Scared of stats? Try Jamovi

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Statistics can be scary. But a good understanding of stats is needed to understand relationships, impacts and effectiveness.

Most people would probably prefer to pull their own teeth out than wade through mountains of data and formulas with Greek letters in them for the first time.

But instead of struggling through a stats textbook or enrolling in another university course, there’s now a relatively painless way to explore the topic.

Jamovi is a fairly new, free and open statistics package that you can download at home and play with.

Here’s why:

  1. It is FREE. Not only that, the developers have promised to keep it free. With products like IBM’s SPSS starting from $135 Australian dollars per person per month, having a free option is very attractive indeed.
  2. It is powerful. Built as a graphical interface to the popular but relatively difficult to learn R coding package, Jamovi can do many of the common statistical analyses used in scientific research, including T-tests, Anovas, regression analyses and more.
  3. It is becoming better and better. The developers have indicated that by August 2018 Jamovi will include the most common features of SPSS. And the developers look determined to meet that target with new upgrades being released at a furious pace.
  4. Its another way to learn R. As you can access the R code used by Jamovi with just one click you can peer under the bonnet to see how the R code works, giving you an easy insight into how the code works. A more recent update allows you to input code – and it even makes suggestions just like RStudio.
  5. It manages style issues for you. Its output can automatically comes in APA style, but if you’d like you can get it to mimic SPSS or R styles – so no-one needs to know you’re choosing the easy software option (although you should probably reference this in your methods section if you’re writing an academic paper!).
  6. For a stats program it is beautiful. If you’re sick of trying to find all the options in SPSS, Stata or SAS, Jamovi will appeal to you. You just run the analysis and then point and click a few options to refine your analysis and get the output you need. So easy. If you’re wondering why it looks and feels like JASP – that’s because the developers are the same. However Jamovi is destined to have more features.
  7. Community built modules give it even more features. There is already a small library of modules – optional extras built by the community that make it even more useful. These include statistical techniques, graphical outputs and even a game.

And – thanks to a new module released this week – you don’t even need to know which statistical analysis is the right one for your data. Statkat will guide you through what technique to use and indicate how to do it through Jamovi.

So start mucking around with it. And with a bit of luck you might start to hate stats just a little bit less.

You can download Jamovi for Windows or mac here.

Note – the author received no financial benefit for writing this review.

UPDATE – 5 September 2018 – there’s now a series of easy to understand and free videos that will help you get up and running. Check them out here:

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