Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 17:08:31 -0500
Reply-To: Arthur Tabachneck <art297@NETSCAPE.NET>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Arthur Tabachneck <art297@NETSCAPE.NET>
Subject: Re: To SAS or not To SAS (or whatever else)!!,
Like Charles said, many of the comparisons you are seeking can already be
found throughout the list's archives.
I've been using SAS since 1973, SPSS since 1975, and I won't waste
bandwidth describing my various experience with all of the other software
which have been available to academics and researchers since that time.
As everyone seems to agree, the required SAS learning curve isn't just
steep but, as the product's capabilities continue to expand, the curve
keeps getting steeper. However, being one who finally figured out how to
use my VCR just before it became obsolete, I keep climbing and continually
discover great satisfaction that I can accomplish virtually all of my
computing needs with SAS.
And, once you know how to use SAS for a particular need, it becomes
relatively easy to replicate, automate and generalize the task.
Output? Search for 'ODS' or Output Delivery System. SAS has come a long
way in this regard.
Data Management tools? SAS has a bundle.
The biggest problem I have found is cost. Given your data needs, and
probable processing needs, you would have to obtain a number of modules
beyond the base system. I, too, have to work with a lot of data and, as
such, have had to leave the desktop arena. SAS, as usual, was right there
with the necessary tools, but the costs went up substantially as well.
Rather than simply having to pay annual licensing fees for a set of
modules for X number of workstations, we had to decide how big of
processor we actually needed. The licensing fees, outside of the
workstation environments, are based on the number of processors which are
on the server. And each module's fee, similarly, is based on the same
However, since very few of us have unlimited budgets, most of us have been
forced to limit which of the SAS capabilities we can actually afford. I
opted to processing speed and capability, SAS IML, SAS stat, SAS graph,
and SAS/Access connectivity for both Oracle and MS products. I would have
loved to incorporate the SAS ETL, data cleansing, data mining and text
mining components but, unfortunately, the budgetary reality came into play.
On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 12:36:59 -0800, Neila <neilanessa@MSN.COM> wrote:
>This message is directed primarily to individuals in these groups who
>long experience using both SPSS and SAS (or any other statistically
>oriented/data intensive analytic tools) with a heavy data volume and
>reporting requirements. I am pretty open to any and all suggestions.
>In any normal context I wouldn't be caught dead with a SAS manual,
>and my obit will probably read, "We had to pull the SPSS manual from
>his cold dead hands, and needed to break some fingers to boot."
>BUT, I recently accepted a position where part of my responsibilities
>will involve the selection of off the shelf data base tools, analytical
>programming tools and use them to build rather large scale solutions.
>Questions I need to answer to management:
>Relative efficiency and ease of data access via a Database (ODBC
>-We will be building a fairly large data base containing both
>contemporaneous and historical data. What I mean by fairly
>large most people would consider unfathomly HUGE.
>Multivariate Data feeds every ten minutes over a year. Often there
>multiple years from multiple sites.
>Ease of use and training/learning curve for new users (I am a seasoned
>SPSS professional with 20 years of experience with SPSS, I used SAS
>in Graduate school, but it seemed like having a root canal without a
>Cost of licensing.
>Flexibility of Output (Is SAS still text based output?, what do other
>statistical/reporting software solutions generate).
>Graphical capability (mostly sequence charts, histograms, bar charts) .
>Output Exports (Word, Excel)?
>Customizability, External Programability. AUTOMATION!!!
>(Preferably from VB.Net or C#.Net -yeah, I'm tossing VB6 into the
>Quality and ease of use/customizabilty of the User Interface.
>Data Export capability/flexibility
>The analytical/statistical reporting side is not terribly complex but
>data volume will be immense and multiple person's will be using the
>data at any given moment. I hope this is clear wrt our requirements.
>I read the Comparisons document produced by Michael Mitchell at UCLA
>and have even posted my own comments on one of the SPSS lists
>(possibly this one *WHEN IS SPSS inc going to respond???*). His report
>might be useful to university students/professors, but fails to address
>the needs of people trying to make decisions/recommendations in the
>context I currently find myself, so please DO NOT SUGGEST I use that
>information as a guide (too much of it is simply incorrect -read my
>for some examples!)
>Feel free to email me directly, but I believe it will be useful to have
>discussion in the public forum