[R] Are you experienced in SAS and R as well? Which of these would you recommend me?

Douglas Bates bates at stat.wisc.edu
Fri Nov 23 17:41:42 CET 2001

I have enjoyed reading this discussion of SAS and R.  I would add two
points regarding SAS.

- At a conference this summer I attended a presentation by a person
  from SAS Institute on "What's coming in SAS version 9?".  (Many of
  you may know that SAS uses odd numbers for beta test versions and
  even numbers for production releases so version 9 is the beta for
  the production release 10.0).  The main enhancements in version 9
  will be in graphics and choice of graphical presentation.  The
  speaker explicitly said that this meant you wouldn't have to have
  both SAS for the analysis and S-PLUS for the graphics.  Apparently
  SAS Institute views the strengths of the S language as being in the
  area of graphics.  Perhaps it is not surprising that they don't
  think of flexibility of analysis as an advantage of the S language.

- In terms of data management SAS seems to be moving to SQL with their
  PROC SQL and links to various databases.  I have found that Open
  Source SQL databases, notably PostgreSQL and, to a lesser extent,
  MySQL are much more flexible and easier to use than SAS for data
  management.  When working with very large data sets I prefer to
  store the data in PostgreSQL and do the data manipulation there then
  import parts of the data into R for analysis.

Douglas Bates                            bates at stat.wisc.edu
Statistics Department                    608/262-2598
University of Wisconsin - Madison        http://www.stat.wisc.edu/~bates/
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