|Date: ||Mon, 8 Mar 2010 06:14:03 -0800|
|Reply-To: ||J P <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Sender: ||"SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||J P <email@example.com>|
|Subject: ||Re: SPSS vs Statistca|
I work in a SPSS / Statistica office, IMHO Statistica is not the software of choice for any serious analyst. As the previous poster pointed out, precision is a moot point. I've used SPSS for over 15 years and while there is the occasional bug there has been no major issue regarding precision of results with any major software package, SPSS included, that I am aware of.
While Statistica may be easy to use, if you define easy to use as point and click, the seemingly endless array of point-and-click menus becomes a liability after a point because the sheer number of options etc that need to be clicked becomes very confusing and makes it difficult to replicate a procedure or analysis. Which leads to the primary shortcoming with Statistica: there is no syntax option. Thus there is no way to build audit trails to document complex analyses. I've never worked in a shop that relied on point and click software because it is imperative to document / replicate work. Not to mention syntax greatly simplifies repetitive tasks and often enables a degree of customization not available through menus. Also, I have found that Statistica does not play nicely with other software, i.e., moving data into or out of Statistica often results in scrambled variable names / labels / value labels / variable types etc.. Finally, I have
found data management in Statistica (merging files, sub setting cases, etc.) to be unusually difficult relative to SPSS (or SAS or SQL).
Statistica is probably OK for teaching statistics because you can eliminate the layer of confusion that can result from the simultaneous teaching syntax and statistics. But for professional work I would choose almost anything but Statistica. Obviously this is all based on my personal experiences, perhaps others have had better.
From: "Steve Simon, P.Mean Consulting" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sat, March 6, 2010 10:49:24 PM
Subject: Re: SPSS vs Statistca
Gonzales, Dana L wrote:
> I wonder if anyone on the list can provide an opinion on the
> differences of SPSS and Statistca. I have a learner who wants to use
> Statistca stating that is it a much better option that SPSS because
> it is more accurate. I can't seem to locate any information to
> support this view. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure you'll get unbiased opinions from people who subscribe to
this list. But perhaps some of the opinions offered might still be
helpful. Here are my thoughts:
More accurate is a surprising choice of words. If this person means
numerical accuracy, that's pretty much a non-issue for most problems as
all professional computer programs have ditched single precision and
avoided the lousy algorithms. It's best not to mention Microsoft Excel
at this point.
That doesn't mean that you can't trip up one of these programs with a
tricky data set, but in general, accuracy is not a serious concern.
Several years ago, Statistica had a very aggressive advertising campaign
that cast aspersions on many of its competitors. I think that there was
also some pushback from people like Leland Wilkinson that held the
claims to be unfair and unsupported. I wonder if this person has some
residual memory of this campaign.
If "accuracy" means something other than numerical accuracy, then you
need to define what this really means. I could make some guesses, but
I would discourage a comparison of two statistical packages based on
accuracy. The criteria that make more sense are: (1) ease of use, and
(2) availability of advanced procedures. I have no experience with
Statistica, but I'd be surprised based on what I have read about the
program, that it would be considered vastly superior in either category.
Steve Simon, Standard disclaimer.
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