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STATA Interview Questions And Answers

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Stata Interview Questions

Last Updated: May 31st, 2018

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Q1) What is the elementary use of STATA?

The integrated statistical software is fundamentally used as an integral part of research methodologies in the field of economics, biomedicine, and political science in order to examine data pattern.

Q2) What are the most advisable functions performed with the help of STATA?

The program is best suited for processing time?series, panel, and cross?sectional data.

Q3) What makes the tool more intuitive?

The availability of both command line and graphical user interface makes the usage of the software more spontaneous.

Q4) What are the competencies of using STATA software?

The incorporation of data management, statistical analysis, graphics, simulations, regression, and custom programming and at the same time it also accommodates a system to disseminate user-written programs that lets it grow continuously, making it an integral statistical tool.

Q5) List four major builds of STATA and state their purposes?

STATA MP - Multiprocessor computer which includes dual-core and multicore processors.
STATA SE - Majorly used for analyzing larger databases
STATA IC - The standard version of the software
Numerics by STATA support MP, SE AND IC data types in an embedded environment.

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Q6) State the various disciplines which use STATA as an integral software for efficient results?

STATA software acts as an effective analytical and statistical tools for major sectors, they are as follows :

  • Behavioral sciences: Behavioral scientist entrust STATA for its accuracy, extensibility, reproducibility, and ease of use features. Whether it is an extensive research on cognitive development, studying personality traits or developing measurement instruments, The software accommodates all the required collateral to pursue a broad range of behavioral science questions.
  • Education: In the process of developing new tests or researching diverse topics as learning and development, teacher effectiveness, or school finance, STATA establishes the relevant and accurate statistical methodology options forward. The analysis is consistently integrated with illustrations (graphics) and data management into one package in order to seek a wide range of educational questions.
  • Medical: Medicinal researchers entrust to use STATA for its range of biostatistical methods and reproducibility approach towards the data. In the process of any medical research or while performing a clinical trial, the program provides accurate tools which helps conduct the study from power and sample-size calculations to data management to analysis.
  • Biostatistics: Biostatisticians approve of STATA for its accuracy,  extensibility, and reproducibility. Inconsiderate of the study’s statistical approach or focus area or whether it is a cross-sectional, longitudinal, or time-to-event. STATA equips the users with all the necessary statistics, graphics, and data management tools needed to implement and study a wide range of biostatistical methods.
  • Economics: The researchers in the field of economics have always relied upon STATA for its accuracy and relevancy. Whether its a study on educational institution selection research process, Gross domestic price or stock trends, Stata provides all the statistics, graphics, and data management tools needed to complete the study with utmost authenticity.
  • Business / Finance - Marketing: financial and marketing research analysts often rely on this tool in the case of researching asset pricing, capital market dynamics, customer-value management, consumer and firm behavior, or branding, the reason being its accuracy and extensibility of providing all the statistics, graphics, and data management tools.
  • Sociology: Apart from the above-listed sectors, STATA is also used in the study of demographic and geographic research processes.

 
Q7) What are the key features of STATA/ MP?

  • STATA/ MP is termed as the fastest and largest version of the program.
  • This version’s multiprocessing abilities provide the most comprehensive support (multi core) to all kinds of statistics and data administration.
  • STATA/MP supports over 64 cores/processors, making it the fastest medium to analyze the data when compared to STATA/SE.
  • This version interprets 10 to 20 billion observations in comparison to STATA/SE’s 2 billion observations.
  • The program is 100% compatible with other versions and needs no modification of the analyses to obtain Stata/MP's speed improvements.

Q8)  List down few highlights of new STATA 15?

  • Extended regression modules which can address the problems such as Endogenous covariates, Nonrandom treatment assignment etc in any combination, unlike the previous Heckman and ivregress modules.
  • STATA’S Latin Class Analysis helps to identify unobserved categories in the latent classes.
  • STATA now supports Markdown - A standard markup language that allows text formatting from plain text input.
  • Program's Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium command estimates the parameters of DSGE models that are linear in the variables but potentially nonlinear in the parameters.
  • Bayes prefix, when combined with Bayesian features with STATA’S spontaneous and elegant specification of regression models, lets the users fit Bayesian regression models more conveniently and fit additional models.

Q9) What is the work function of STATA’S user interface?

Primarily, STATA by default opens in four different windows :

  • Results: This window displays all the commands and their results, with an exception being made for graphs which are showcased in their own window.
  • Review: Only the commands are made visible in this particular window. When clicked on any specific command by the user it appears on a separate window. The review tab has an option of “ Save Review Contents ”  which allows the user to save all documented files in the review window to a file for later use. ( This is not a substitute for log and do files.)
  • Command: This is the space used to type the commands while working in an interactive mechanism. All the content typed here will be reflected in both results and review windows. “ Page Up “ and “ Page Down “ keys are used in order to view previously executed commands.
  • Variables: Entire list of user ’s variables and their labels are displayed here. When clicked it will be pasted in the command window.

Q10) What are the various data format compatible with STATA software?

STATA is compatible to import data from various formats, Inclusive of  ASCII data formats (such as CSV or databank formats) and spreadsheet formats (including various Excel formats). It can as well read and write SAS XPORT format datasets natively, using the fdause and fdasave commands.
 
The STATAS’s dominion file formats are platform independent, which enables the users from different operating systems comfortably exchange datasets and programs. Although there has been consistent change over the course of time with respect to STATA’S data format, still the users can read all older dataset formats and can write both the current and most recent previous dataset format, using the same old command.

