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The Search for Free, Easy to Use Data Analysis Software

Kristine Bradley, Principal, Firefly Consulting, Austin, TX, USA

Keywords: Analytics, Machine Learning, Software, Statistics
Industry: All
Level: Intermediate

Abstract

Working in the era of Big Data, possessing the skills to both graphically and statistically analyze large volumes of information has become crucial. But the barriers to becoming an effective practitioner can seem daunting.

As advanced analytics and machine learning methods have become more commonplace, the statistical software packages we’ve all historically worked with have begun to integrate the necessary tools into their standard offerings. However, these features are showing up with an increased price tag, making it inaccessible for small companies and independent users. Free programming languages such as R and Python have been available for several decades, allowing users to write programs that perform statistical analysis. The languages are powerful, but require strong programming skills to effectively use.

Fortunately, there’s hope: several universities and consortiums are aiming to make these tools more available, creating front-ends that rely more on drag-and-drop development than hardcoding. Join me, as I share my search for easy-to-use statistical software that gives users all the power they need to apply advanced analytics for the low, low price of free.


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