How to transfer data without STAT/Transfer

Posted on March 14, 2012


If you have been working with datasets you, at some point along the way, must have been stuck with the wrong data format.

This is not so much of a problem for most types of data, since they can be imported in other programs as well. Unfortunately, the people at the SAS Institute do not very much like these procedures and prefer that everyone uses their program. As a result, apparently their source code is a big secret and transfer to other formats is difficult.  Fair enough….but SAS is not cheap, which prompted me (and likely others) to switch to something else. R in my case.

So now I don’t have SAS, but I do have the occasional SAS file that needs transferring so it can be used in R. STAT/Transfer used to do that trick very well. But surprise, STAT/Transfer costs money as well. They do have a demo, but this only transfers a random sample of the data which, in my book, is pretty useless.

The internet has free stuff, and I am very pleased to let you know there is a free alternative to STAT/Transfer to finally get rid of those old SAS files and change them to alternative Excel/STATA/etc data files. AM Statistical Software can be downloaded for free from the American Institutes for Research at:

I guess it also does some stats’ stuff, but as mentioned I already have R for that.

It worked for my old files, so please have a look. While you are doing that, I am back to checking what hidden treasures I can discover in my old data….