|Speaker: Tony Brady, Imperial College, London|
The dialog box and menu commands introduced in Stata 5.0 can be used to turn Stata into a customised data-handling environment. This allows, for instance, data-entry directly into a Stata dataset, dispensing with the need for a separate database and transfer protocol. This approach to data collection is attractive for small to medium size studies where the statistician is actively involved in the conduct of the study. The more laborious aspects of programming dialog boxes in Stata have been taken on by the winshow command (STB-46), allowing the statistician to concentrate on the database design and coding scheme.
The winshow command can interface to user-written data checking programs, providing some flexibility in its application. This aspect will be illustrated by a randomisation utility that is being used in a major UK clinical trial.