Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) by IBM is one of the most popular statistical data analysis software among international development organizations and those in academics. It is regarded as one of the most powerful and yet simple to use software for running the most basic and very advanced statistics alike. Its point-and-click-based graphical user interface is very user-friendly for beginners starting out with data analyses.
SPSS is easily one of the essential software for data professionals including M and E personnel working in social impact organizations to be vested in. However, the software doesn’t come cheap. A one user subscription starts at $99 per month.
If you have been looking for a no-cost solution for data analysis then you just hit a jackpot. In this article, I will round up some of the best alternatives to the powerful SPSS software for data analysis.
When choosing the alternatives, I have considered the main reasons why most professionals choose SPSS namely a simple to use graphical user interface as well as great statistics and charting capabilities.
Blue Sky Statistics
Ask anyone who labels themselves a data analyst or data scientist and they will say that the most popular data analysis “software” is R. R is a computer language for statistical computing and it’s indeed very popular and extremely powerful and versatile. But to work with R, you must know how to code. We have already established that most people who use SPSS choose it for its simple graphical user interface. And this is where Blue Sky Statistics comes in.
Blue Sky Statistics provides a SPSS-esque graphical user interface to R statistics – so you don’t have to write R code to run R statistics.
If you have used SPSS before and you decide to jump to Blue Sky, you might at times forget you are not in SPSS because of the uncanny resemblance of the user interface.
The other great thing about using Blue Sky is that after you ran any analysis, the software shows the R code that was used to produce the output. You can use it to learn R statistics code more easily.
PSPP is a statistical analysis package that was built from the ground up to be a free alternative to SPSS – they even say it on their website.
PSPP is equally a very powerful software with the abilities to perform descriptive statistics, T-tests, ANOVA, linear and logistic regression, measures of association, cluster analysis, reliability and factor analysis, non-parametric tests and more.
The software is so good it even ousts SPSS in terms of the number of cases and variables it supports.
Using PSPP you will feel at home with the interface that is in many ways very similar to the SPSS interface.
Just like blue Sky Statistics, JAMOVI is a graphical user interface for the R statistics language.
The software provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for running R statistics without having to learn the code.
With JAMOVI, you will be able to perform all the common statistical analysis operations such as descriptive statistics, t-tests, ANOVA, correlations, and regressions among others.
JAMOVi also has decent chart-making capabilities.
JASP is a user-friendly and free software application for running statistical analyses developed and supported by the University of Amsterdam.
The software supports all the standard data analyses procedures such as summary statistics, t-tests, ANOVA, regression and more. For those requirin advanced inference, JASP has 2 versions of each of the statistical procedures – the traditional frequentist analyses and Bayesian versions.
Where JASP shines the most is the live output feature where output is displayed in real time as you choose what analysis procedures to perform. This allows for quick modification of your analysis without having to hope back and forth from the main application and the output window.
Honorable mention: Epi Info
Epi Info is a suite of tools used by public health professionals to collect, manage and analyze data. Although it is marketed as a solution for public health data management and analysis, the software features a powerful analysis module with capabilities to perform summary statistics and inferential analyses including chi square, ANOVA, t-tests and regressions.
Epi Info also shines for its beautiful and interactive charts.
IBM SPSS is a powerful statistical data analysis software that is very easy to use due to its simple graphical user interface. However, for people who can’t afford getting their hands on a copy of the software, there exist many other decent alternatives that can be used. In certain cases these alternatives even outsmart SPSS in terms of features and ease of use.