Data analysis

SAS. Over-priced, cumbersome, and unevenly documented. Large number of statistical routines with many options for table creation and graphs. Too few built-in nonparametric routines, but the statistical literature is filled with SAS macros for a wide variety of supplemental procedures including bootstrap and density estimates. Knowledgeable programmers are essential but widely available.

Thoroughly validated and has been used in hundreds of submissions. SAS Institute, Inc., SAS Campus Drive, Cary, NC 27513 (Windows, MVS, CMS, VMS, Unix), www.sas.com.

SPSS. The poor person's SAS. Offers ease of use along with a large number of statistics. A bootstrap subcommand provides bootstrap estimates of standard errors and confidence limits. Thoroughly validated and has been used in dozens of submissions (Windows). SPSS, Inc., 444 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611,312-329-2400, www.spss.com.

Stata. Provides a comprehensive set of statistics routines plus subroutines and pre-programmed macros for bootstrap, density estimation, and permutation tests. Programmable with many flexible graphics routines (Windows, Unix). Stata Corp, 702 University Drive East, College Station, TX 77840,1-800-782-8272, www.stata.com.

Data Desk/Activ Stats/DataDesk XL. The best program I know for exploratory data analysis. Windows and Macintosh versions, [email protected] or

http://www. datadesk.com/DataDesk/system.shtml.

StatXact. While not a comprehensive statistics package, it is a must for the exact analysis of contingency tables (categorical or ordered data) and should be purchased along with one of the four statistics programs listed above. The StatXact manual is a textbook in its own right. The program is thoroughly validated and has been used in dozens of submissions. Versions for Windows or Unix. Also available as an add-on module for both SAS and SPSS. Cytel Software Corporation, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, (617)661-2011, www.cytel.com.

LogXact. Supports inference for logistic regression and provides conditional logistic regression for matched case-control studies or clustered binomial data. Cytel Software Corporation, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, (617)661-2011, www.cytel.com.

NPC TEST. The only statistics program on the market today that provides for multifactor analysis by permutation means. Cutting edge, but has yet to be validated. A demonstration version, SAS macro, and S-Plus code may be downloaded from http://www.stat.unipd.it/~pesarin/software.html.

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