Stata is a general-purpose statistical software package created in 1985. It is used by those in Economics, Political Science, and Demography/Sociology. It is a command-based package that can run on multiple platforms, but we have only licensed v10 Intercooled for Windows XP in the labs. (Version 11 has just been released but we have no plans to purchase upgrade licenses at this time.)
If you are a faculty member, please contact Paula for details on acquiring an appropriate license for STATA. Note that on non-lab computers, each install of STATA requires a specific and unique license. Within each release of STATA there are multiple versions. Choosing the proper version depends on a combination of the computer and the size and type of data you expect to work with.
STATA is a bit more obscure for beginners as the interface is intuitive only if you’ve already had experience and understand the relationship between the elements of a data-based research project: the data, the meta-data, the data analysis, and the results (output.)
The Stata manual set includes a volume "Getting Started with Stata for Windows." It's a readable yet thorough introduction, and much of it is a tutorial. The manual set is available on a shelf near the Reference Desk. Unlike other stats applications (and unlike STATA v11) STATA v10 manuals are not built into the application. They are only published volumes. Since this is inconvenient for most people, it's important for you to learn to use the available built-in help options.
Where to get help using STATA
Here are some rich resources in online tutorials. Remember that we're working with STATA IC V10 and STATA v11 was released last autumn. Therefor many of the pages will be in transition between version 10 & 11. Most of the material will still easily and seamlessly apply although you may see some oddities.
Be sure to read through the examples provided here, these are very rich resources for getting started.
From UCLA. Start here!
(a nice list for the basics of understanding your variables.)
(see this page for lots of "Resources to help you learn and use Stata")
From UNC: (University of North Carolina)
There are also a rediculously expensive set of black manuals. A complete set is near the reference desk in the Gould Library. For getting started, I recommend chapter 3 of Getting Started with Stata for Windows.