Re: R vs. SAS (was Replacement for SAS (SPSS vs. SAS, redux))

I use both SAS and R; I"ve used SAS for 10 or 15 years, R for about 6
months - 1 year.

Each has strengths and weaknesses; I'd not like to give up either.

Strengths of SAS (esp. compared to R)

Tech support - I have SAS tech support's phone number and our license
number memorized.  They're great.

SAS-L - There's also an R-help list, and it's also great, but the mood
is different; r-help is less welcoming to newbie questions, silly
questions, badly worded questions, not directly on topic questions, and
so on.

Dealing with large data sets - I don't do this much, but SAS is clearly
faster for large data sets, on which R sometimes bogs down completely.

Dealing with 'unusual' data - SAS clearly shines in terms of ability to
input almost anything.  R is more limited in this regard, and harder to
work with.

Strengths of R

It's free

It's extendable - You can write programs as complex as you wish, and
many people have contributed many programs to R.

It's open source - You can see the actual code that it uses; if you
like, you can modify the code.

Graphics - R produces amazing graphics, of (almost) any type.  Even
with SAS GRAPH, I don't think SAS can match it.  Without SAS GRAPH,
well......  Also, from the little I've seen, SAS GRAPH is harder to use
than R graphics to produce equal-quality stuff.

Cutting edge statistics - Many are developed in R (or in its commercial
cousin - S Plus).  It takes a while for them to make it into SAS.

Just MHO


>>> bogdan romocea <br44092@GAWAB.COM> 2/5/2004 9:29:29 AM >>>

I think there is a software package around which is a worthy
replacement for SAS. The bean counters should be very happy to
find out that it can be obtained for free - it's Free Software
(released under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU
General Public License in source code form). Naturally, I'm not
talking about SPSS.

The possible replacement for SAS is R, http://www.r-project.org/
There are some very notable differences between SAS and R. One
is a proprietary, very expensive, mature, well-supported
software with lots of features and a big user community. The
other is fairly young and not that well supported, but anyone
can improve it (want to fix a bug or add a new feature? - you
can do it yourself, the source code is available). And of
course, you can get it for $0.

Depending on your situation you may find that a transition from
SAS to R is something of interest to you now. Here are a couple
of excerpts from R's web site:

R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data
manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It includes
* an effective data handling and storage facility,
* a suite of operators for calculations on arrays, in particular
* a large, coherent, integrated collection of intermediate tools
for data analysis,
* graphical facilities for data analysis and display either
on-screen or on hardcopy, and
* a well-developed, simple and effective programming language
which includes conditionals, loops, user-defined recursive
functions and input and output facilities.

R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear
modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis,
classification, clustering, ...) and graphical techniques, and
is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of
choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides
an Open Source route to participation in that activity.


-----Original Message-----
From: Talbot Michael Katz [mailto:topkatz@MSN.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 11:26 PM
Subject: SPSS vs. SAS, redux

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 $A$
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
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
they've made in the past decade.  Here's the marketing pitch
they hit me
15 Mbytes Free Web-based and  POP3
Sign up now: http://www.gawab.com
flom (910)
2/5/2004 2:39:37 PM
comp.soft-sys.sas 142828 articles. 3 followers. Post Follow

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