As web-based and other electronic data collection methods become more widely used in research, the opportunities to use statistical software in conjunction with conventional database systems are increasing. Among such systems, MySQL is particularly well suited for research purposes. For example, MySQL's ENUM and SET column types are ideal for storing data collected via the multiple choice questions typically used in social surveys. At the same time, Stata is uniquely suited for working in conjunction with a database; for example, its implementation of characteristics makes it possible to preserve (in a usable form) important information about how the database and front-end application are constructed (e.g., column types and other attributes). In this presentation, we shall describe a Python script we have developed for translating data from MySQL to Stata, and will indicate briefly how we are using it in the development of tools for the collection and management of research data.
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