Statistical Analysis Software – Organisations and companies around the world are jumping on the bandwagon of data analysis in order to understand customer expectations on one hand and ensure data driven quality programs on the other hand. With an explosion of data taking place in many organisations, it is a blessing that there are many software options available for data and statistical analysis. From simple tools like a calculator to customized solutions tailored to meet your individual requirements, statistical tools are gaining immense importance and popularity for brands across all sectors.
So unless brands want to spend countless hours with repetitive calculations or million dollars that might ruin their budget expenditure, it is better to invest in a statistical analysis package that can perform functions without being too expensive or less effective.
That being said, there are a number of free statistical analysis software tools available in the market, that can be implemented by companies to fulfill their data goals and objectives. So how do companies decide the best statistical analysis software package that can meet their needs in a comprehensive manner. Overall, choosing the right statistical analysis tools can be a complex decision.
That is why it is important to look at some important things before deciding which tool can effectively help brands reach their objectives in a systematic and comprehensive fashion. Here are some important considerations that companies must keep in mind, before finally deciding the statistical analysis software tool that they would want to employ:
Learn how to collect quantitative data effectively. Develop forecasts to make business decisions based on probability. Understand important statistical tools like SPSS, Minitab.
The people who are going to use the tool in the company:
Among the first things that any company must consider while investing in a statistical analysis software, is the people who are going to use them. Are they going to be expert statistics, relative professionals or someone who was a mix of both? Will data be analysed on a regular basis or during a fixed duration? Will data analysis be the main job of the analysts or will it just be one of the many jobs that they do for the company? Are they adept at using computer systems or is it just something that has become a part of their job profile?
By understanding the people who are going to be using the statistical analysis software, companies can make better decisions as it will help them choose one that suits their needs and capabilities. If you choose a system that is complicated and your team is relatively filled with interns, then the investment might not be so helpful and vice versa. In addition, it is important that if the members of your team span a number of regions and demographics, investing in a statistical analysis software that has multiple language options might be a very good idea.
The ease with which the statistical analysis software can be used:
Different data analysis tools have different levels of experience required for their use. This is not exactly a bad thing thing because different professionals have different levels of expertise required. While an expert statistician would in most probability know how to set up data in a correct manner as well enter statistical equations in a command-line interface, a less experienced person may be intimated by the same.
A menu based interface might be better suited for them. Also, many statistical analysis software packages comes with manuals and instruction pages to make them familiar with the package. That being said, the ease with which these softwares can be used is something that every brand must consider so that they can use choose one that can be used by the data analytics team in a simple and effective fashion. Also make sure that you choose a software that allows for different interface options.
That way it becomes easier to customise the interface according to the capability of the data user in charge.
Availability of customer support and where it will be used is an important consideration:
The people in the company must be adept at dealing with the software. Either they will want someone in the organisation who knows all about the software or invest in someone who does. If in case, your company is looking to support them for assistance from the software personnel end, it is better to check on it before actually investing in the said software. Sometimes software personnel only offer assistance when it comes to analysis problems and sometimes with installation and IT issues.
It is important to check all these aspects before investing in the software, because if avoided they can create a hurdle in the data process at a later stage. It is a good idea to look at customer forums and online portals of the said software to see the kind of customer support, the existing customers are receiving. This will provide the companies a fair idea about the services that they might receive as well. Further keep in mind that the manner that companies will use their software is also important.
It is important to know whether the statistical analysis software has to be used in offices at a particular place or across locations, even around the globe. If one software is being used in places around the world, the license requirements can be different. Also, if the same software has to be used in different systems they might need separate copies of the license. This is another thing that companies must check before they finally decide on a software of their choice.
Investing in a free statistical analysis tool can therefore be a very good investment for any companies. As the statistical analysis softwares are free in nature, this makes it all the more a better investment. With simple to use programs and packages that are fairly easy to decipher, these softwares are developed by a variety of sources including non-governmental organisations (NG)), government bodies, universities and sometimes even individuals.
While some packages are developed for specific purposes, there are others that are mainly used for general purposes and have a host of statistical procedures available in them. Some of the free statistical tools available in the market are highlighted in this article. They are as follows:
Statistical Analysis Software
A free and Open Source statistical analysis software, ADaMSoft was developed in Java. That is why this software can run on any system that supports the Java software. Initially developed by Marco Scarnò as an easy to use prototype of statistical software, it was called WinIDAMS in the beginning. Later many activities were added to the same and was used by the CASPUR statistical group which is a part of the ADaMS group. When comprehensive tools were added to the tool, it was released to the web community as ADaMSoft software. The ADaMSoft can perform a wide range of analytical methods like data mining, record linkage methods logistic regression, linear regression, cluster analysis, correspondence analysis, data editing and impassion, graphs among many other. In addition, it can also read and write statistical data values from a number of sources like text files, excel spreadsheets, ODBC data sources, Postgresql, Oracle and MySQL.
