I met up with an old analytics colleague over the holidays. We worked together from the mid 90's to the early 00's. Our bond was the use of SAS as a foundation for much of the intelligence work we did at the time, including data programming, reporting and statistical analysis. Shortly after 2000, I started to migrate from SAS to first S+ and then R, while my friend remained steadfast in his loyalty to SAS.

Though we continue to be good friends and have the highest regard for each other’s work, we joust light-heartedly about our statistical platform choices whenever we meet. And we tend to hit all the marketing stereotypes: I decry SAS's dated language portfolio of data steps, procs and macros in contrast to object-oriented, array-centric R, while he counters that R's quirky and undocumented. He lambastes the quality risks of open source software while I rue the expense and oft-cited heavy-handedness of SAS business practice.

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