Originally Posted by justchillaxing
having used a number of different statistical packages, i just can't understand why people even use spss. it just doesn't do much, although it is the easiest to use; but maybe too easy to use. only advantage i can think of is that it is reasonably stronger in anova-related procedures than stata. but, spss doesn't have count, survival, or complex survey data procedures (at least when i last used it anyways, not sure if it has changed). imo, start with stata and be done with it, instead of learning spss and finding one day you'll have to learn stata. the learning curve for stata isn't that much steeper than spss. if you have the time, simultaneously learn sas which is best if you have complex data management needs. it's also the statistical package of choice in business and government. r is where the future is at and what most statisticians use these days. steepest learning curve. but if psych undergrads at my school are being taught it, there's no reason a person can't learn it quickly if he devotes the appropriate amount of time.
Incredibly powerful software .. in a 30 second free download. But fuck the learning curve. I got through all my undergraduate and most of my graduate econometrics material using R fine .. IE: Doing normal OLS in R is no harder then STATA. But try to do some of the more "cutting edge" stuff, and the software goes to shit. IE: we are trying to do state-space and cointegration modeling in R .. and what takes me a half hour to figure out and run in STATA takes me an afternoon to replicate in R. Which is the biggest downside to R. The learning curve is always there, as the software is open source and the consistency in programing for new packages is lacking. But alas, that is the only cost of the software, so ya. Not much to complain about.