Session and Matrix Windows - SEER*Stat Basics

SEER*Stat provides cancer researchers with a mechanism for viewing data fields in individual cancer records and producing statistics useful in studying the impact of cancer on a population. The three basic steps in using SEER*Stat are:

  1. Define the parameters for your analysis in a SEER*Stat session.
  2. Execute the session. SEER*Stat will present the results in a separate results matrix window.
  3. Use the results displayed in the matrix window by viewing, printing, exporting to text file, or copying them to the Windows clipboard. Exporting and copying the statistics allows you to analyze or graph the statistics in other software packages.

SEER*Stat Sessions

SEER*Stat has several session types, each designed for calculating specific statistics. All sessions use the same basic menus, features, buttons, and windows. Whether you are calculating frequencies, incidence rates, or more advanced cancer statistics, you must learn how to:

  • Specify the statistics to calculate:
    1. Start a SEER*Stat session using a session type that is appropriate.
    2. Choose statistics and set parameters on the STATISTIC TAB.
  • Define the records to be used in your analysis cohort:
    1. Select a database on the DATA TAB containing the records of interest. (Databases distributed by the SEER program contain data for a specific time period and set of registries.)
    2. Make selections on SELECTION TAB to specify an analysis cohort of all records or a subset of records in the chosen database.
  • Define the layout of your output:
    1. Stratify results by one or more variables using the TABLE TAB.
    2. Define format groupings for those variables in the DICTIONARY.
    3. Set titles and session-specific output options on the OUTPUT TAB.

SEER*Stat Results Matrix

After setting all the parameters of your session, you will execute the session to generate the results. The results of your analysis will open in a new window containing the output table. You cannot alter the results in the matrix window, but you do have options to customize the appearance, export or copy the results for use in other software, and retrieve the session that created it.

  • Customize the appearance:
    Using the settings on the Matrix menu and the Matrix Options dialog, you can customize the appearance of the results table. Some of the options vary depending on the session type, but most include the ability to:
    • Show or hide statistics, footnotes, flags, zero-count rows, titles;
    • Change the order of column or row variables (if there are two or more of either);
    • Select the font used in the matrix;
    • Change the title
  • Export or copy the results for use in other software:
    • Data from a SEER*Stat results matrix may be copied to the Windows clipboard and pasted into other programs. Using the Copy submenu of the Edit menu, you can select which contents of the results matrix to copy. Then, paste your results into a spreadsheet application or other software that handles tabular data.
    • Use the Export option on the Matrix menu to create a text data file containing the results of your analysis. This data file can be configured to be used as input into any software package that can read text files.
  • Retrieve the session:
    The session information used to create the results is saved with the matrix, so you do not have to save both files. Select Retrieve Session from the Matrix menu to open the session.