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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 code? greg

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 > with... > > 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 > purposes > * 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 > exported > > * 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 > substitution > * 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. > > Thanks! > > -- TMK --


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