I got into a conversation on Twitter (find me there as @peterflomstat) about the user-friendliness of statistical software. I have heard R described (appropriately, I think) as being “expert friendly”. This led to a conversation about whether and when that is good or bad. But we agreed that it would be hard to discuss that in 140 character blocks. Read more!

There are many books that teach you to use SAS or that teach you to use R. There is at least one book that teaches R to people who know SAS or SPSS (R for SAS and SPSS users by Robert Muenchen, and it’s very good).

I introduced this series the other day. Next up in the list is “getting help”. In both SAS and R, there are many sources of help. SAS has one that the usual R package does not have – technical support – although if you read the comments to the above article, you see that there are commercial versions of R that do have it. I won’t say much about this, because I think it’s bound up with the fact that R is free and SAS is not. I do find SAS technical support very helpful. Read more!

Two days ago, I wrote an introduction to this series.

Today, I will discuss ease of learning. Unlike the earlier post (and, I hope, most of the ones to come) this one is inherently subjective. “Ease of learning” is not the same for everyone – indeed, one thing I’d like to explore here and in the comments is why some people find SAS easier to learn, while others find R easier to learn. (Note that I am only discussing ease of use for statistical analysis and data management necessary to do that analysis). Read more!

Lately, across the statistical blogosphere, the repeating discussion of R vs. SAS has started up again. In this series of posts, I’ll offer my opinions of the programs, and supply some information. In this post, I introduce the series and say a little about where I am coming from, so you can see where my opinions come from. Read more!