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Making data make sense

Resume: David K. Billings

e-mail: dkbillings@datastep.com


University of Southern Colorado, B.A., 1969
University of New Mexico, Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology), 1975
Stanford University, Postgraduate Studies (Statistics), 1977

Professional Society Memberships:

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
Association for Computing Machinery
Institute of Mathematical Statistics
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Society

Professional Experience

DataStep Development:

Chief, Systems Development, 1994 - Present

Since the founding of DataStep Development in 1994, Dr. Billings has served as the Chief Systems Developer for the company. During that time, the company has designed and developed two database systems for medical researchers, designed a municipal parking ticket processing system, worked on the design and development of a statistical-graphical marketing analysis system, worked on the design of a resource management system for small businesses, consulted on the design of a state-wide student-tracking system, designed a computer information retrieval system for medical researchers, and worked on the design of a high school-college tracking and course articulation system.

Dr. Billings managed a 370,00 record, retrospective, drug database consisting of three related files and conducted preliminary analyses of the data for DataStep Development as part of a subcontract with Technology Assessment Group (Canada). The contractor required that the data be transformed into a series of hierarchical aggregations which were to be exported to Excel workbooks. The Excel workbooks were then electronically transmitted to the contractor for final analysis.

Dr. Billings was responsible for the data management of 7-years of community college course and transcript records for the students from a California high school district in preparation for a 5-year community college followup study produced by DataStep Development. In addition to his data management functions, Dr. Billings conducted a major portion of the analyses and made a significant contribution to the writing of the final report.

Dr. Billings also took primary responsibility for the management of data extracted from the SASI database of another high school district under contract with DataStep Development and the design of an Access database system for the incorporation and analysis of the data. Dr. Billings also assisted in the analysis of the data for the school districtís 1995 annual report.

Dr. Billings continues to be involved in a major analysis of Medicare claims for which DataStep Development is under contract to provide data management services. Previously, Dr. Billings converted and managed a 5 percent sample of 1991 and 1992 Medicare claims (nearly 60 million records). Currently, Dr. Billings is providing data management services for a 5 percent sample of 1993 Medicare claims (close to another 30 million records). The data management services include translation of EBCDIC variable length records (repeating fields) with both packed decimal and binary fields to standard PC ASCII formats, the creation of SAS datasets, and the subsetting of variables for analysis.

DMA Corporation:

President, 1989 - 1995
Director, Data Management Division, 1989 - 1995
Board of Directors, 1981 - 1995
Treasurer, 1981 - 1989

After cofounding DMA Corporation in 1981, Dr. Billings served as the Project Manager, Senior Systems Analyst or Senior Data Analyst on many DMA Corporation contracts. He prepared data files and applied statistical methods to the analysis of data from a wide variety of sources.

Dr. Billings had primary responsibility for the development of a district-wide payroll system for the Fremont Union High School District. He also was the leader for the DMA subcontract for litigation support for a major case (Oceanus v. CTI, London, England), constructing a very large database and analyzing the data. Over the past decade, Dr. Billings has established himself as an expert in the area of publicly-funded child care in California, analyzing data for annual (now triennial) reports and various special reports on the California Department of Education child development programs.

Computer Experience

Dr. Billings has a broad experience working with computer languages, environments, and databases. He has worked with small, medium, and large databases created in various statistical packages. He has many years of experience with using error-correcting techniques to guarantee the integrity of databases and the development of complex, integrated applications.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Billings has written programs in many languages including assembly languages, FORTRAN, COBOL, PL/1, Basic, Visual Basic, ALGOL, Lisp, Forth, Pascal, and C/C++. He has worked with all of the major statistical packages including BMDP, SAS, SPSS, and Minitab. He has designed and developed database applications using many different systems including FileMaker Pro, FoxPro, and Access. In addition, he has worked with or translated database systems developed with DBASE, Helix Express, 4th Dimension, and Clipper.

Since beginning work with computers in 1965 as an electrical engineering student, Dr. Billings has had experience with a wide variety of computer environments, including various models of Apple, HP, DEC and IBM micros, minis, and mainframes, as well as extensive experience with the Macintosh environment.

In the early 1970s, he had responsibility for designing, creating, implementing, and maintaining a highly integrated, real time research laboratory computer system based on a Hewlett-Packard minicomputer. His responsibilities included modifying the system to accommodate direct online acquisition of laboratory measurements as well as monitoring the daily operation of hardware and software. It also included specifying needed software and hardware enhancements.

