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Date:         Fri, 6 Feb 2004 12:48:16 -0600
Reply-To:     Paul R Swank <Paul.R.Swank@UTH.TMC.EDU>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Paul R Swank <Paul.R.Swank@UTH.TMC.EDU>
Subject:      Re: SPSS vs. SAS, redux
In-Reply-To:  <E3D75F0AC6CA2545A301F27ADECD562E02F57467@casino.brooks.af.mil>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

I have used both and I can say that to get the full benefit of SPSS, you need to be a statistician (or something like it) and a programmer as well. There are things in SPSS that you can only do from syntax. SPSS is a nice package and does many of the things that SAS does but SAS has more statistical options for complex analyses. With inflation, that's my nickle's worth.

Paul R. Swank, Ph.D. Professor, Developmental Pediatrics Medical School UT Health Science Center at Houston

-----Original Message----- From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Thompson Bill T Contr USAFSAM/FEC Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 10:00 AM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Re: SPSS vs. SAS, redux

I agree that you need to be a "statistician" and a "programmer (of sorts)", however let me express my 2 cents.

I am both a statistician and a programmer who uses both SPSS and SAS. I find that the point and click method in SPSS sometimes helps save time. For example, while I do code in both SPSS and SAS when using SPSS if I am doing a simple analysis, I can run the point and click method and have SPSS generate the code. I can then take that code, review it to ensure it is doing what I want, copy it and past to a "syntax" file and then alter the code in any way I see fit. This methodology, at times, saves time in writing code. Since as a statistician I hopefully "know" what I am doing, I can protect against some of the errors that ocurr in just using the point and click method and still save some time.

I do have concerns about those who know enough statistics to make them dangerous (opps, may be stepping on my own toes) using the point and click methodology without the "knowledge base" required to understand what they have produce or interpret the results accurately.

Just my 2cents.

Billy

-----Original Message----- From: Jay Weedon [mailto:jweedon@EARTHLINK.NET] Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2004 2:27 PM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Re: SPSS vs. SAS, redux

On 5 Feb 04 17:54:58 GMT, david.mcnulty@QUESTINTL.COM wrote:

>My knee jerk reaction to any statistical analysis delivered by a point >and click interface is to enquire about >1) the statistical qualifications of the person doing the analysis >2) the number of years they have used the software package > >SPSS have made a deliberate attempt to make statistics point and click. >Virtually anyone can get a statistical analysis out of SPSS but do the >results mean anything? > >I am not knocking SPSS, I just value the protection offered by a >command line interface and a modicum of "Technical know-how needed to >operate".

I guess a valid response would be: To use SPSS you need to be a statistician. To use SAS you need to be a statistician and a programmer.

JW


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