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Re: st: who can caompare stata with spss and sas

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: who can caompare stata with spss and sas
Date   Wed, 17 Dec 2003 23:20:38 -0500

At 11:52 AM 12/18/2003 +0800, rghuang wrote:
i am study sociology, which sofeware is the most suitable.
anyone can give me some suggestion? thank you.
my department use spss,and i now want to use stata,but i don't know whether stata is capable in sociology research?
i will be of great appreciation if you reply my letter.
Sure, Stata is fine for Sociological research. Here at Notre Dame, it has been used by both undergraduate students in introductory statistics courses and by some of our most high tech researchers. For an example of its use in a Sociology graduate statistics course, see my colleague's web page at

Of course, SPSS is a fine program too; I've used it for almost 30 years. A lot of it is just what you are used to. But, I'm starting to use Stata more and more and I'm starting to teach my students how to use it too. Stata's statistical routines are much more consistent and logical than SPSS's. I generally find that I can do anything I want in SPSS, but it is often easier to do it in Stata. Particular favorites of mine are the -test- and -adjust- commands. I still tend to do most of my database manipulation in SPSS but that is partly because I haven't bothered to learn all the corresponding Stata commands; nor do I have a great need to learn them since with Stat Transfer it is easy to convert data files from one format to another.

I'm sure others can give you links to detailed comparisons of features, but if the main question is, is Stata ok for sociologists, the answer is certainly yes. Whether it is worth your while to become the only Stata person in an SPSS environment may be another question.

Richard Williams, Associate Professor
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
FAX: (574)288-4373
HOME: (574)289-5227
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