Crowd sourced open source alternatives to SPSS

This morning I was having a PROD call with Peter Kilcoyne from the WORDLE project (part of the current JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme). One area that came up during our discussion was open source alternatives to SPSS for data analysis of their baselining interviews with staff and students.

Peter and his team have done a bit of research and have been looking at SOFA, and some other other possibilities. Statistical analysis is not one an area I know that much about, but I know a lot of people who do have expertise, so I decided to take the tried and tested “lazy web” approach to see if there were any other recommendations from my twitter community. And once again the power of the crowd came through. I even got some email with more detailed information and suggestions of labs I could use in my university.

Below are the collated responses to my initial tweet. R was the most popular choice by far, but if you know of any other alternatives, then please let me know.

[View the story “Open source alternatives to SPSS” on Storify]

0 comments

  1. Hi Sheila –
    Having used R for a number of text and data mining tasks, I can confirm that there IS a learning curve unless you are following well-beaten paths, where there are examples to appropriate. Beyond that, you really need to be able to face programming (which I can but R still has the capacity to “do my head in”).

    I’ve heard mention of an O’Reilly book dealing with open source stats/data-science tools, but I’ve no direct experience. I think Tony Hirst mentioed it on his blog but I’m too lazy to go and look.

    In the future, I hope there will be more institutional support for people like the WORDLE crowd; this seems like one aspect of digital literacy that is coming down the road quite fast.

    Cheers, Adam

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