In the mid 1970s, Dr. Billings was hired as a systems analyst by the Stanford University Department of Statistics to install, implement, and modify system software for a new multiuser, UNIX operating system running on a PDP-11 minicomputer. He wrote the necessary system code to integrate, enhance, and modify the system to match the special needs of the Department. He installed the peripheral hardware and personally installed the UNIX operating system and the selected additional software, including language compilers and statistical packages. Particular attention was paid to making full use of the UNIX facilities for security as well as ensuring that procedures for data and system backup were firmly established.

During the 1980s, Dr. Billings worked on a wide variety of computers and operating systems in addition to the Stanford University IBM mainframe. For example, he has experience working on other IBM mainframes, DECsystem 10 and 20 "midsize" computers, VAX systems (under VMS or UNIX), and Hewlett-Packard minicomputers. He also has extensive experience with Macintosh and IBM-compatible DOS/Windows systems.

Dr. Billings understands the requirements of developing complex applications, having developed a district wide payroll system for Fremont Union High School District, and has worked with large databases created in SAS and SPSS on mainframe computers.

Dr. Billings has decades of experience developing user friendly computer systems. He had primary responsibility for designing the Fremont payroll system mentioned above, including the highly successful user interface. In addition to his experience at DMA Corporation and DataStep Development, he has developed easy-to-use software to extract information from a custom-designed mainframe database (Child Care Pilot Study), to construct "event history" files from a multifile database designed by DMA Corporation (NLS of Youth), and to check uniqueness requirements of selected data fields in any flat-file database (DUPFIELD).


Dr. Billings served in a number of capacities for the State of California as a private consultant prior to the founding of DMA Corporation. The following are representative of those experiences:

  • Consulting Programmer and Data Analyst, California Department of Education, 1977 - 81
  • Consulting Senior Programmer and Data Analyst, Equitable State allocation of targeted child care funds, OPER, California Department of Education, 1980
  • Consulting Senior Programmer and Data Analyst, Analysis of the quality of child care through observation, California Department of Education, 1978 - 80
  • Programmer, Child Care Pilot Study, County Office of Education, Santa Clara County, California Department of Education, 1977


Dr. Billings has also served in a number of capacities for Stanford University and the University of New Mexico as a private consultant and teacher prior to the founding of DMA Corporation. The following are representative of those experiences:

  • Consulting Programmer and Data Analyst, Department of Sociology, Stanford University, 1978 - 80
  • Consulting Systems Analyst, Computer Hardware and Software, Department of Statistics, Stanford University, 1978
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1975
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Advanced Statistics, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1974
  • Graduate Instructor, HP Assembly Programming, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1973 - 74
  • Consultant, Computer Hardware and Software, Data Analysis. D. P. Ferraro, University of New Mexico, 1973 - 74
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Research Techniques and Instrumentation, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1970, 1972 - 73
  • Research Assistant, Experimental design, Computer programming, Data analysis, University of New Mexico (Holloman AFB), 1970 - 71
  • NDEA Title IV Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 1969 - 70


  • “Antihypertensive Persistence and Drug Class,” Michael A. Marentette, William C. Gerth, David K. Billings, Kelly B. Zarnke, 2002, Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Vol 18 No 6 June 2002, p. 649-656.
  • "Comparison of behavioral effects of synthetic-delta-9-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol and marihuana extract distillate in chimpanzees," (with D. P. Ferraro), Psychopharmacologia (Berl.), Vol 25, pp 169-174, 1972
  • "Integration of a Hewlett Packard minicomputer with digital-logic controlled behavioral laboratories," (with D. P. Ferraro), Behavioral Research Methods and Instrumentation, Vol 6, pp 43-45, 1974
  • "Marihuana use by college students: Three-year trends, 1970-1972," (with D. P. Ferraro), International Journal of the Addictions, Vol 9, pp 321-327, 1974
  • "Illicit drug use by college students: Three-year trends, 1970-1972," (with D. P. Ferraro), International Journal of the Addictions, Vol 9, pp 879-883, 1974
  • "Measurement of Dimensional Stimulus Control: Steady-state Generalization Gradients," Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of New Mexico, 1975
  • "Final Report, Volume II: Longitudinal Study of Structured English Immersion Strategy, Early-Exit, and Late-Exit Transitional Bilingual Education Programs for Language-Minority Children," (with Ramirez, J.D., Pasta, D.J., Yuen, S.D., and Ramey, D.R.), Submitted to U.S. Department of Education by Aguirre International, San Mateo, CA., 1991
  • "Tamalpais Union High School District: Student Performance Report, 1994-95," Sacramento, 1995, with Robin Wolfson.
  • "Five-Year College Follow-up Study: East Side Union High School District, Report on Community Colleges, 1985-89," Sacramento, 1995, with Helene Belz and Robin Wolfson.
e-mail: dkbillings@datastep.com