Which software to buy ?


TS Contributor
Hello people,

someone asked me for advice about which statistical package to buy. the user is not a professional statistician, but has knowledge in statistics and a little bit in programming. the important things for him are extensive data management capabilities (if possible to use excel as less as possible - meaning to work in the same platform without moving between software), basic statistics plus regression models (linear+logistic).

obviously R, STATA and SAS are powerful from every point of view, even from data management point of view. on the other hand, I thought that maybe a non professional user should consider a software with a good user interface like SPSS, Minitab, Systat, JMP or Statistica.

What do you think ?


TS Contributor
I have found all stats software equally annoying. I include SPSS, SAS, and R. Its just a matter of choosing your poisson, learning how to use it. Once you get use to it, it gets a little less frustrating every day. (its always at least a little annoying).:p


Super Moderator
I'd have to agree with mp83, R is always my first choice, but SYSTAT is a good second choice with some neat applications and a very good user manual to get you started!
Systat, mentioned by others here, includes many data manipulation and computation features, even matrix mathematics.

Personally, regardless of the statistical software used I prefer to do all of my data manipulations in Microsoft Access database files, and then use ODBC connections to import the data for analysis.


TS Contributor
That depends on you

Every program has ups and downs, so look for the one that is best in what you use the most:) For instance, STATA rules in Cox-Regression and mixed-linear modeling (and almost in all modeling). SPSS is great for multidimensional scaling and multivariate procedures and it is one of the few with many classification tools, such as classification trees. MINITAB is almost always used for Quality purposes. Look for what you need.

And why don't you try some free soft? I just posted something about it



TS Contributor
thank you everyone for your comments, I have a lot to think about.
I agree with you all that R is the best, I wouldn't have a problem working with R, but it ain't for me, it's for a non professional. I think that a friendly user interface with strong data manipulation capabilities is what required, so I'll look at Systat, it sounds interesting.