Introduction > Step-by-Step Statistics > Tools to Help > Software Packages

Software Packages

Minitab was developed in 1972 and has won a number of awards, including the Scientific Computing and Instrumentation's Reader's Choice Award for Statistical Software. Minitab was created primarily as a teaching aid for students, and has since grown into one of the most widely used statistical packages in the world. Files can be exported from Excel into the programme and statistical tests can be chosen from drop-down menus. Tutorials can be found on the manufacturer's website.

GenStat was developed in the late 1970s by Rothamstead Experimental Station. Data can be easily cut and pasted from an Excel file into a GenStat sheet, or the file can be opened directly into GenStat. If you're a new user, simply choose the desired statistical test from the drop-down menus. Advanced users can write their own programmes if desired. Tutorials can be found on the manufacturer's website.

SAS (Statistical Analysis System) was developed in the early 1970s as was used initially as a tool to analyse agricultural data. Today, SAS is one of the leading companies in the business intelligence sector and the software not only analyses data, but also controls stock, staff and processes. Tutorials can be found on the manufacturer's website.

SPSS Statistics was developed in 1968 to analyse data from social science subjects, and is most widely used in these disciplines, particularly for analysing market research data. Pull-down menus allow quick and easy access to statistical tests.

Tibco Spotfire S+ is a relatively new software package that was developed in 1988.

R is a free software environment for statistical analysis and graphics.
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