SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)
SPSS is a widely used program for statistical analysis in social science. It is also used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, marketing organizations, data miners, and others. The original SPSS manual has been described as one of “sociology’s most influential books” for allowing ordinary researchers to do their own statistical analysis. In addition to statistical analysis, data management (case selection, file reshaping, creating derived data) and data documentation are features of the base software.
STATA is a general-purpose statistical software package created in 1985 by StataCorp. Most of its users work in research, especially in the fields of economics, sociology, political science, biomedicine and epidemiology. Stata’s capabilities include data management, statistical analysis, graphics, simulations, regression analysis, and custom programming. The name Stata is a syllabic abbreviation of the words statistics and data. The correct English pronunciation of Stata “must remain a mystery”, any of “Stay-ta”, “Sta-ta” or “Stah-ta” are considered acceptable. There are four major builds of each version of Stata: Stata/MP for multiprocessor computers Stata/SE for large databases Stata/IC, which is the standard version Small Stata, which is a smaller, student version for educational purchase only
R (Programming Language)
R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.
R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, …) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity.
SAS (previously “Statistical Analysis System”) is a statistical software suite developed by SAS Institute for data management, advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, criminal investigation and predictive analytics. SAS is a software suite that can mine, alter, manage and retrieve data from a variety of sources and perform statistical analysis on it. SAS provides a graphical point-and-click user interface for non-technical users and more advanced options through the SAS language.
SAS programs have DATA steps, which retrieve and manipulate data, and PROC steps, which analyze the data. Each step consists of a series of statements.