The Popularity of Data Analysis Software (R vs SAS vs SPSS, etc.)

Robert Muenchen, the author of R for SAS and SPSS Users (A great book I’m proud to have on my shelf), has published this week an article in which he compares the popularity/market-share of many of the common statistical packages including R, SAS, SPSS and many others. The full article is available on at: “The Popularity of Data Analysis Software In his article, Robert compares the statistical packages using various matrices (and graphics), detailing:
  • Sales & Downloads
  • Language Popularity Measures:
    • Internet Discussion (mailing lists, forums…)
    • Blogs (were he mostly relies on R-bloggers and SAS-x)
    • Internet Search
    • Web Site Popularity
    • Surveys of Use
    • Impact on Scholarly Activity
  • Growth in Capability
  • IT Research Firms
  • Job Market
Robert concludes his articles with the following words:
By most of the measures discussed here, R is competing well with the commercial software vendors. However, I advise not over generalizing from this data. SAS and SPSS continue to dominate the corporate world and Stata is doing quite well in the scholarly arena. Each of these packages is dominant in one market or another. I’m interested in other ways to measure software popularity.  If  you have any ideas on the subject, please contact me at [email protected]

Scholarly activity vs the Job market

Personally, I found that Impact on Scholarly activity and Job market were the most interesting matrices:   It appears that while R is having a growing impact in the scholarly world, the Job market is still dominated by SAS and SPSS. I do wonder what, if anything, might bring R to “the front stage” of the corporate world.  Any thoughts?    

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