Friday, July 9, 2010

Statistical programming languages

This post by John D Cook got me thinking about whether it is possible to do a similar simplification of programming languages for Epidemiologists doing analysis.

These days I see the following languages in heavy use: STATA, R, SPSS, SAS and some S-plus. Furthermore, one is requires to do data management in some combination of SQL/Oracle, SAS, Excel and Access. That doesn't even touch on the people who still use C++ and/or FORTRAN for specialized programming applications.

My question is which ones does it make sense to support? In my department, I think we'll do a combination of R (freeware, flexible, powerful) and SAS (FDA standard) as languages that we officially support. But not supporting STATA is a very painful choice! What have others done in similar circumstances?

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