I’ve been recruiting analytics talent for over 30 years, and now over the past few years I have watched open source R seemingly catapult to popularity alongside the proprietary standby SAS. Despite hearing more about R from clients and candidates than ever before, determining whether R was actually more popular than SAS proved difficult. A quick Google search for “R vs. SAS” returns more than a few pages dedicated to each side, as well as several heated LinkedIn discussions relating to the topic, with no definitive answers.
For my latest “flash survey” I wanted to quantify the preferences of the Burtch Works network, and asked one simple question: Which do you prefer to use, R or SAS?
With even more participants responding that couldn’t seem to pick just one or picked neither, this tells me that such a seemingly simple question has a more complex answer. Here are just a few of the entertaining responses we received:
- “I am a purist, so SAS.”
- “R - unless you have a ‘both rock’ category – it’s a close one.”
- “Never learned how to use R. Too damn old.”
- “R. But isn’t the debate more between R and Python?”
- “SAS as long as I’m not paying for it.”
- “SAS. What’s ‘R’? (Joking…)”
Curious as to how these results may vary by factors like industry or years of experience? I know I am! I can’t wait to dig into the data, and in the next few weeks will be posting a full write-up on the blog with our findings. Thanks to all who participated and stay tuned!