Bayesian Filtering Library:
An open source C++ library for recursive Bayesian estimation, Bayesian Filtering library is a part of the orocos project. Originally written by Klaas Gadeyne, a Belgian scientist, it is now maintained by Tinne De Laet. This system runs on different platforms including Mac OS X, Microsoft and Linux. Some features of this softer includes grid based systems, kaman filtering, sequential Monte Carlo methods, particle filters and moisture filters.
Also known as Cloud based Econometric and Statistical Software, CBEcon is a free software for econometrics and statistics. This software does not require any download or installation on the part of the user because it runs completely on the basis of the internet. This software was under construction since 2012 and was launched in May 2014. Designed to be user friendly and easy to use, CBEcon is compatible with a number of systems including desktop browsers and smartphones. In addition, the CBEcon software can also function as a command line or as a point and click software. Some of the library options for this includes calculator (basic operations like addition, subtraction and multiplication as well as power and factorial features), Matrix operations including inversion, multiplication and transportation, SQL manipulation, descriptive analysis, T-test (testing the mean of a sample or comparing the means of two samples), probability distribution and multivariate regression.
Intrinsic Noise Analyser:
Another open source software, meant for studying reaction kinetics in living cells, intrinsic noise analyser analyses mathematical models of intracellular reaction kinetics such as gene expression, regulatory networks and signalling paths to quantify concentration fluctuations. In a perfect scenario, the concentration of living cells are often modelled by a set of deterministic reaction, which are sometimes very inaccurate. This random nature can create fluctuations in the number and this is where intrinsic noise analyser can help as it can provide a better way to achieve the desired statistics through system size expansion of the Chemical master equation which is a more systematic analytical approximation method.
A general purpose statistical data visualization software, Mondrian offers interactive data visualization tools. The plots in Mondrian are completely linked and this software offers a range of interactions and queries as well. In addition, any case that is selected at any plot in Mondrian is highlighted in all other plots as well. Some of the implemented plots comprise of Mosaic Plat, scatterplots and SPOM maps, Barcharts, Histograms and Boxplots among others. This system also provides basic support for working directly on data in databases. In addition, this software also offers statistical procedures like scatterplot smoothers, multidimensional scaling, interactive density estimation and principal component analysis.
A software library written for the Python priming language, Pandas is used for data manipulation and analysis. This tool/software offers data structures and operations, which can be used for manipulating numerical tables and time series. A free software, Pandas was released under the three clause BSD license.Pandas was developed by Wes McKinney who started work on this software in the year 2008. Developed from the need of creating a high performance tool for quantitative analysis on financial data, Pandas was one of the most popular library software within the community. Some of the features of Pandas include the following: 1. Pandas contains a data frame object that can be used for data manipulation along with integrated indexing 2. The software has tools for reading and writing data not just for in memory data structures but for different file formats as well 3. This software has data alignment and integrated handling for data that is missing 4. Software has place for reshaping and pivoting of data sets 5. This software also contains hierarchical axis that can index work from high to low data structure Possessing a time series functionality, Pandas has a date range generation and frequency conversion.
A free, open source toolbox written in C++, Shogun offers numerous algorithms and data structures for machine learning problems. Licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Shogun focuses on kernel machines such as support vector machines for classification problems and regression. In addition, this statistical analysis software also offers full implementation of Hidden Markov models as well.
Shogun also offers interfaces for Octave, R, Java, Ruby and C# among others and has been active since the year 1999. With a vibrant user community, Shogun has been used as a base for research and education sectors as well. One of the most important feature of Shogun is that the software has been developed with bioinformatics applications and is capable of processing huge datasets that consists of upto 10 million samples. By supporting the use of pre-calculated kernels, Shogun makes it possible for users to use a combined kernels of liner combinations of different domains as well. Some of the domains that Shogun supports includes the online learning algorithms like SGD-QN and Vowpal Rabbit, hidden markov models, linear discriminant analysis, dimensionality reduction algorithms, kernel perceptrons among others.
In conclusion, free statistical analysis software are today emerging as an important basis on which companies can take their data analysis to the next level. Investing in a statistical analysis software is therefore the need of the hour for brands and organisations to take themselves in a strategic and successful manner.
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