Let’s face it: you’re a geek who likes to crunch numbers.  Or not.  But what ever the case, you should definately have “R” on your machine.  Head over to http://www.r-project.org/ to download a free copy for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


Established back in 1989, R has been an open-sourced statistical package used by university and colleges, students and professors.


It’s basically an ugly calculator:



Let’s skip the math and go straight to the point. R isn’t just an ugly calculator.  Although R can carry out statistical analyses, most of us techies would leave that to the statisticians.  However, R has functions to read many type of data tables, including .txt, .csv, .dat, .dbf, .sav, .sas7bat, and save it as one of the other data types.


For example, R is able to read in an SPSS dataset (SPSS is an expensive software!) and save it as a .csv that can be opened using notepad, or any spreadsheet software!  This saves a lot of money buying SPSS, then exporting the dataset to a .csv or whatever file.


R is able to read in .txt, .csv, and .dbf natively.  To read proprietary files, simplt install the “foreign” package.  You only need to install this package once, but you must load it every time you want to use it in R.


Sample Algorithm:  SPSS .sav to .csv:

Load the “foreign” library:  library(foreign)
Read in data file of choice: data – read=”” spss=”” file=”” choose=” header=”TRUE)

Write data into extension of choice:  write.csv(data, “C:/Users/emerpro/Desktop/test.csv”, row.names = FALSE)


With this, you can conver SPSS files into SAS or CSV files for free!