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Excel (General Package)

Functionality Background Licence availability, restrictions &
links to distributor

Excel provides a number of basic statistical functions and analyses. There are add-in analytic tools packs, both published by Microsoft and supplied with the Excel /MS Office Installation and also supplied by third parties (including the StatPlus package that is the best method of accessing such statistical routines for Excel running on a Mac).

Over the years there have been several warnings that some of the inbuilt functions and analyses have flaws, but these have died down and the latest versions of excel do provide an easy means of conducting simple statistical analyses. The various chart formats and graphical tools
are very useful too. It should also be remembered that Excel is an excellent tool for managing the data before inputting into other statistical packages.

Microsoft Office and Excel have a long and well known history. They are the market

Downloads and licence details are at:

A free (limited functionality) version of StatPlus is available (for both Windows and Mac environments) from
(Windows) or

A full version is also available to be purchased from associated web-sites.

General Purpose Packages which have some Statistical Functionality:

These packages are not basically designed for statistical analysis, but all have some statistical functionality and some, being mathematical tools, pretty much allow you to write any statistical analysis from scratch. But we would generally advise using packages that were designed primarily for statistical analysis since their functionality will generally have been tested and verified for statistical purposes. If you write your own calculations in a mathematical calculation tool, you risk miscoding the statistical technique and drawing poor or completely wrong inferences.

Please share your experiences and examples of how you have used this software by leaving a comment below, to help others choose the right software for their research requirements.