# What Analytic Software are People Discussing?

Robert Muenchen compares R, SAS, SPSS, and Stata popularity across internet discussion forums, email, LinkedIn, Quora, and more.

**r4stats, by Robert A. Muenchen, Feb 12, 2013**

How can we measure the popularity or market share of analytic software? One way is to see what people are discussing. I'm in the process of updating my annual article, The Popularity of Data Analysis Software.

Below is the newly updated Internet Discussion section.

Figure 1a shows the level of activity on only each main discussion listserv in a typical month (i.e. forums, news groups and Google groups are excluded). Each point represents the sum of the 12 monthly counts that occurred in that year. This plot contains data through the end of 2012. ...

... In the last year or two, R and Stata joined SAS in the decline in listserv discussion. Given the sharp increase in the popularity of business analytics, Big Data, and so on, it is unlikely that people are using or talking about these tools less. Instead, alternative forums of discussion have appeared. The site Stack Overflow (stackoverflow.com) covers a wide range of programming and statistical topics, while its sister site, Cross Validated (stats.stackexchange.com/), focuses only on statistical analysis. A third site, Talk Stats (www.talkstats.com), also focuses on statistical analysis.

Figure 1b shows the software people are discussing there.

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