SPSS vs SAS: Find Our The Best Statistics Software

SPSS vs SAS is always a critical battle of all time. Data is playing a crucial role in our life. Sending a text over the internet to sending huge files over the internet all involves data transmission. And the data also contains some valuable information. That is why data becomes one of the essential elements of every business. But having the raw data is not useful for any business or organization. But how can we get the decision from the data? We can do so with the help of statistics.

Yes, statistics is the only way that can transform the raw data into useful insights. We use it to provide data trends and predictions. But if we do statistics analysis manually, then we will not get the best results easily. To overcome this problem, there are two most potent statistics analysis softwares, i.e., SPSS and SAS. But wait, there is a difference between then SPSS is software by IBM. On the other hand, SAS is a complete programming language. Both of these software and programming languages provide complex statistics solutions. Let’s compare SPSS vs SAS based on some criteria:-

History of SPSS

The full form of SPSS is a statistical package for social sciences. It is the product of IBM and is known as IBM SPSS. It was launched in 1968 at the University of Stanford. Later on, after eight years, SPSS Inc was founded. In 2009 IBM acquired SPSS. That is the reason it is known as IBM SPSS.

Introduction to SPSS

SPSS is widely used by researchers, education researchers, marketing organizations, and data miners. It was the first-ever statistical programming language for the PC. It is one of the best programming languages to do reporting via tables and charts. As the name suggests, SPSS is specially designed for social science. But nowadays, you can use it for business analytics, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analysis. SPSS offers a copy and pastes functionality. So that you can easily operate by click interface, it is relatively easy to learn SPSS. It also offers the best in class documentation that gives clarity on statistical procedures algorithms. Data processing can be slow in SPSS when you have a large amount of data. SPSS is widely used in universities. SPSS offers limited syntax and is also slow compared with other programming languages to adapt to new technology changes.

History of SAS

SAS stands for a statistical analysis system. It was developed in 1966 and released in 1976 at North Carolina State University. The initial development of SAS was to analyze the immense quality of agriculture data. But later on, it is widely used for business analytics, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analysis.

Introduction to SAS

SAS is quite tough to learn, but it offers drag and drop options. If you want to customize things in SAS, then you should have the in depth coding knowledge in SAS to customize it as per your needs. You can have full control over SAS all because of its command-line interface. If you are a skilled coder, you can also take advantage of its advanced editor for coding. SAS offers faster data processing. You can process a large amount of data easily in SAS. It has inbuilt algorithms for data sorting and splitting. That is the reason it can easily handle large amounts of data. You get the yearly license with SAS that is quite costly. SAS uses the Proc SQL for coding. If you have good command over SQL, you will find SAS one of the easiest programming languages. It is widely used in the industries.

Comparison Between SPSS vs SAS

Purpose and Usability

You need not have in-depth statistics knowledge to start with SPSS. It offers a simple and easy to use interface with drop-down options. It is widely used in most statistics activities, but the significant role of SPSS is in social science. 

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On the other hand, SAS is one of the best statistical programming languages. It offers a large amount of high-quality production code for various purposes. The significant use of SAS is in the analytical space. SAS provides the best in class programming environment where you can code the high-end statistics calculation easily.

Data Processing

SPSS allows us to process 100 MB of data in a single time. It is quite useful to process small amounts of data in seconds. 

On the other hand, if you want to process huge amounts of data, SAS is the best option. It is designed to process a huge crunch of data in a short time. You also get the facility like data sorting, splicing, and searching the data. 

Learning Curve

It is quite easy to learn SPSS as compared with SAS. It is offering one of the easiest interfaces in the world. Anyone can get a good command over SPSS with the help of a quick tutorial to SPSS. It offers the paste function that is used to create the syntax for steps to be executed in the user interface. 

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On the other hand, SAS is based on the Proc SQL that requires immense knowledge of coding. If you have a good command over SQL, then you will find SQL quite easy to use. Otherwise, it can be a nightmare for those who don’t have an interest in coding. 


SPSS is widely used in reputed universities around the world. It has a clean and easy to use interface. It comes with complete documentation. You also get the click and play functionality with SPSS that makes it quite easy to code in SPSS using the paste button. Besides, you also get the best customer support with SPSS; if you find any issue using this software,

On the other hand, SAS is widely used in the industry. You get the drop-down interface in SAS. That makes it quite convenient to use. Apart from that, if you have good command over programming and SQL, then you can use SAS at its full potential. 


SPSS is quite costly as compared with SAS. It has different licenses for different purposes. Its syntax has limited functionality. Therefore it is not adopting the new changes in technologies.

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On the other hand, SAS is also costly. There are still some options that are not available in its interface. Thus you need to write the code to create the option and customized SAS as per your requirements. 


We have seen the comparison of SPSS vs SAS. Both of these software have their advantages and disadvantages. Both of these software are quite powerful in performing data analytics and data processing operations. If you have a small amount of data, you should go with SPSS because it processes that data within a few minutes. But if you have a large set of data and you can wait for the processing, you should go with SAS. You can also pick on this software as per your coding knowledge. If you have a good command over coding, SAS is best for you; otherwise, you can go with SPSS. SPSS is widely used in the education sector, while SAS is widely used in the industry where a huge amount of data is processed daily. It is good to go with SAS if you want to have a good career in the data analytics industry. 

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