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Data and Statistics for Social Sciences: Quantitative & qualitative data analysis

Quantitative data analysis

Apache Spark™

A unified analytics engine for large-scale data processing built on data science; also popular for data pipelines and machine learning models development. Spark also includes a library – MLlib, that provides a progressive set of machine algorithms for repetitive data science techniques like Classification, Regression, Collaborative Filtering, Clustering, etc.


An increasingly popular tool for data analysis. In recent years, a number of libraries have reached maturity, allowing R and Stata users to take advantage of the beauty, flexibility, and performance of Python without sacrificing the functionality these older programs have accumulated over the years.


R-programmingA free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible.
R is freely available online.


SPSS​A general-purpose statistical package widely used in academic research for editing, analysing and presenting numerical data. It is compatible with all file formats that are commonly used for structured data such as Excel, plain text files and relational (SQL) databases.
The package is available to use in the Social Science Library Data area, or from the IT Services.


STATAA powerful and flexible general-purpose statistical software package used in research, among others in the fields of economics, sociology, political science. It's capabilities include data management, statistical analysis, graphics, simulations, regression, and custom programming.
STATA is available to eligible students and staff in departments and centres in the Manor Road Building (MRB); to be eligible you must be nominated by your department/centre.
Students can also purchase STATA at a reduced cost for their own devices from the supplier Timberlake.

Qualitative data analysis

Software packages comprised of tools designed to facilitate a qualitative approach to qualitative data, which include texts, graphics, audio or video. These packages (sometimes referred as CAQDAS - Computer Assisted/Aided Qualitative Data Analysis) may also enable the incorporation of quantitative (numeric) data and/or include tools for taking quantitative approaches to qualitative data.
Here are some more popular packages -


A qualitative data analysis (QDA) computer software package produced by QSR International. It has been designed for qualitative researchers working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required.
NVivo is installed on PCs in the SSL Data Area; also available from IT services shop.


MAXQDA – The Art of Data AnalysisAn alternative to Nvivo and handles a similar range of data types allowing organisation, colour coding and retrieval of data. Text, audio or video may equally be dealt with by this software package. A range of data visualisation tools are also included.
Trial licences available from MAXQDA


Atlas.tiSoftware for the qualitative analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data. It offers a variety of tools for accomplishing the tasks associated with any systematic approach to "soft" data, i.e. material which cannot be analysed by formal, statistical approaches in meaningful ways.
You can download a trial version from the website, it is free and works without time limit.
Free training webinars are offered on the website.