incredibly fast (on SUN) and relatively inexpensive.

Richard McCleary, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine

Two days ago I received Stata for Windows. Although not addicted to Windows, I succeeded in running my first (simple) logistic analysis within 30 minutes after unpacking the disks! Comparing with other packages Stata is incredibly fast and very powerful, especially the graphics part is a relief for every one who wants to evaluate fit, and is described in to-the-point manuals. As I did not leave my room the last 2 days, colleagues came asking what I did and I showed them Stata.

Klaas Frankena, Agricultural University, Wageningen, Netherlands

Incidentally, one of the really neat features of Stata is the indexing of the STB through the search command. It is a major reason for submitting to the STB rather than to SUGI. One of the things that I like about Stata is that it has the feel of a small company that still cares about its users. This is greatly appreciated.

William Dupont, Vanderbilt University

Off the top of my head here are some reasons why I use Stata almost exclusively:

It has the best coverage for biostatistics/epidemiology as far as I can see.

It is easy to install, but if you have any problems whatsoever, be it with installation or otherwise, they have a hotline (1-800-STATA-PC) which is high quality. They are honest; if they do not know the answer immediately they will admit to it and get back to you on it, rather than try to con you out of the question.

The capabilities include all the standard things (data filtering, statistical models, great graphics) and some non-standard, but useful things like survival (cox, logrank,...), Mantel–Haenszel, logistic (probit, tobit,...), etc. Plus, if what you want is not there, they have a programming language built in.

Reasonably priced.

Works on all sorts of platforms, including the big three: Unix, Windows, and Macintosh.

Good on-line help.

Good manuals (maybe a smidgen difficult to use, but they make up for it in thoroughness).

Not buggy.

Consistent interface.

Forever updating. For example, the new version for Windows has a spreadsheet data editing feature that is really snazzy.

Interfacing with printers, word processors, etc., is good.

They have an ongoing bulletin with useful additions, articles, etc. (I am an associate editor on their bulletin. No remuneration. Above is honest opinion.)

All this is off the top of my head, and I am sure I have left some important stuff out. Contact them directly, they take pride in their work and they have a good product. I am sure they can give you a better pitch than I have.

Marcello Pagano, Harvard School of Public Health

I would like to acknowledge the excellence of the book I recently ordered from you, An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata by Cleves, et al. My main use of Stata will be survival analysis, especially parametric regression analysis, and I ordered this book to get an in-depth look at the capabilities of Stata in that regard before buying the program.

I was not expecting much from a “company” book but was very impressed with its completeness, accuracy, and informative style. The authors spend as much effort in explaining ‘why’ as in telling ‘how’. I read the whole book, and even recommended it to clinicians in a review article I just happened to be writing while I was reading it.

Gary Grunkemeier, PhD, Director of Medical Data Research, Providence Health System, Portland, Oregon

I ran a crossed random effect binary model today on some data I got this afternoon, which has 72 observations per subject, 120 subjects, 3 conditions for the study variable that’s random.

It ran on the first try, in under 15 minutes.

Now obviously this involves having “good” data with pretty big effects, but as anyone who ran these kinds of models even a few years ago can attest, estimating a crossed random effect is no easy task, but xtmelogit did everything with no sweat, no messy model specification, etc.

Thanks, and Merry Xmas a few days early (or is it Happy Hanukah on time).

Jay Verkuilen, Department of Educational Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center

I’ve used a lot of stat packages over the years, but I find that I’m using Stata 95% of the time now. It’s wonderful! Its speed and power are much touted, but its simplicity for beginners is perhaps one of its best features.

Rodney Hayward, University of Michigan’s Schools of Medicine & Public Health, Ann Arbor VA’s Center for Clinical Management Research

Stata is a great software package. This dataset in current form has almost 16,000 cases and 201 variables—what little I have done in this dataset I stood amazed at the speed—even more so if, for example, I compare it with Excel, which I am also using with this dataset.

Piet Becker, Medical Research Council, Biostatistics Unit

Most impressive is the fact that you guys find fixes for every problem or question that we have, quickly and efficiently. And little by little, as Stata develops, we are dropping the other programs we use, too. I don’t know of any other software company that responds as well to its users’ questions, suggestions, and comments.

Great work!

Julien Teitler, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

With software, one is often faced with the choice of a program that is easy to learn (but limited) or one that is hard to learn and use (but powerful). Stata is both easy to learn and also very powerful. Stata is easy to learn in two ways. First, it offers a point-and-click interface that you can use if you do not know the name of a command, or the particulars of using it. Second, it also offers commands that have a simple and consistent structure, making them easy to learn. Consider the command to run a regression predicting "y" from "x1 x2 x3". You type "regress y x1 x2 x3". Say you want to run this as a robust regression; then type "rreg y x1 x2 x3". To run this as a logistic regression, just type "logistic y x1 x2 x3". If I told you that the command for ordinal logistic regression was called "ologit", you would probably guess that you would use it by typing "ologit y x1 x2 x3", and you would be right.

Stata is also very powerful. Stata has both a built-in programming language as well as a matrix programming language. In fact, most Stata commands are written in these languages, and you can view the source code for any of these commands yourself. You could make your own copy of any of these Stata commands, customizing it as you wish. You can also use these built-in programming tools to create your own Stata programs. This is why I say that Stata is easy to learn, but difficult to outgrow.

Michael Mitchell, senior statistician at the USC Children's Data Network, author of four Stata Press books, and former UCLA statistical consultant who envisioned and designed the UCLA Statistical Consulting Resources website





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