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CBS released a report on Nov. 13 about their investigation that found a suicide “epidemic� among veterans. They discovered that veterans have a suicide rate twice that of other Americans. This required a great deal of work on their part to find the information they needed about rates, though, since their way no national study of the cumulative number of suicides in the U.S. They asked all 50 states for their suicide data for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. CBS received a “mountain of information� from forty-five states, and computer analysis programs had to be used to crunch the numbers. They didn't do it themselves, however; they had someone from who works with biostatistics run a "detailed analysis of the raw numbers" that CBS got from authorities for 2004 and 2005, from which they determined the suicide rates for veterans vs. non-vets. They also broke percentages into sub-groups such as ages.
At least some of this data likely came from Internet databases and documents decimated online. Analytical programs, which required basic computer usage skills on the part of reporters. It looks like they had the bulk of their data crunched by someone else, though.