Checkout STATA Tutorials

Q11) Elaborate on Do, Log and CmdLog files?

The User must always operate his work in a do-file, which ensures the output can be reproduced at a later time. One can start a do.file by simply clicking on the do.file editor button. The user has to also make sure to always turn on “Auto indent” and Auto save on do/run” options presented in the preferences tab.
 
Another cardinal rule while working on STATA is the always maintain a log file running. These files have a record of the work done and even showcases the results. This function can be activated by giving "log using mylog.log" command. The usage of “.log” extension automatically creates the log as a plain text file that can then be opened in Microsoft Word or notepad as well as Stata's viewer.
One can initiate command log with the command "cmdlog using mycmdlog.log". This ensures the file is saved in the text format. CmdLog has only the executed commands with no reflection of the output. Additionally, all the commands irrespective of where they are issued from are recorded in the command log.

Q12) Explain STATA salient features?

  • Time series: This feature of the software allows the users to handle all the statistical challenges constitutional to time-series data, for example, common factors, autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity, unit roots, autocorrelations etc. The program operates various activities like filtering to fitting compound multiple variate models and graphing which reveals the structure into the time series. 
  • Survival Analysis: With the help of specialized survival analytical tools provided by STATA, the user an analyze the duration of an outcome. They can estimate and plot the possibility of survival over time irrespective of discrepancies such as (unobserved event, delay entry or gaps in the study). hazard ratios, mean survival time, and survival probabilities can be predicted with the help of this model.
  • Extended regression Models: ERM is the face name for the class of models addresses several complications that arise on a regular basis frequently. Example of ERMS are 1) endogenous covariates, 2) sample selection and 3) non random treatment assignment. These complications can either arise alone or with any combination. The ERMs grants the user to make authentic inferences.
  • Structural Equation Modeling: SME performs an assessment of the mediation effects. It evaluates the relationship between  unobserved latent concept and observed variables that measure the concerned latent concept.
  • ANOVA / MANOVA: These are known as Fit one- and two-way models. They analyze the data enclosed, fixed or random factors or with repeated measures. ANOVA is used when the user faces continuous covariates, whereas MANOVA  models when the user has multiple outcome variables. The relationship between the outcome and predictors can be explored by estimating effect sizes and computing least-squares and marginal means.

Q13) List down standards methods and advanced techniques provided by STATA program?

STATA provides over 100 various authentic statistical tools. Here are the few examples:

STANDARD METHODS
ADVANCED TECHNIQUES
Basic tabulations and summaries Time-series smoothers
Multilevel models Binary, count, and censored outcomes
Case-control analysis Contrasts and comparisons
Dynamic panel-data (DPD) regressions Multiple imputations
Power analysis SEM (structural equation modeling)
ANOVA and MANOVA Latent class analysis (LCA)

Q14)  Explain Publication - Quality graphics feature?

STATA makes it convenient for the users to generate high-quality styled graphs and visual representations. A user can either point and click or write scripts to produce numerous graphs in a reproducible manner. In order to view the visual, it must be either converted into EPS or TIF for publication, to PNG or SVG for the web, or to PDF. With an additional feature of integrated graph editor, the user can alter the graph accordingly.

Q15) List the different graph styles provided by STATA?

STATA is one of the recommended software to create graphical  illustrations, the following are the types of graphs made available by STATA namely :

  •  Bar charts
  •  Box plots
  •  Histograms
  •  Spike plots
  •  Pie charts
  • Scatterplot matrices
  • Dot charts
  • Line charts
  • Area charts etc.

Q16) How does the reading and documentation function work in STATA?

In order to write a program to read data into STATA, Then the user has two possible choices.  “Infile”  and “infix” . When compared to infix, the infile command has more capabilities but at the same time has a higher level of complexity. If the user’s codebook has “start” and “length” information for the variables or the variables are separated by spaces ( not commas or tabs) then it advisable to use infile. On the other hand, if the codebook contains “start” and “end” column information then, the user can go ahead with infix.

Q17) What are the advantages of using STATA program?

  • STATA is a fast, accurate and easy to use interface, with an additional feature of intuitive command syntax making it a powerful statistical data analytical tool.
  • STATA provides a wide range of statistical tools from standard methods such as Basic tabulations and summaries, Case-control analysis, Linear regression to advanced techniques for example: Multilevel models, Dynamic panel data regressions, SEM etc.
  • Data administration feature of STATA allows complete control over all data types. The user can then combine and reshape data sets, manage variables, and collect statistics across groups or duplicates.
  • The software is capable to manage unique data sets (survival/duration data, panel/longitudinal etc.)
  • The program is cross-platform compatible which includes windows, MAC, Linux.

Q18) Explain the role of MATA programming language?

MATA is a full-fledged programming language that compiles the data typed into bytecode, optimizes it, and executes it fast. Al though it is not a requirement in order to use STATA a fast and complex matrix programming language is an essential part of STATA. The language acts as both interactive environments for manipulating matrices and fully developed environment that can produce compiled and optimized code. It complies important features for the processing of panel data, performs operations on real or complex matrices and offers outright support for object-oriented -programming and is fully integrated with every form of STATA.

Q19) Explain describe and codebook commands?

Once the data is loaded in STATA, User must document in order to know what are the variables and how they are coded. The describe and codebook commands furnish information about the user’s data.

  • Describe command is the most basic form of a command. It projects a short description of the file and also lists variables and their required information in the datasets.
  • Codebook drafts detailed description of each variable. By default, the codebook command will list variables that have nine or less discrete values and means for those which are more than nine.

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