4 Alternatives to SAS


SAS is a long established supplier of analytical tools used in many of the world’s largest corporations. In recent years the cost of SAS technology has received some negative comment, and so here are four alternatives. Some might question whether R is a real alternative, but the acrimony that exists between SAS and R communities betrays the fact that it probably is.

IBM SPSS covers pretty well anything an organization might want to do with its data, from end user tools for marketing through to the creation of predictive models. Of particular interest to large organizations wanting to create an enterprise wide analytics capability.

R is an open source language, which until recently certainly was not an alternative to SAS. However recent efforts to accommodate big data, and the development of a large collection of libraries means it is much more a contender. On the negative side R is not exactly user friendly, but for skilled R practitioners the language facilitates almost any form of analysis. Best of all it is free, although a more user friendly and big data capable version can be got from Revolution Analytics.

Statistica from Statsoft is often positioned as a cheaper, and equally capable alternative to SAS.

World Programming System (WPS) supports the development and execution of applications written in the SAS language – typically for a lower cost. SAS initiated legal proceedings against WPS, but lost in the European Courts – so there is no love lost between SAS and WPS.