Here we have analysis of open data using free software with – uh, SAS?
Click the links below and watch the videos. Seriously. They are too large to embed in the post. Sorry.
Yes, you might think of SAS as the choice of multinational corporations with unlimited software budgets. You now have two options, if you are a student or faculty member, and those are either
- SAS web editor – which is fast and runs on both Windows and Mac (hurray!) but does require more knowledge of programming, OR
- SAS Enterprise Guide – which is MUCH slower in the typical university environment where it seems to be an accrediting body requirement that your wireless speed has to blow, but EG doesn’t require much programming, is much more pointy and click-y, which makes some people very happy. It also includes a process flow diagram which is like a security blanket for people in management who have some weird kind of Freudian attachment to Microsoft Project imitators.
If you haven’t seen the new SAS web editor, I highly recommend you take a peek at this video on how to do a regression analysis the SAS web editor.
I did it for my class but it nicely demonstrates how easy it is to get a quick view of your data with the web editor. This is a decent size data set of actual data from the 2007 TIMSS study. I did reduce it down to a few dozen variables. It’s really good because it has actual problems like user-written formats, missing data, non-obvious coding. This is good because my biggest complaint in hiring new graduates is they have only used data in the back of the statistics textbook and they have no idea how to work with data collected from actual human beings.
You can compare this first video to doing the same analysis with SAS On-Demand for SAS Enterprise Guide, another video I made for the same class. You can see that SAS Enterprise Guide takes longer and this was recorded in my office where we have an extremely good Internet connection. I was NOT using the wireless which seems to be pathetically slow at every educational institution where I have ever been. One of the reasons that I record these for the class is that with SAS Enterprise Guide it just takes so-o-o long. As I say on the video, I could sing Christmas carols while waiting for the results, if I could sing.
So, this semester I have used both options, but presuming it gets out of beta and is available next year, I’m thinking about using the SAS web editor for my next class. Even though it does require some programming, I think the increase in speed, use across all operating systems and lack of problems in installation make up for it.
Anyone else who has used one or both of these, please chime in with your opinions.