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Statistical Software Packages: How do I get this into that? Gillian Byrne Memorial University of Newfoundland Atlantic DLI Training - April 23, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Statistical Software Packages: How do I get this into that? Gillian Byrne Memorial University of Newfoundland Atlantic DLI Training - April 23, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Statistical Software Packages: How do I get this into that? Gillian Byrne Memorial University of Newfoundland Atlantic DLI Training - April 23, 2004

2 The Basics Data is often available in flat ASCII text files Data is often available in flat ASCII text files

3 Data Definition Files Statistical software programs need to know what to do with the data. Statistical software programs need to know what to do with the data. Data Definition Files explain the text file to the software program Data Definition Files explain the text file to the software program For example a data definition file can format the pile of numbers into cases and variables, provide variable labels, define missing cases, and more For example a data definition file can format the pile of numbers into cases and variables, provide variable labels, define missing cases, and more Data definition files differ between software packages Data definition files differ between software packages

4 SPSS Syntax File Location of the data Variable labels (as seen in the SPSS Variable View) Variables in the data file

5 Missing values for each variable Value labels assign descriptions to the values of variables

6 Data Definition Files and the Codebook Where do the data definition files derive from? Where do the data definition files derive from? …the Codebook! …the Codebook!

7 Other Statistical Software Packages SAS Geared towards power users: one of the most powerful statistical packages, but also has the steepest learning curve Geared towards power users: one of the most powerful statistical packages, but also has the steepest learning curve Relies more on programming rather than a point-and-click. interface Relies more on programming rather than a point-and-click. interface

8 Other Statistical Software Packages Stata Combination of command language and point and click interface Combination of command language and point and click interface Used by economics departments and other social science disciplines Used by economics departments and other social science disciplines Known for its strong graphing capabilities Known for its strong graphing capabilities

9 Other Statistical Software Packages Shazam Canadian product Canadian product used widely in economics/econometrics used widely in economics/econometrics Not as powerful as other statistical programs Not as powerful as other statistical programs Runs on DOS, Windows, Mac, Unix platforms Runs on DOS, Windows, Mac, Unix platforms

10 Other Statistical Software Packages MS Excel Not a dependable statistical package, but… Not a dependable statistical package, but… Widely available Widely available Easy to understand & use Easy to understand & use

11 Tips for Successful Interoperability Data definition files Data definition files By far the easiest way to format raw data By far the easiest way to format raw data SPSS, SAS, and STATA data definition files (with commenting!) are available in IDLS SPSS, SAS, and STATA data definition files (with commenting!) are available in IDLS Troubleshooting tips: Troubleshooting tips: Ensure you correctly identify the file path to the data Ensure you correctly identify the file path to the data Make sure that commands dont include breaks (carriage returns) Make sure that commands dont include breaks (carriage returns) Check to make sure the correct symbol is used to separate commands (in SPSS its a period, in SAS & STATA a semi-colon) Check to make sure the correct symbol is used to separate commands (in SPSS its a period, in SAS & STATA a semi-colon)

12 Tips for Successful Interoperability Comma-Separated Values (csv) files: Comma-Separated Values (csv) files: Text files (with the extension.csv) with commas separating the data Text files (with the extension.csv) with commas separating the data Often csv files imported into statistical software will require tweaking (variable labels, layout, etc.) Often csv files imported into statistical software will require tweaking (variable labels, layout, etc.) csv files can be imported by most programs: csv files can be imported by most programs: SPSS, SAS, Stata, Excel SPSS, SAS, Stata, Excel csv files are available in ESTAT and CANSIM II through CHASS csv files are available in ESTAT and CANSIM II through CHASS b2020 files can also be converted to csv for use in another program b2020 files can also be converted to csv for use in another program

13 Example

14 SOFTWARE (Windows) FILE TYPES SPSS Fixed Field Data Blank-delimited Data Comma-delimited Data SPSS Portable File SAS Fixed Field Data Blank-delimited Data Comma-delimited Data SAS Xport File & SAS Cport File Stata Stata 4-5 & 7 Fixed Field Data Comma-delimited Data Blank-delimited Data Shazam Fixed Field Data Blank-delimited Data Excel Tab-delimited Data Comma-delimited Data File Input Chart Adapted from:

15 Conversion Software Conversion software allows you to seamlessly transport data from one statistical program to another Conversion software allows you to seamlessly transport data from one statistical program to another STAT/Transfer STAT/Transfer Supports over 30 software programs, including SAS, SPSS and Stata Supports over 30 software programs, including SAS, SPSS and Stata Approx. $150 USD for single user license Approx. $150 USD for single user license DBMS/Copy DBMS/Copy Supports over 80 software programs, including databases and spreadsheets Supports over 80 software programs, including databases and spreadsheets Approx. $500 USD for single user Approx. $500 USD for single user

16 Roundup There are a proliferation of statistical software packages, all of them with different strengths and weaknesses There are a proliferation of statistical software packages, all of them with different strengths and weaknesses Concentrate on getting the data into the software – often users can take it from there Concentrate on getting the data into the software – often users can take it from there CANSIM II at CHASS, ESTAT, IDLS, and the DLI website all offer different file type options – it can be worthwhile checking different sources to find the file type youre looking for CANSIM II at CHASS, ESTAT, IDLS, and the DLI website all offer different file type options – it can be worthwhile checking different sources to find the file type youre looking for


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