Add-ons for R, SAS and SPSS has moved to

R has over 5,000 add-on packages, many containing multiple procedures, so it can do most of the things that SAS and SPSS can do and quite a bit more. The table below focuses only on SAS and SPSS products and which of them have counterparts in R. As a result, some categories are extremely broad (e.g. regression) while others are quite narrow (e.g. conjoint analysis). This table does not contain the hundreds of R packages that have no counterparts in the form of SAS or SPSS products. There are many important topics (e.g. mixed models, survival analysis) offered by all three that are not listed because neither SAS Institute nor IBM’s SPSS Company sell a product focused just on that.

Advanced Models

  • IBM SPSS Advanced Statistics
  • R itself, MASS, many others

Association Analysis

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM SPSS Association
  • R: arules, arulesNBMiner, arulesSequences

Basic Statistics

  • Base SAS
  • IBM SPSS Statistics Base
  • R


  • IBM SPSS Bootstrapping
  • R: BootCL, BootPR, boot, bootRes, BootStepAIC, bootspecdens, bootstrap, FRB, gPdtest, meboot, multtest, pvclust, rqmcmb2, scaleboot, simpleboot

Classification Analysis

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM SPSS Classification
  • rattle, see also: neural networks and trees

Conjoint Analysis

  • IBM SPSS Conjoint
  • R: homals, psychoR, bayesm

Correspondence Analysis

  • IBM SPSS Categories
  • R: ade4, cocorresp, FactoMineR, homals, made4, MASS, psychoR, PTAk, vegan

Custom Tables

  • IBM SPSS Custom Tables
  • aggregate, Epi::stat.table, reshape,rreport, tapply, xtable

Data Access

  • SPSS Data Access Pack
  • DBI, foreign, gdata::read.xls, Hmisc::sas.get, SAScii, sasxport.get, RODBC, sas7bdat, WriteXLS, xlsReadWrite

Data Collection

  • IBM SPSS Data Collection Family
  • R: none; MySQL or PostgreSQL are popular among R users for this purpose

Data Mining

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM SPSS Modeler (formerly Clementine)
  • arules, FactoMineR, Rattle, Red-R, RWeka link to Weka, various functions

Data Mining, In-database Processing

  • SAS In-Database Initiative with Teradata
  • IBM SPSS Modeler
  • PL/R for PostgreSQL, RODM for Oracle

Data Preparation

  • SAS: Various procedures
  • IBM SPSS Data Preparation, various commands
  • R: dprep, plyr, reshape, sqldf, various functions

Developer Tools

  • SAS/AF, SAS/FSP, SAS Integration Technologies, SAS/TOOLKIT
  • IBM SPSS Statistics Developer, IBM SPSS Statistics Programmability Extension
  • R links to most popular compilers, scripting languages, and databases, StatET

Direct Marketing

  • SAS doesn’t have anything like this
  • IBM SPSS Direct Marketing
  • R doesn’t have anything like this

Exact Tests

  • SAS/STAT various procedures
  • IBM SPSS Exact Tests
  • R: coin, elrm, exact2x2, exactLoglinTest, exactmaxsel, and options in many others

Excel Integration

  • SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office, SAS Enterprise BI Server
  • SPSS: none (SPSS Advantage for Excel is discontinued)
  • RExcel


  • IBM SPSS Forecasting
  • Over 40 packages that do time series are described at the Task View link above under Time Series

Forecasting, Automated

  • SAS Forecast Server
  • IBM SPSS Forecasting
  • R: forecast


  • SAS: JMP Genomics
  • SPSS: None
  • R: Bioconductor

Geographic Information Systems

  • SPSS Base
  • R: maps, mapdata, mapproj, GRASS via spgrass6, RColorBrewer, see Spatial in CRAN Task Views

Graphical user interfaces

SAS Enterprise Guide, IML Studio, SAS/ASSIST, Analyst, Insight

IBM SPSS Statistics Base

R: Menus & dialog boxes: Deducer,  R Commander
Data Mining: rattle, Red-R

Graphics, Interactive

  • SPSS: none
  • R: cranvas, rggobi link to GGobi, iPlots, latticist, playwith, TeachingDemos

