SPSS

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Mike Schwab, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Mike Schwab

    Mike Schwab Guest

    --Apple-Mail-4-587532378
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset=US-ASCII;
    format=flowed

    A piece of software that badly needs to be written is an easy-to-use
    statistics package. Apparently, in the social sciences the industry
    standard is this program called SPSS, which is a chore to use, quite
    expensive, and suffers from all sorts of vestiges that no modern
    program should.

    The essential functions are importing (and 'massaging') data, running
    regressions, and making pretty graphs. When I got thinking about this
    idea I realized it would be really cool as a web app, because then
    datasets would be public, and different researchers could use them for
    different purposes. The essence of social science is asking people to
    answer series of questions, correlating their answers and attempting to
    make causal inferences. While people have their theories and biases
    that lead them to expect certain causal culprits, their data can speak
    for themselves (in cases where the wording of their survey questions is
    smart enough to let them). Perhaps if other sets of eyes happen across
    these datasets, with the regressions ready to go, and other datasets
    from similar surveys are readily available, a less biased researcher
    can come along, aggregate the data and find a deeper truth about human
    nature. These studies always have the numbers working against them;
    the cost per subject is high so they don't get as many datapoints as
    they want, but a ton of datapoints is exactly what they need to move
    past deceptive ('confounded') results and find the subtler stuff that
    isn't trivial or outright false.

    So I feel that a browser-based datacruncher would be cool because it
    would give people the freedom to work on/show off their findings from
    any computer, and it would force them to make their data public for the
    betterment of social science as explained above. Also, use of tags to
    indicate which sets might be compatible for aggregation could happen;
    and making all this stuff browsable would help inspire new questions in
    readers, new directions for research. The only other 'cool' idea I've
    had thus far was to have the thing 'automatically' run all the logical
    regressions and succinctly inform the user which ones are significant.

    So I'm looking for someone to shoot ideas back and forth, someone who
    may have experience that could be applicable to this sort of project,
    or who may have a mature understanding of how statistics are used in
    the real world. I don't exactly have time to get cracking on this yet,
    but I do want to be actively planning it.

    -Mike
    --Apple-Mail-4-587532378--
     
    Mike Schwab, Dec 2, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. michael.schwab wrote:
    > So I'm looking for someone to shoot ideas back and forth, someone who
    > may have experience that could be applicable to this sort of project,
    > or who may have a mature understanding of how statistics are used in
    > the real world. I don't exactly have time to get cracking on this yet,
    > but I do want to be actively planning it.
    >
    > -Mike


    In biological sciences spss is used a lot too, I myself have only
    limited experience though. If you are really serious about this then I
    would use the r-project as the backbone for all the statistical test. I
    think there are some fairly limited ruby-rproject bindings available,
    but they all seem to limited/unmaintained/undocumented (someone please
    correct me if I'm wrong). So this might be the first step to take.

    I am somewhat hesitant on the whole statistical package thing. I know
    that in biological sciences statistics are often badly understood and
    people mostly use these packages wrongly. I know that some statiticians
    looked at a couple of papers and in a large amount (80%?) the statistic
    methods used were completely wrong. I know you can't really blame spss
    for this, but the fact is that people will get answers from spss even if
    they don't understand what they are actually doing. If you want to use a
    higher level language you are forced to learn about what you are doing
    -> less mistakes.
    On the other hand it is about time that we have a good open source
    statistics package, that is also available from linux.

    I would also be hesitant about forcing people to open up their data. I
    myself would be hesitant to share all my data before I had analysed
    it/published an article about it.



    --
    Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.
     
    Edwin van Leeuwen, Dec 2, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Mike Schwab

    Zed A. Shaw Guest

    One letter: R

    http://www.r-project.org/

    (I think that's it. Anyway, does everything you want and is also a
    sort of nice scripting language).

    Zed A. Shaw
    http://www.zedshaw.com/


    On Fri, 2 Dec 2005 17:45:46 +0900
    Mike Schwab <> wrote:

    > A piece of software that badly needs to be written is an easy-to-use
    > statistics package. Apparently, in the social sciences the industry
    > standard is this program called SPSS, which is a chore to use, quite
    > expensive, and suffers from all sorts of vestiges that no modern
    > program should.
    >
     
    Zed A. Shaw, Dec 3, 2005
    #3
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Mark
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    718
  2. Silvio Bierman

    SPSS

    Silvio Bierman, Feb 14, 2008, in forum: Java
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    528
    Silvio Bierman
    Feb 14, 2008
  3. SANCTUARY BIO-LABS
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    528
    SANCTUARY BIO-LABS
    Jul 25, 2009
  4. Replies:
    10
    Views:
    221
    Mitya Sirenef
    Dec 28, 2012
Loading...

Share This Page