Programs & Software

Statistical Computing Support

The Duke Empirical Research Support program provides basic assistance with statistical computing. We offer support for two quantitative research programs: Excel and STATA, and can recommend support sources for alternative programs. Assistance with using the qualitative program NVivo is also available.


If you are interested in doing basic statistical computing, such as:

  • Descriptive statistics, including mean, median, mode, variances, ranges, and basic analyses of data.
  • Graphs, charts, and tables
  • Database management, including data from surveys and experiments.

We can provide support for these activities within Excel, and can perform many of the tasks for faculty interested in including basic empirical elements in their research.


If you are interested in doing more advanced statistical computing, such as:

  • Modeling, including simple modeling, bivariate or multivariate regression, logistic regression, or more complicated methods
  • Time series or panel data analysis
  • Analysis of problem prone data, including data from surveys, survival analysis in experiments, or datasets with missing data
  • Database management, when the data is extensive or needs extensive transformation

We provide support and direction for these activities and can perform many of the analyses for faculty interested in more advanced empirical research.

STATA 12 is currently being distributed through the Duke's OIT office. The rates for purchasing are available online on STATA's website.

Online resources for working with STATA are also available. For a comprehensive guide, visit:

  • STATA Resources and Support
    Contains a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, technical support, news and links to publications, forums and additional support. Published by STATA Press;
  • STATA Online Seminars and Classes
    Includes comprehensive tutorials for Stata (version 11 and earlier). It also includes manuals on additional software packages. Published by UCLA Consulting Services.


Back to top


NVivo 9 is a qualitative research software package that comes with its own programming language for analyzing codes, categories, and text and provides tools for the graphic representation of the relationship between them. It provides multidimensional matrix analysis of data categories for theory building. (View online tutorials)

Back to top

Alternative Programs

Alternative quantitative statistical computing programs, including SPSS, SAS and R are available from Duke's OIT office, and local instruction is available. Although Duke Law School does not provide support for these programs, faculty can find local assistance through the Consulting and Data Services at Duke’s Social Science Research Institute and the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina. Short courses are usually free, and all statistical computing programs are covered. In addition, there are extensive instruction web resources available for these programs.

Back to top


SPSS' official website; includes training, books, and help on the program. Most trainings require payment.
SPSS - Introduction
Includes step-by-step instruction on doing most basic commands in SPSS, from the University of Texas.
SPSS Course
Webpage of Lee Becker's (from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) class on
SPSS for Windows: Getting Started
A basic guide on how to begin work in SPSS.
SPSS for Windows: Data Manipulation and Advanced Topics
Guides from the University of Texas on data manipulation and other advanced tools in SPSS.
SPSS Tools and Examples
Archive of 675+ sample SPSS syntax, macros and scripts classified by purpose, FAQ, Tips, Tutorials and a Newbie's Corner.
UCLA's Academic Computing SPSS Assistance
Extensive assistance for SPPS from UCLA's Academic Computing Services. Includes links to power points, movies, and MP3s about using SPSS.

Back to top


General Warning: SAS 9 does not yet work with either Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium.

Introduction to SAS 9
Documents from an Introduction to SAS 9 short course at the University of Texas, including exercises and data.
Intermediate SAS 9 Workshop
Documents from an Intermediate SAS 9 short course at the University of Texas, including exercises and data.
Official website of the SAS program; includes trainings, publications, and help.
SAS at Duke University
Duke University's guide to where and how to purchase SAS
SAS: Getting Started
A very basic guide to getting started with SAS, from the University of Texas.
SAS Information Guides
A source of links to various SAS guides, including information on the guides.
SAS: Specific Problems
Detailed guides to deal with specific and advanced problems in SAS
SAS tips
A page of tips on how to do various functions in SAS; includes many shortcuts.
UCLA's Academic Computing SAS Assistance
Extensive assistance for SAS from UCLA's Academic Computing Services. Includes links to power points, movies, and MP3s about using SAS.

Back to top


Graphics in R
A guide to doing beginning and advanced graphics in R
Introduction to Statistical Computing in R
A guide, written by John Fox, to doing statistical computing in R.
Introductory Statistics in R
A well-written guide to using R to do basic statistics.
R Introduction in PDF form
A PDF of a power point of an introduction to R. Detailed and well-written.
The R Foundation
The official website for R; click on "Mailing Lists" on the left hand side to sign up for the list-serves for R. The R "help" list-serve is high traffic, but necessary if R is going to be your statistical package of choice.
Time Series in R
Code for doing time series and cross-sectional analysis in R
Tips for R
A detailed list of tips for using R, including shortcuts.
Tutorial for R
An introductory tutorial to R, including step-by-step functions
UCLA's Academic Computing R Assistance
Extensive assistance for R from UCLA's Academic Computing Services. Includes links to power points, movies, and MP3s about using R.
Wikipedia: R
A user-written guide to working in R

Back to top

Converting Between Programs:


A program that allows the user to convert datafiles from one statistical computing format to another.

A SAS User's Guide to Stata

A useful guide to converting from using SAS to using STATA

Applied Econometrics: Various Programs

Online guides to doing applied econometrics in a variety of statistical computing programs

Back to top


Last updated 10 April 2012 gl