## Math in Computing## Applications |

## Have computers had an effect on the field of statistics? |

Yes, computers have had a definite effect on the field of statistics. In particular, personal computers, software such as spreadsheets and professional statistical packages, and other information technologies are now an integral part of statistical data analysis. These tools have enabled statisticians to perform realistic statistical data analysis on large amounts of data faster and cheaper than ever before.

Statistical software systems are most often used to determine examples, understand existing concepts in the statistics, and to find new trends in statistical data. Most of the packages allow the data to be entered into the computer program, but the emphasis then switches to the statistician’s ability to interpret the data.

There are two well-known programs often used in statistics: the SAS and SPSS, both of which are commercial statistical packages. The SAS system is a statistics, graphics, and data management software package available for personal computers. It allows the desktop computer user to get the quality of results once reserved for users of mainframe computers. The SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) is also a popular software package for performing statistical analyses. It enables the user to summarize data, determine if there are significant differences between groups, examine relationships among all the variables, and even graph the results.