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Home Online Help Statistical Packages DBMS Copy Converting STATA, SAS, SPSS

Converting Stata, SPSS, SAS and Similar Files

DBMS/Copy is very good for converting data from one statistics package to another. If you are converting or transferring SAS files, you may need to look at these instructions.

  1. Once you have started DBMS/Copy, you will be presented with a choice of how you want to run DBMS. In most cases, you will want to select "Interactive".
  2. You will then get a file selection box to select the file you want to convert. Be sure to select the correct file type - there a few for each, so if you are unsure of what type of file you have, just try each until DBMS/Copy shows your file in the selection box.

    NOTE: Sometimes you may be shown a box that indicates the you have "user defined formats." This means that some variables, usually numeric ones, have been assigned character labels (value labels in Stata and SPSS, formats in SAS) to either group observations and/or to make the output easier to read. DBMS/Copy can create new variables whose values will be the formatted values of the original variables. When you need to do this is sometime difficult to determine. When converting between Stata and SPSS, it is not necessary, DBMS/Copy is very good at converting the value labels. Converting to or from SAS, however, is not always as smooth. Try the conversion without creating the new variables first, if you do not like the results, you can always do the conversion again and create the new variables.

  3. You will then be presented with the Power Panel. The Power Panel gives you the ability to select rows (Record Filter and Equations), view the data, view the variable information, sort the data and view the values of a variable. Since most of this is easier in programs such as Stata or SPSS, we recommend skipping this step and just clicking OK. If you are converting a very large file (50 meg or more) into Stata, then you may want to use the "Shrink Sizes" button under "Variable Information"
  4. You will then get another file selection box, this time to specify the output file. Select the directory in which you want the file to be created - be sure you have write access to the directory and enough space to hold the file!
  5. Select the type of file to which you want your data converted. Be sure to select one that matches the version of software you will be using. For example, if you have SAS version 6.12 for windows, be sure to select this and not SAS version 8 or you will not be able to use the file. Click OK when you are done.
  6. You will then be shown the batch program that will be run. You should not need to make any changes to this file. You can also save the batch program for future use; this is really only necessary if you have made many changes to variable names, selected record filtering, etc. Click on "Do It!"
  7. DBMS/Copy will show you its progress as it converts the file. When it is done, you will be given a choice of converting another file or exiting.
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