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Statistical Software: Overview

Guide to resource on statistical packages like SPSS, Stata, SAS, and R

Statistics Reference

This guide covers statistical software rather than statistical analysis itself. Below are some selected resources on statistics.

Style guides
Encyclopedias & dictionaries
Selecting a test ...
Nonparametic statistics

Software and Labs

Statistical and GIS software availability by lab location:


This guide presents resources at Penn Libraries and elsewhere for understanding and using the statistical packages SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R, available on lab computers at Van Pelt and other libraries, as well as the Undergraduate and Graduate Data Analysis Labs (UDAL). Stat/Transfer is available at UDAL.

Some packages are available at educational discount through Computer Connection. R is available for free download from the R Project.

Top Resources

Comparison of Packages

Powerful data management for complex data sets, steep learning curve.
Menu-driven. For the occasional user. Not appropriate for  analyzing complex survey data. Resembles Excel interface.
Menus as well as command-line interface. Robust support for complex sample surveys.
Command-line. Free and open source. New packages frequently released.

Comparison drawn from:

Mitchell, M. N. (2005). Strategically using General Purpose Statistics Packages: A Look at Stata, SAS and SPSS (Technical Report Series, Report Number 1, Version Number 1). Statistical Consulting Group: UCLA Academic Technology Services.

Comparisons of packages for specific statistical tests. From Google Scholar. Add the statistical analysis of interest to the search.

Popularity of Data Analysis Software. Updated comparison of packages by use.

Business & Data Analysis Librarian

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Kevin Thomas

Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections

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Lauris Olson
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
203 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
University of Pennsylvania
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206