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​How to Choose Data Analysis Software

A comparative guide to qualitative and quantitative data analysis software.

Quantitative Analysis Software- UO Available

 

MATLAB

Microsoft Power BI

SAS

SPSS

SPSS Amos

STATA

Coding Language(s)

MATLAB

R

SAS

R

Python

SaxBasic

R

Python

SaxBasic

ado

Mata

User Interface Language(s)

Available in most languages

Available in 42 languages

Available in most languages

English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish

English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish

English, Spanish & Japanese 

Operating System

Windows

Mac OS X

Linux

Windows

Windows

Mac OS X

Linux

Windows

Mac OS X

Linux

Windows

 

Window 

Mac OS X

Linux

Cost

Free to UO users

Student License, Single User: $500

Standard License, Single User: $2,150

Free to UO users

Pro License, Single User: $9.99 monthly

 

Free to UO users

Cost provided via price quote

Free to UO users

Standard License, Single User (1 year): $2,610

Free to UO users

Standard License, Single User (1 year): $787

Free to UO users (select departments only)

Student License, Single User: $89

Standard License, Single User: $1,195

 

MATLAB

MATLAB is a quantitative analysis software optimized for solving scientific and engineering problems. Typical users include education-based (specifically linear algebra and numerical analysis), scientists, and engineers. Provided by UO through CASIT services.

Pros Cons
  • Optimized for data analysis, particularly matrix manipulation
  • Numerous pre-defined functions and algorithms
  • An aray of available toolboxes involving statistics, optimization, image processing, signal processing, parallel computing, etc. 
  • Vectorized operations are quick
  • Quality image procesessing 
  • MATLAB exchange provides a large online community
  • Does not implement an extensive number of more advanced statistical methods
  • Has limited GIS capabilities
  • Integrates easily with some coding languages such as C, but not others, including Python

 

Import and Export File Capabilities

Import: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .dat, .csv, .m), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.json)

Export: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .dat, .csv), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.json)


View the MATLAB video tutorial to learn more about the beginning steps of MATLAB basics. Closed captions are available. 

Power BI

Microsoft Power BI and Power BI Pro provide users with cloud-based or desktop-based access to quantitative analysis. Typical users include educators and profit/nonprofit corporations. Provided by UO through the Technology Service Desk.

Pros Cons
  • Easy and intuitive user interface
  • Available as free cloud-based version or desktop Pro version
  • Mobile apps available for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices
  • Free version is limited to 1 GB of data
  • Collaboration is not permitted in free version
  • Microsoft Office 365 required for desktop Pro version

Import and Export File Capabilities

Import: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.csv), Database files & Power BI files (.pbix)

Export: Text files (.csv) & Web-based files


View this Microsoft PowerBI video tutorial to learn about PowerBI and how to get started. Closed captions are available. 

SAS

SAS is quantitative analysis software predominantly used for data management and statistical procedures. Typical users include financial services, government, manufacturing, health and life sciences, and profit/nonprofit corporations. Provided by UO through the Technology Service Desk

Pros Cons
  • Has ability to produce test results, post estimation and plots using single procedure
  • Works well with large datasets; the size is only limited by the computer during use not the software itself
  • SAS Libraries collect the SAS datasets you create
  • Online SAS courses/exams provide training and certification
  • There are over 200 additional components available to complement Base SAS (i.e. SAS/GRAPH, SAS/PH (Clinical Trial Analysis), SAS/ETS (Econometrics and Time Series), SAS/Insight (Data Mining), etc.)
  • Not highly recommended for beginners; more suited for intermediate and advanced users
  • Programming syntax is used significantly so some programming language knowledge required 
  • Proprietary software, therefore typically longer time between the implementation of new methods and developments

 

Import and Export File Compatibility 

Import: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .dat, .csv), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.sav, .dta, .jmp)

Export: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .dat, .csv), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.sav, .dta, .jmp)


SAS provides a SAS video demo giving an overview of visual analytics and how SAS can be utilized. Closed captions are available. 

SPSS & SPSS Amos

SPSS is quantitative analysis software. SPSS Amos is a product edition that features the ability to build attitudinal and behavioral models to show relationships among variables. Typical users include the social sciences, health sciences, marketing, and academia. SPSS and SPSS Amos are provided by UO through the Technology Service Desk

Pros Cons
  • Good for beginners with an easy and intuitive user interface including menus and dialog boxes
  • Similar feel to Excel
  • Useful for analyzing large-scale survey data
  • Allows for simply exclusion of data and handling of missing data
  • Lack variety of statistical methods for more in-depth analysis
  • Unable to perform complex data merges
  • Limit on the number of cases you can analyze

Import and Export File Capabilities

Import: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.csv, .txt, .dat) & additional formats (.sas7bdat, .dta, .sav)

Export: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.csv, .dat) & additional formats (.sas7bdat, .dta, .sav, .sps)


 

STATA

STATA is quantitative analysis software. It specifically works well for data management regarding panel data, survey data, and multiple imputations. Typical users include economists, sociologists, political scientists, and researchers. Limited access is UO provided by A&AA Planning, Public Policy and Management Department.

Pros  Cons
  • Command syntax and point-and-click interface are both available
  • Some user written programs are available to install
  • Offers matrix programming in Mata
  • Can only hold one dataset in memory at a time
  • Does not work well with very large datasets
  • Graphs have limited flexibility 
  • Old versions of STATA cannot read datasets from newer versions

 

Import and Export File Capabilities

Import: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .csv, .dat), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.xpt, .dta, .do)

Export: Excel files (.xls, .xlsx), Text files (.txt, .csv, .dat), Web-based files (.xml) & additional formats (.xpt, .dta, .do)


 

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