Comment from the Stata technical group
The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata, by J. Scott Long, is an
essential productivity tool for data analysts. Aimed at anyone who analyzes
data, this book presents an effective strategy for designing and doing
dataanalytic projects.
In this book, Long presents lessons gained from his experience with
numerous academic publications, as a coauthor of the immensely popular
Regression Models for Categorical
Dependent Variables Using Stata, and as a coauthor of the SPOST
routines, which are downloaded over 20,000 times a year.
A workflow of data analysis is a process for managing all aspects of data
analysis. Planning, documenting, and organizing your work; cleaning the
data; creating, renaming, and verifying variables; performing and presenting
statistical analyses; producing replicable results; and archiving what you
have done are all integral parts of your workflow.
Long shows how to design and implement efficient workflows for both
oneperson projects and team projects. Long guides you toward streamlining
your workflow, because a good workflow is essential for replicating your
work, and replication is essential for good science.
An efficient workflow reduces the time you spend doing data management and
lets you produce datasets that are easier to analyze. When you methodically
clean your data and carefully choose names and effective labels for your
variables, the time you spend doing statistical and graphical analyses will
be more productive and more enjoyable.
After introducing workflows and explaining how a better workflow can make it
easier to work with data, Long describes planning, organizing, and
documenting your work. He then introduces how to write and debug Stata
dofiles and how to use local and global macros. Long presents conventions
that greatly simplify data analysis—conventions for naming, labeling,
documenting, and verifying variables. He also covers cleaning, analyzing,
and protecting your data.
While describing effective workflows, Long also introduces the concepts of
basic data management using Stata and writing Stata dofiles. Using
realworld examples, Stata commands, and Stata scripts, Long illustrates
effective techniques for managing your data and analyses. If you analyze
data, this book is recommended for you.
You have written the book that I had planned to write someday. But I’m
glad I didn’t—your book is much better. Congratulations, this
was greatly needed.
Prof. Bill Gardner
The Ohio State University
I will post the announcement of Workflow on my door with the
following note: “I’m glad to help anybody who followed at least
25% of the advice Long provides—and brings me their dofiles!”
Prof. Alan C. Acock
Oregon State University
I just wanted to send you a thank you for taking the time to write this
book. I feel a little like an obsessed fan because I read it for several
hours last night, bought 3 copies for my new research team and am presenting
our new organization scheme tomorrow. It turns out that we have just
finished a first flurry of data collection and hiring and I’ve been
scratching my head about how to systematize some aspects. It is a perfect
time to superimpose a structure. I’ve used aspects of your plan in my
own work (hence my eagerness to adopt) but having this coherent volume is a
wonderful and practical resource. I learned a lot from reading this.
Thank you!
Elizabeth Gifford, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Duke University
I just received a knock at my door with my new copy of The Workflow
of Data Analysis Using Stata. I immediately ripped off the packaging
and began perusing it. Just before the knock, I was attempting to write a
program to get Stata to save the r(mean) and r(sd) for two
variables following a summarize command to be saved for a ttesti
command. After looking at your book for about two minutes, I stumbled upon
pages 91–92, where it gave me all the information I need. …
I have only had the
book about 10 minutes and already it has made my life easier. Thanks much,
and I am already looking forward to reading the rest of the book!
Claire M. Kamp Dush, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University
I am a Spanish professor of public economics who is at present enjoying a
studyresearch leave at Melbourne University (Australia). Because of that I
have had the time to read your book from cover to cover. I just want to
thank you for the incredible work you have done! A book such as this one is
a must for anyone trying to make an academic career. Definitely, I will
recommend it to my graduate students as soon as I go back to Spain. If I
had the chance to reach this book twenty years ago I would have been much
more efficient doing my work. Never is it too late! Thanks!
Prof. Jose Felix SanzSanz
Dept. of Applied Economics
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
