As with all of our software tools, we constantly evaluate whether we are providing the best and most useful software tools to the community. At present, as has been the case for some years now, we support five different statistical analysis packages. Some are more commonly used in Economics (Stata, SPSS), some in Biology and Statistics (JMP, SPSS, R) and some in Psychology and Education (SPSS, R), or Sociology (SPSS, Stata, R). While others seem to have mostly fallen by the wayside (DataDesk) after a long and useful life in various departmental courses. In all cases, we endeavor to support software tools that can facilitate the teaching efforts of multiple departments, to get the most efficient and effective use of the College’s funds to support teaching.
For the past year, combining Mac and Windows uses, as well as faculty, staff and student use, we’ve noted roughly 238 individual users of Stata, 217 individual users of JMP, 133 users of SPSS and just 6 users of DataDesk! For R, we don’ t yet have direct usage data, but we’ve noticed that R-Studio, the graphical development environment for R is installed on 166 personal computers (not including the public areas and College technology classroom spaces, which would roughly double that count). While DataDesk doesn’t cost much to maintain, we won’t likely update it unless the demand really spikes. Likewise, we’re seeing a dramatic increase in interest in the open source R suite of data analysis tools, and the really great R-Studio environment to work with R code.