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Re: st: Problem with string time and importing text files

From   Neil Shephard <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: Problem with string time and importing text files
Date   Thu, 14 Jan 2010 16:54:49 +0000

On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM, Orma B <[email protected]> wrote:
> I am new to Stata and faced a daunting twofold problem the whole
> afternoon. I have several data sets (in txt format) with variables
> date (ddmmyyyy), time (hhmmss) and a certain measurement. First I am
> unable to import the sample data shown below in to stata. Thus I have
> to use SPSS to import the data and then convert it to Stata format.
> That takes my precious time and I want to use Stata for my work.

These are basic, common and fundamental tasks to using Stata and
you're correct to seek how to achieve them in Stata as it will save
you a lot of time and effort.

Assuming your data is in a file named "mydata.csv" and that Stata is
in the same current working directory as that file you can read your
data in using...

insheet using mydata.csv, clear

For more options see -man insheet-

> After I converted the data to stata format, I formatted the date
> variable by format date %dD_m_Y and got just what I wanted, but I
> failed in using the time variable.

If you could show us what you're typing (as requested in the Statalist
FAQ, see URL at the bottom of each post) it would help us to know
where you are going wrong.

One thing you may want to consider is combining the date and time
fields into one so that you have one variable that contains the
elapsed date/time.

Assuming the variables are called 'date' and 'time' you could achieve
this with..

egen _t = concat(date time), punc(" ")
gen double elapsed_time = clock(_t, "DMYhms")
format %tc elapsed_time

You'll probably find the pages at
very useful as well as the excellent Stata NetCourses (starting with
101), see for more details.


"... 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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