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Statistical Applications for Environmental Analysis and Risk Assessment by Joseph Ofungwu

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2Introduction to Software Packages Used in This Book

Although some statistical analyses can be performed using Excel spreadsheets or other simple applications, there are many others for which manual computations would be extremely inconvenient. In other words, without the availability of software, widespread utilization of statistical procedures and practices may be difficult if not impossible to accomplish. Unfortunately, access to good-quality statistical software is often impeded by the high cost of such software. It is a common experience that students usually have easy access to academic versions of high-quality software while still in college but find that the commercial licenses for the software are unaffordable for many employers after they graduate, with the result that much of the acquired statistical skills eventually dissipate. Also, many statistics books that include descriptions of software applications use expensive software packages for the worked examples, essentially limiting their use to students in academic institutions where the packages are available.

To ensure that the reader is not hampered by lack of access to software, this book provides several statistical software options, including freely available but very capable software, as well as moderate cost commercial packages. The novice or casual analyst is often reluctant to “splurge” on high-cost software without even understanding what to expect in return. Rather, experimenting first with free or inexpensive ...

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