[R] things that are difficult/impossible to do in SAS or SPSS but simple in R

Matthew Keller mckellercran at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 20:45:11 CET 2008

Hi all,

I'm giving a talk in a few days to a group of psychology faculty and
grad students re the R statistical language. Most people in my dept.
use SAS or SPSS. It occurred to me that it would be nice to have a few
concrete examples of things that are fairly straightforward to do in R
but that are difficult or impossible to do in SAS or SPSS. However, it
has been so long since I have used either of those commercial products
that I am drawing a blank. I've searched the forums and web for a list
and came up with just Bob Muenchen's comparison of general procedures
and Patrick Burns' overview of the three. Neither of these give
concrete examples of statistical problems that are easily solved in R
but not the commercial packages.

Can anyone more familiar with SAS or SPSS think of some examples of
problems that they couldn't do in one of those packages but that could
be done easily in R? Similarly, if there are any examples of the
converse I would also be interested to know.



Matthew C Keller
Asst. Professor of Psychology
University of Colorado at Boulder

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