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Statistical Software: Overview

Resources for learning statistical software.

Get help with statistical software

Do you have specific questions about statistics, research methods, or software?

Make an appointment with a consultant at Harvard

3 hours of help are provided per project. Help is not provided for coursework. Consultations are free for MIT affiliates.

Attend a Summer Statistics Program

Geospatial Data Librarian & Statistics Specialist

Statistical software workshops

Statistical Software at MIT

All statistical software below can perform common statistical tests and save commands to and run commands from a syntax file.

Software Strengths Weaknesses Interface MIT Access
R
  • free and open-source
  • variety of add-on packages available for all types of analysis
  • steep learning curve
  • quality of packages varies
  • no standard help resources
command line Athena or free download
SAS
  • powerful data management
  • works well with multiple, large, complex datasets
  • high quality graphics
  • excels at ANOVA, mixed models, & multivariate analysis
  • excellent help resources
  • steep learning curve
  • difficult to find errors in commands
command line Athena (This is the UNIX version, which can be difficult to use)
Stata
  • easy to use
  • can handle complex analysis and data management
  • high quality graphics
  • excels as regression, robust methods, survey data, public health data
  • fewer options for personalized programming
GUI, command line Athena, GIS lab computers, purchase through IS&T
SPSS
  • very easy to use
  • high quality graphics
  • excels at ANOVA, multivariate analysis, survey data
  • complex or large datasets
  • more limited data management tools
  • fewer options for personalized programming
GUI free for faculty and staff through IS&T
JMP
  • very easy to use
  • excels at data exploration, research design, and visualization
  • complex or large datasets
  • limited data management tools
  • fewer options for personalized programming
GUI free for teaching and research through IS&T
Minitab
  • very easy to use
  • excels at data exploration, editing, and summary
  • limited statistical analysis options
GUI installed on GIS & Data Lab computers in Rotch Library (7-238)