KDNuggets Poll on SAS: Churn in Analytics Users

Here are the some surprising results from the Bible of all Data Miners , KDNuggets.com with some interesting comments about SAS being the Microsoft of analytics.

I believe technically advanced users will probably want to try out R before going in for a commercial license from Revolution Analytics as it is free to try out. Also WPS offers a one month free preview for its software- the latest release of it competes with SAS/Stat and SAS/Access, SAS/Graph and Base SAS- so anyone having these installations on a server would be interested to atleast test it for free. Also WPS would be interested in increasing engines (like they have for Oracle and Teradata).

One very crucial difference for SAS is it’s ability to pull in data from almost all data formats- so if you are using SAS/Connect to remote submit code- then you may not be able to switch soon.

Also the more license heavy customers are not the kind of cutomers who have lots of data in their local desktops but is usually pulled and then crunched before analysed. R has recently made some strides with the RevoScaler package from Revolution Analytics but it’s effectiveness would be tested and tried in the coming months- it seems like a great step in the right direction.

For SAS, the feedback should be a call to improve their product bundling – some of which can feel like over selling at times- but they have been fighting off challenges since past 4 decades and have the pockets and intention to sustain market share battles including discounts ( for repeat customers SAS can be much cheaper than say a first time user of WPS or R)


This really should come as a surprise to some people. You can see the comments on WPS and R at the site itself. Interesting stufff and we can see after say 1 year to see how many actually DID switch.


The Popularity of Data Analysis Software

Here is a nice page by Bob Muenchen (author of “R for SAS and SPSS” and “R for Stata” books)

It is available at http://r4stats.com/popularity and uses a variety of methods, including Google Insights, Page Rank, Link analysis, as well as information from Rexer Analytics and KDNuggets.

I believe the following two graphs sum it all up:

1 Number of Jobs at Monster.com using keywords

2 Google Scholar’s analysis of academic papers

Despite R’s Rapid Growth which is clearly evident, in terms of jobs as well as publications, it lags behind SAS and SPSS. So if you are a corporate user or an academic user, it makes sense to have more than one skill just to be sure.  What do you think? Is learning R mutually exclusive and completely exhaustive from learning SAS or SPSS. See http://r4stats.com/popularity for the complete analysis by Bob Muenchen

Also it shows the tremendous opportunity for companies like Revolution Analytics and XL Solutions ( http://www.experience-rplus.com/ ) as the potential for growth is clearly evident.