Joint use of CDS/ISIS, IDAMS, spreadsheet and text editor
There is an ISIS data base, e.g. data base of IDAMS users, which contains such information as country name, region, type of institution, distributor (UNESCO or external), release/version of the software and the year of dispatching for each registered IDAMS user. Information about software dispatched is kept in a repeatable field with two subfields (release/version and year). A report had to be prepared on the number of copies of different versions of the software sent to each country, to each region, to each type of institution, number of copies sent per year, number of copies sent by external distributors, etc.
Step 1 - Exporting data from ISIS data base to IDAMS
CDS/ISIS - IDAMS Interface was used to extract necessary information from the data base and to construct IDAMS dataset. "Country name", "Region" and "Release/version" fields were recoded to numerical values. Repetitions were handled "case-wise", i.e. a separate record was constructed for each repetition. Thus, cases in the IDAMS dataset correspond to copies of the software distributed.
Step 2 - Computation of univariate/bivariate tables
TABLES program was used to obtain various univariate and bivariate distributions such as the number of copies of the software sent by region, type of receiving institution, year of dispatching, version and country for each region, etc. These distributions were saved in files, majority as IDAMS matrices and small part as printed output.
Step 3 - Exporting analysis results for a report
Printed results of analysis are stored in text files. As such, they can be inserted in any report and formatted using any text editor. However, distributions stored in matrix files can be handled in an easier and more elegant way. For that purpose, IMPEX program was used to transform IDAMS internal matrix format files to free format.
Steps 4 and 5 - Inclusion of analysis results in a report
Then these free format files were input directly to a spreadsheet software (here Excel) in order to format tables and prepare graphical presentation of results. Finally, all these formatted tables and figures were inserted in proper places in the report.
Dear IDAMS Users,
But what to do if data are not in an ISIS data base and some quite long alphabetic fields need to be analyzed using IDAMS? Have you any "tricky" solutions to propose? Are you willing to share your experiences in using IDAMS jointly with other software packages? If so, they could be published in IDAMS News.