What options are there for free open-source alternatives to Stata that work well on the cloud, ideally without a huge learning curve?
Definitely worth looking into: The R programming language, available for free. R has an active development community that has built out packages for parallel processing on the cloud. To get started do a search on “R parallel processing on [your-favorite-cloud]” and you’ll be off and running. The only drawback is that some learning curve climbing is necessary.