Dear Chris, your answer didn't help–your answer was BEAUTIFUL. Of course you're right but I'd have banged my head against the screen forever trying to get to the problem (I'm the only person using panel models in my lab, no could help; I'd tried Biofgem before coming to Stata–that's why I prefer paying when I can–this support was PRICELESS): Will you pls also thank your developer for me? You are the best, Stata rules!
Many years ago I got a job as a research assistant. The PI used Stata so he handed me the manuals (that should give you an idea how far back this is) and gave me a few days to get acquainted with Stata before I could start helping with a dataset. Before that I had been using SPSS and Excel. I recall being struck by how intuitive Stata. I was immediately sold but it was after I chanced on Nick Cox's Speaking Stata columns (and Statalist postings) that I was converted. Through his writings I understood that I was only scratching the surface, that Stata was capable of so much, that there was so much for me to discover. I remember feeling like a little boy who had just received the coolest toy.
Over the years my love and understanding of Stata has grown with new versions/features, meeting the larger Stata community (I have since met Nick a few times) but I don’t recall having had that same feeling I had so many years ago. It is of course exhilarating every time I solve a knotty problem but never quite like that first time.
I reluctantly waded into the collect suite and was about to give up when I, in desperation, sent my cry for help to tech-support. I am so happy I did but most of all, very grateful that you took time to investigate my trivial problem and proposed not one but two collect solutions. I do not exaggerate when I say it feels like that first time. I am now a collect convert and plan to use time to get to know what it can do.
Thank you for taking time to help.
You guys are amazing—technical support like I've never seen before! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Greg Goodman, University of Arizona
I [recently] called for help transferring my Stata license to another computer. [Your technical services representative] was remarkably helpful and helped solve our issues. He even followed up by email to make sure we were successful. I so appreciate quality support. It's the most important feature of any product I purchase.
Jon Louis Dorbolo, Principal Investigator, The Geometry of Learning, Oregon State University
The support was really great when I had a question about the IRT models, they really went above and beyond what I expected.
John Meakin, M.A., Researcher, American Institutes for Research
I've never had such a thorough level of attention paid to a problem I had [...] and I can tell that Stata is an organization that stands behind their customers and supports their product.
Michael Mastrangelo, Consultant, Brillient Corporation
I want to tell you that on the receiving end of your support - it's a life saver. Big smile when I get your answers.
Dror Brenner, Assistant Professor, Ben-Gurion University (Israel), Lecturer, Brown University
I always enjoy the helpful service I get from Stata support. Fast, accurate, clear, etc.
Peter Cummings MD, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington
Thanks for the quick response. Excellent tech support is one of many reasons I love Stata.
Ginger Zhe Jin, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
Your user support at Stata is really the best I’ve ever experienced from statistics software companies. SAS and SPSS don’t come anywhere close.
Dr. John P. Haisken-DeNew, DIW-Berlin, German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)
The product you have is first rate, but it can’t compare with the degree of service you guys provide across all levels of expertise.
Elmer Villanueva, MD ScM, Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Monash Institute of Health Services Research
StataCorp has to be the best, most responsive and technically capable organization of its kind. Over the many years we have been using Stata, we have had nothing but first class service - keep it up!
Martin Kendal-Reed, Sensory Research Institute, Florida State University
First, thank you very much for the well written reply. Second, that is the fastest response to a tech support question that I have, or probably ever will, receive.
John Kinker, Benchmark Environmental Corp.
Let me note that through the years I have found the program, but particularly the technical support, absolutely wonderful.
Sheldon L. Messinger, Professor Emeritus, Law and Society Center, University of California, Berkeley
I have been using Stata for close to 15 years now and think it is just a great package. One thing that makes it great is the terrific support staff who are available to help users.
Daniel Sherman, Senior Economist, Pelavin Research Center
It is really fantastic that Stata offers such great customer service! I was somewhat grudgingly prodded into converting to Stata this year and I am now absolutely a Stata fan. The program is great but your help and guidance take it to the next level. The time you took to explain things carefully and thoroughly (and all by email) is really impressive.
Jordan Feld, MD, MPH, Liver Diseases Branch, NIDDK, NIH
Stata’s technical support is excellent. It is indicative of a sincere effort to provide a good product. I wish other companies had similar attitudes.
Jon Mormino, Department of Demography, Georgetown University
I am very impressed with StataCorp's customer service from the initial email for assistance to the final resolution of my request. Your support has been the most comprehensive and pleasant experience when dealing with this type of highly technical information.
Stephen Kiser, Regional Economist, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
I want to take just a moment of your time to recognize Pete Huckelba for the exceptional customer service he provided. Pete took the time to thoroughly research the possible reasons for my difficultly in accessing the Stata web site and provided a complete "layman" overview of what he found.
He also made suggestions as to other possible explanations, gave me solutions to try, and initiated a means to track future problems. He was kind, reassuring, and willing to be available for any future questions or concerns. I am very impressed with him and hope that he will be recognized for his “extra mile” efforts!!!!
Shawn Regan, STEPS to a Healthier US, Project Manager, Chelan/Douglas Health District
The Stata support team are the best. I keep saying Stata’s support service must one of the best managed services around, ever.
Nancy Hammond Dumenic, Department of Economics, University of Chicago
I had been having trouble with upgrading ado-files ... after considerable effort, I received, quite unexpectedly, a phone call from Kevin Crow at Stata Technical support who had decided that since we were not getting anywhere after many repeated email attempts, he would contact me personally to help. I must say I was tremendously impressed to get that phone call. I had been cautious in using up Stata Technical support time in that I had used both email (extensively) and the Statalist first, but my experiences with other tech support providers make me aware that it is very very impressive to get that kind help and concern about resolving my problem. My thanks, and kudos, both to Kevin, and to Stata for providing that kind of support. Sure makes buying the upgrades a great value!
Buzz Burhans, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University
Just a short thank-you note for a putting together a fine product and an amazing group of people. My co-author and I just had a paper published in the Journal of Political Economy. The entire analysis was conducted in Stata. Stata handled the task effortlessly. Over the course of the past year I have received fantastic support—without technical support's help our paper would have been delayed by over a year.
My thanks to everyone at Stata. We teach our undergraduates Stata in the hope that more corporations will see the light.
Amitabh Chandra, Department of Economics, University of Kentucky