Stata product overview
Stata is an integrated statistical software that provides users the tools for their data science needs. It is fast, accurate, and easy to use for tasks such as data manipulation, visualization, statistics, and automated reporting. The proprietary software package is compatible with machines running 64-bit operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Unix. The latest version is Stata 16 that includes features such as Lasso, reproducible reporting, meta analysis, and choice models. Researchers use Stata in the fields and disciplines of behavioral sciences, biostatistics, data science, economics, education, epidemiology, finance, business, marketing, medicine, political science, public health, and sociology.
Pros of Stata
- Range of functionality: Stata has a comprehensive range of functionality and features for a broad array of applications, from data analysis and modeling to reporting and programming.
- Ease of use: Stata is easy to use by data science teams of all skill levels, particularly in creating reports. The software is extensible and scalable. Free training and online help resources are also available.
Cons of Stata
- Hardware requirements: To take advantage of Stata’s computing abilities, it should run on machines compatible with 64-bit operating systems, at least dual core CPUs or more, adequate memory, and video cards that can display thousands of colors. Users will need more computing power compared to running Excel; otherwise performance will be slow.
Breakdown of core features
Data wrangling and management
Stata has extensive data wrangling and management features to give users a great degree of control. It lets you manage multiple datasets simultaneously. Import or export data, connect through ODBC or SQL, and access data locally or on the web. It has a built-in spreadsheet that allows you to sort, match, merge, join, append, or create data. The software can process text or binary data and lets you collect statistics across groups.
Stata allows you to generate distinctly styled graphs easily. Use point and click to create a custom graph. The integrated Graph Editor lets you change anything in your graph such as add titles, notes, lines, arrows, and text with a click. The software allows you to write scripts so you can produce thousands of graphs in a reproducible manner. It works with various file formats so you can export graphs in EPS, TIFF, PNG, SVG, or PDF formats.
Incorporate results of your analysis and graphs with formatted text and tables in Word, Excel, PDF, or HTML formats. Reproducible reporting allows you to recreate entire analysis and documents automatically with Stata commands. It has integrated version control that verifies if data has changed. It can also create dynamic documents that update reports as data changes. Users can customize text, tables, and other elements such as fonts, size, and color.
Stata includes an advanced programming language called Mata. It has structures, pointers, and classes, with direct support for matrix programming. It is an interactive and full development environment that can produce compiled and optimized code, with support for object-oriented programming.
(Last updated on 01/29/2021 by Jose delos Santos)