Maxwell McCombs suggested merging old data with new data in determining some trends. For example, a reporter can conduct a new poll and also use the data from the older poll as a baseline for comparison if the two polls are methodologically similar. For more than 40 years, journalists have tried to merge reporting with the power of computers. From the early 1950s through the late 1970s, however, the only computers available were massive mainframe systems that were difficult to learn to use and even more difficult to access. Arizona State University’s Steve Doig, a former database editor for The Miami Herald, strongly recommended that journalists learn to use personal computers for data analysis. There are at least two applications that Doig felt reporters should take time to learn: Spreadsheets and database programs. Former Washington Post pollster Sharon Parker Warden has extensive experience in planning and executing computer-based research for news stories.