Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 12:50:59 -0800
Reply-To: gwarning! <gwarnick@SPLATFHCRC.ORG>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: gwarning! <gwarnick@SPLATFHCRC.ORG>
Organization: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Subject: Re: SPSS vs. SAS, redux
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
I know nothing about SPSS, but I wonder how much would it cost, in
time and resources, to convert your current analyses from SAS to SPSS
Talbot Michael Katz wrote:
> Hey, gang!
> I thought now would be as good a time as any to dust off the periodic SPSS
> comparison thread, and see what the current thinking is among my fellow SAS
> users. (By the way, does SPSS have a list-serve comparable to SAS-L? Or
> user groups like SUGI?) Naturally, I have an ulterior motive -- the bean
> counters have once again recoiled in horror at the annual $A$ $hakedown,
> and they want to do some comparison shopping. I've been appointed the SAS
> defense counsel. The problem is, I know less than nothing about my
> opponent. I haven't used SPSS in more than ten years; I've forgotten the
> little that I knew, and I have no experience with the wealth of additions
> they've made in the past decade. Here's the marketing pitch they hit me
> SPSS BASE
> * Integrated end-user, non-programmer interfaces
> * Ease of learning for quick start
> * Intuitive usability for productivity
> * Complex operations built-in to by-pass programming
> * Extensive help system includes tutorials, statistical
> coaching and results interpretation
> * English, Japanese, Chinese (traditional) and Korean
> interfaces, help and documentation
> * Comprehensive end-to-end functionality
> * Open access to data in multiple formats (IBM DB2, ASCII,
> Lotus, SAS, etc.)
> * Wizard interface to data restructuring for analytical
> * Automatic transformations (recoding, string, statistical,
> binning, etc.)
> * Comprehensive exploratory, analytical, and predictive
> modelling procedures
> * Regression models, Advanced Models and Trends options for
> additional techniques
> * Deployable model-generated data results
> * Analytical, interactive and presentation-ready graphics
> * Pivot-able (slice-and-dice) and fully user-formatted
> tabular reports
> * Reports/graphics that can be copy/pasted, drag/dropped or
> * Natural CRM and survey (people) data features
> * Match/merge, transportation, aggregation of multiple tables
> and files
> * Complete data field and value labelling
> * Multiple missing data declaration, handling, analysis and
> * Nominal, ordinal and scale-level measurement intelligence
> * Customised, automated and integrated
> * Customised operations via macros, commands and scripts
> * Storage and re-execution of operations via commands, menus,
> toolbars, etc.
> * Start-to-finish automated (batch) operations
> * User-created default report and graphics formatting
> * Speed, efficiency and resource-conservation
> * Copy-free SQL queries
> * Port-forwarding schemes for remote access
> * Multi-threaded database access
> * Multi-locale (national language) client and server sessions
> My first observation is that SPSS and SAS modularize differently. What
> SPSS calls Base would require SAS Base, Stat, and Connect. But a lot of
> what they're saying, I can't tell if it's just marketing mumbo-jumbo, or if
> there's real substance. For instance, when they say "automatic
> transformations," do they just mean that they have a bunch of functions
> that you can manipulate data with, like substring and mean and mod and log,
> etc., or are they talking about a procedure like transreg that optimizes a
> loss function, or do they mean something else?
> What regression models does SPSS Base have, besides OLS? Logistic?
> Censored via maximum likelihood? Censored via proportional hazards?
> Response surface? GLM? Nonlinear? Does "trends" mean time series? Is
> there another module with more models available?
> Is "multiple missing data declaration, etc." anything comparable to PROC MI?
> What is "measurement intelligence?"
> Is SPSS as programmable as SAS? When they say "macros, commands and
> scripts" are they describing something like data steps and the SAS macro
> language? (And is there anything in SPSS comparable to PROC IML?)
> What are "copy-free SQL queries?" Does SPSS have the kind of full SQL
> functionality of PROC SQL? Is "port-forwarding schemes for remote access"
> like rsubmit in SAS/Connect? Is "multi-threaded database access" like
> mpconnect; is it something SAS doesn't have?
> One of the things you often hear is that SPSS is easier to use than SAS,
> that it's more point-and-click oriented. Is SPSS Base comparable to SAS
> Enterprise Guide in its point-and-click functionality? Is the SPSS input
> wizard better than the SAS input wizard (I suppose it couldn't be any
> worse!)? Can SPSS move data between hardware and software platforms as
> easily as SAS?
> Does SPSS have data manipulation and investigation procedures, such as PROC
> TRANSPOSE, PROC CONTENTS, PROC RANK, PROC COMPARE, PROC EXPORT, PROC
> FORMAT, PROC TRANTAB?
> I welcome any answers you can give, and any references to detailed
> comparisons. I'm also curious to know whether any of you have experience
> in "mixed" environments, where some users have SAS and others have SPSS.
> -- TMK --