The QUAD Center provides basic support in the use of statistical software packages, with the greatest emphasis on SYSTAT and Data Desk, both of which are available for use over the university network. The Center also provides support for SPSS and Excel (see below) and will eventually provide limited support for Minitab and Sigmaplot.
SYSTAT [version 13]
SYSTAT 13 is a comprehensive statistical software package available over the campus network on virtually all campus PCs. It is a PC-only application; there is no version for Macintosh operating systems. However, Macs that are equipped to be booted as PCs running Windows (using Bootcamp) can run SYSTAT. The WISE page for the QUAD Center, under its Resource tab, has a folder containing a series of basic “how to” videos for using SYSTAT, and Center assistants receive training in SYSTAT. A free (and much more limited) student version of SYSTAT called MYSTAT can be downloaded from SYSTAT.com; an advantage to the student version is that it does not require the user to be logged onto the campus network to operate. To use the full SYSTAT v.13 over the university network on a personal (non university) machine, you must first do a one-time install of SYSTAT on your computer. A brief document with instructions for doing this appears on the WISE page under the Resources tab. Once the software is installed, one has to be logged into the campus network for the software to operate (it verifies one is a Willamette user for licensing purposes), but the software itself runs on the user’s machine rather than the network for greater speed.
Data Desk is another statistical software package with special strengths in exploratory data analysis and data visualization. This software is available in both PC and Mac versions and can be accessed under the Software folder on the university network. (Check with the Help Desk if you need to “map your network drive” to see this folder on your PC or Mac). There are two separate folders for Data Desk; Mac users should be sure to go to the Data Desk folder marked OSX. Because this software runs well over the university network, there is no installation required onto personal computers. Several of the QUAD Center assistants have experience with this software.
Excel is a widely used software for data manipulation and graphics. An unfortunate limitation is that its statistical capabilities vary widely across Mac versus PC platforms and across versions within the same platform. This is also true for basic graphing – one of the most common uses of Excel. The QUAD Center tries to provide some very basic support in Excel. Given the fact that “instructions” differ widely from version to version, questions are addressed on a case by case basis, and most statistical analysis is instead done on standard packages like SYSTAT and Data Desk.
SPSS, Minitab, and R
SPSS is a comprehensive, commercial statistical packages most comparable to SYSTAT. SPSS can operate on both PCs and Macs, and Willamette has a small number of simultaneous user licenses (~5) available over the Willamette network, and some of the Center assistants have a background in SPSS.
Minitab is a comprehensive, commercial PC-only package available on most campus PCs; at present, the Center provides very limited support for Minitab, mainly through Professors Friedrich and Strawn. Some faculty members on campus are regular users, however, and are possible sources of support.
R is a free, open source statistical package — a major resource tool enjoying great popularity among professional data analysts. For most intermittent statistics users, the emphasis on programming and command line interface makes the software a bit more challenging to use, but it is a great resource for both basic and custom techniques, including non-statistical applications. R is available over the campus network on both Mac and PC, and there are several faculty members having varying familiarity with R. Professors Friedrich and Strawn in the QUAD Center can help interested parties locate support.
There are additional tools that might be of interest; in most cases, it’s necessary to contact Professor Friedrich for assistance.
VassarStats – a web-based comprehensive statistics package. There is a web based text and user instructions that accompany the software, but Professor Friedrich can also provide some assistance.
Sigmaplot is an advanced, specialized graphics software package. Users would need to contact Professor Friedrich about possible use of the university’s one machine running this software.
CMA (Comprehensive Meta Analysis) is an advanced, specialized software package for aggregating data and effect sizes across large numbers of studies. Users would need to contact Professor Friedrich for collaborative use of the university’s single installation of this software.