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Research Software

Getting Help Using Research Software

Do you need help getting started with research software, basic analysis, or visualizations?

Contact our Data Services team via email or schedule a consultation session online

Library staff are available to support researchers at all levels with finding, cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing their data.

Need more advanced support with statistics or computer programming? 

Make an appointment with one of our graduate student statistical consultants or a programming librarian

Need help finding or using qualitative or spatial data? Or making maps?

Yes! Our Data Services Team supports researchers using all types of data. Contact our team via email or schedule a consultation session online

LAI also offers free workshops throughout the year. 

See our online list of upcoming workshops for additional details, locations, and registration information. 

Comparing Software Options

Many different software options exist for cleaning and analyzing different types of data. A few we support are listed in the table below.

Software Supported Data Time to Learn the Basics Useful For Weaknesses Interface Access
Excel

Numbers

Short Text

A few minutes

Small datasets

Basic calculations

Basic analysis

Basic visualizations

Difficult to reproduce analysis

Limited number of rows and columns

Limited functionalities

Missing or null values may be handled incorrectly or inconsistently

GUI

GWIT

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

Python

Numbers

Text

Geospatial

Images

Audio Recordings

A few hours

Parallel processing

Image processing

Software development

Interfacing with JSON APIs

Dynamic visualizations

Coding Text

Not memory efficient

Challenges accessing external databases

Weak for mobile computing

Runtime errors

No Section 508 information available for accessibility

command line

integrated development environment

Download

R

Numbers

Text

Geospatial

Images

Audio Recordings

A few days or weeks

Data wrangling

Complex math

Statistical and geospatial analysis

Machine learning

Custom visualizations

Coding Text

Steep learning curve

Quality of packages varies

No standard help resources

Poor memory management

No Section 508 information available for accessibility

command line

integrated development environment

Download

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

SAS

Numbers

Short Text

Geospatial

A few hours

Data cleaning

Identifying patterns

Interfacing with databases

Statistical analysis

Descriptive visualizations

Limited advanced graphics

More of a procedural language

Premium packages and plugins

Individual licenses can be expensive

command line

GUI

GWIT

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

SPSS

Numbers

Short Text

Geospatial

 

A few hours

Data cleaning

Historic file formats

Statistical analysis

Descriptive statistics

Functional visualizations

Complex and large datasets

Limited data management tools

Limited customization opportunities

Individual license can be expensive

syntax window

GUI

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

Stata

Numbers

Short Text

A few hours

Data cleaning

Complex data management

Complex math

Statistical analysis

 

Limited data file formats

Cannot program new functions

Individual license can be expensive

command line

GUI

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

QGIS Geospatial A few hours or days

Making maps

Geospatial analysis

Summarize geospatial data

Site selection

Quality of packages varies

Difficult to reproduce analyses

Mapping and labeling interface is a bit tricky to use

Section 508 non-conformant for accessibility

GUI

Download

Campus Labs

ArcGIS Geospatial A few hours or days

Making maps

Geospatial analysis

Summarize geospatial data

Site selection

Crashes, somewhat often

User interface somewhat difficult to navigate

Premium subscription required to access all features

Individual licenses can be expensive

GUI

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

NVivo

Text

Emails

Images

Audio Recordings

Surveys

Videos

Social Media

A few hours or days

Most file types

Automated data visualizations

Advanced functionalities

Weighting codes

Multiple languages

Interface may not feel intuitive

Crashing may be a concern for large projects

Individual licenses can be expensive

Section 508 non-conformant for accessibility

GUI

Campus Labs

Virtual Computer Lab

atlas.ti

Text

Emails

Images

Audio Recordings

Surveys

Videos

Social Media

A few hours

Exporting to statistical analysis software

Making maps of qualitative data

Performing manual operations

Multiple languages

Non-hierarchical coding, by default

Limited advanced functionalities

Basic visualizations

GUI

Campus Labs

Available for Some Departments

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