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R is now the number two statistical computing program in scholarly use

Filed in Encyclopedia ,Ideas ,R ,Research News
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Robert Meunchen has done a rather in depth analysis of the popularity of various packages for statistical computation. More detail here.

We were surprised to see that R has passed SAS for scholarly use. We were surprised because we assumed this would have happened years ago. Meunchen too predicted it would have happened in 2014.

In addition, we were surprised to see that SPSS holds the number one spot, and by a fair margin. We can only think of one person who uses SPSS.

Perhaps we’re guilty of false consensus reasoning.

A chart further down the post shows that Python is rapidly growing in use. That meshes with what we observe. Many of our PhD student interns come in using Python for data analysis. One who I worked with, Chris Riederer, is even writing a version of dplyr in Python and calling it dplython, of course.


  1. Paul Rubin says:

    I’m not at all surprised SPSS is still in first place. As far as I know, it remains quite popular with faculty in the social sciences (including many of my erstwhile colleagues in business schools). I think that, to a large extent, they just need to run regression models (with an occasional factor analysis or SEM model) and plot graphs. They don’t need the generality or power of R, they don’t need to chain analyses, they’re not programmer types and they prefer pull down menus to command lines. That said, I’ve noticed in recent years an increased use of R in our psychology department, which I would have thought would be the last holdout for SPSS users.

    June 27, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

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