I am a first time user. Just want to know if downloadable files under “Data” (under column heading “Fixed Width Text Files”) are written in a very general format (text delimited?) that are then transformed into SAS or STATA (or SPSS) formatted files when you apply a corresponding SAS or STATA (or SPSS) “Command File?” I wonder because in creating my downloadable “Data” files, I had to specify that I wanted a SAS file (or STATA or SPSS). I specified SAS format but got something that can be used with SAS, STATA, or SPSS. Sounds like I get flexibility in the end that I was expecting - - which is good; like. Please confirm, though. I can be reached at c/301-452-2511. George Sheldon
Do SAS and STATA "command files" transform any "Fixed Width Text Files/Data" into SAS or STATA formatted files?
The files under ‘Fixed Width Text files’ are essentially just a matrix of numbers. The command files we provide will read this file into SAS, Stata, or SPSS. Specifying a data format, such as SAS, will tell our system to generate a SAS-formatted file, which can be read directly into SAS. In other words, you can read the Fixed Width file into SAS in conjunction with the command file, or you can simply open the SAS-formatted file in SAS as you would any other file. Either way should work.
RE: My Question …
That should have read in the 3rd sentence from the end, “Sounds like I get flexibility in the end that I was NOT expecting - - which is good.” Moreover, the technical response to my question seems to be in keeping with this conclusion. I can either get a SAS formatted data file made for me (which is what I thought I requested) or I can get “a matrix of numbers” and with command files allowing me to make SAS or STATA data files. Right now, I need to make BOTH SAS and Stata data files. So, what I was provided was perfect. Thanks. G