File formats – Statistical data

Of the various software packages that can be used to perform statistical analyses, the most commonly used are SPSS, STATA, R and SAS. JASP is an open source alternative for proprietary software like SPSS and is being developed by the University of Amsterdam. DANS advises where possible to work with open software and open file formats. The best way to preserve statistical data for the long term is to store both the data and the data documentation in an ASCII format. 

JASP users can export data in .csv format and results in .html format. Files from SPSS and STATA are being transferred by DANS for sustainable archiving. DANS can transform files with the Stattransfer software package. This software makes it possible to convert data from one software format to another. This software offers the option to convert SPSS files (.sav) and STATA files (.dta) to data and setup (.dat and .sps for SPSS; .dat and .DO for STATA). In addition, Dataverse software which DANS uses for the Data Stations will transform tabular data files like SPSS files and other statistical files automatically into TAB files. The metadata which describes the content of these datafiles is separately stored in an XML file. Together this information can be read into SPSS or STATA as well as into other applications. 

Preferred formats

Non-preferred formats


© DANS. R.5.5.T.7 Version 1.0, March 30, 2023