Graphics, Static

  • SPSS Base, Graphics Production Language
  • R: ggplot2, gplots, graphics, grid, gridBase, hexbin, lattice, plotrix, scatterplot3d, vcd, vioplot, geneplotter, Rgraphics

Graphics, Template Builder

  • Doesn’t use Grammar of Graphics model that forms the core of IBM SPSS Viz Designer or R’s ggplot2
  • IBM SPSS Viz Designer
  • R: Deducer::Plot Builder

Guided Analytics

  • SPSS: none
  • R: none

Internet Control

  • SAS/Intrnet
  • SPSS: none
  • R: CGIwithR, Rweb (see also Server Version below)

Matrix/linear Algebra

  • IBM SPSS Matrix
  • R has many matrix functions built in, matlab, Matrix, sparseM

Missing Values Imputation

  • IBM SPSS Missing Values
  • R: arrayImpute, arrayMissPattern, Amelia, cat, Hmisc::aregImpute, EMV, longitudinalData, mi, mice (similar to SPSS & SAS approach), mitools, mvnmle, rms (replaces Design)::fit.mult.impute, SeqKnn, VIM (nice visualization)

Neural Networks

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM SPSS Neural Networks
  • R: AMORE, grnnR, neuralnet, nnet, rattle

Operations Research

  • SAS/OR
  • SPSS: none
  • R: glpk, linprog, LowRankQP, TSP

Power Analysis

  • SAS Power and Sample Size Application, SAS/STAT::PROC POWER, PROC GLMPOWER
  • SPSS: SamplePower
  • R: asypow, powerpkg, pwr, MBESS

Quality Control

  • SAS/QC
  • IBM SPSS Statistics Base
  • R: qcc, spc

Regression Models

  • IBM SPSS Regression
  • R, Hmisc, lasso, VGAM, pda, rms (replaces Design)

Sampling, Complex

  • IBM SPSS Complex Samples
  • R: pps, sampfling, sampling, spsurvey, survey

Segmentation Analysis

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM Modeler Segmentation
  • R: cluster, rattle, som, see CRAN Task Views under Cluster for over 70 packages

Server Version

  • SAS, SAS Enterprise Miner for your server
  • IBM SPSS Statistics Server, IBM SPSS Modeler Server
  • R for your server, rapache, R(D)COM Server, Rserve, StatET

Structural Equation Modeling

  • SPSS: Amos
  • R: lavaan, OpenMX, sem

Text Analysis/Mining

  • SAS Enterprise Content Categorization, SAS Ontology Management, SAS Sentiment Analysis, SAS Text Miner
  • IBM SPSS Text Analytics, IBM SPSS Text Analysis for Surveys
  • R: corpora, emu, gsubfn, kernlab, KoNLP, koRpus, languageR, lsa, maxent, openNLP, openNLPmodels.en,, RcmdrPlugin.TextMining, RKEA, RQDA, RTextTools, RWeka, Snowball, tautextcat, TextRegression, tm, tm.plugin.dc, tm.plugin.mail, topicmodels, wordcloud, wordnet, zipfR

Trees, Decision, Classification or Regression

  • SAS Enterprise Miner
  • IBM SPSS Decision Trees, IBM SPSS AnswerTree, IBM SPSS Modeler (formerly Clementine)
  • ada, adabag, BayesTree, boost, caret, GAMboost, gbev, gbm, maptree, mboost, mvpart, party, pinktoe, quantregForest, rpart,rpart.permutation, randomForest, rattle, tree

My thanks go out to the many people who helped compile this table including: Thomas E. Adams, Liviu Andronic, Jonathan Baron, Roger Bivand, Jason Burke, Patrick Burns, David L. Cassell, Dennis Fisher, Peter Flom, Chao Gai, Bob Green, Frank E. Harrell Jr., Rob Hyndman, Robert I. Kobacoff, Max Kuhn, Paul Murrell, Yves Rosseel, Charilaos Skiadas, Greg Snow, Antony Unwin, Tobias Verbeke, Kyle Weeks, Graham Williams, and David Winsemius.

All SAS and SPSS product names are registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Copyright 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Robert A. Muenchen.