Blog: Why are we offering our statistical analysis tools for free?
We've made the decision to make our statistical analysis tools available for free on our website - but why?Written by Andrew Macpherson, Managing Director.
At Prism, we offer three core services: consultancy, training and bespoke software development. In the past, we've sold various software tools, such as our standalone Nested application (for variance components analysis), and our Cellula Excel add-ins (in different configurations for method validation, stability analysis and visualisation). However, we've now taken the decision to stop selling these products, and instead we plan to make them freely available as online tools.
We're doing this for two main reasons: to benefit ourselves, and to benefit others.
In general, we believe that it's a Good Thing to make our statistical analysis tools freely available to everyone. People can use the tools to gain understanding from their data, without any obligation to form any kind of relationship with us. Clearly, we hope that this will generate goodwill; we hope that when people are faced with a seemingly impossible statistical problem, then they'll remember the kind folks at Prism and turn to us for support. Equally, we hope that people will want guidance on how to make the most of our tools, and consider our range of training workshops in order to fully exploit the information that they provide.
From our perspective, we believe that it's a better long-term strategy for our business. Our core skills lie in training, consultancy and creating tailored software tools to meet a specific requirement - we're a services company, rather than a software house. We'd therefore prefer to spend our time working closely with our clients, to develop their own statistical expertise and to solve their most challenging problems. If they identify an enhancement that they'd like to see in our software tools, then they can wait for us to implement it when we see fit, or they can force our hand by paying for us to develop it for them (and, in return, they receive advance access to the new feature!).
We plan to make a variety of tools available over time, but at present we have the following tools available:
- Our Basic Statistics tool generates descriptive statistics and insightful graphs directly in your internet browser!
- One of the first software products that Prism ever developed and sold was Nested. Our variance components analysis tool was initially created as a VB6 desktop application; we later ported it to an Excel add-in; it's now available as a free online analysis solution!
- Our ever-popular 3D Visualiser allows you to visualise, filter and interact with your three-dimensional data. Although we originally developed this as a Principal Components Analysis visualisation tool, you can use it with any set of three-dimensional coordinates.
Head on over to our Free Tools page to access these tools. We appreciate that you may have concerns about using your data on an external website, so please read our blog on this topic to see what we do with your data (spoiler alert: nothing!), as well as the measures that we've put in place to keep your data secure.
If you'd like us to develop an offline version of a tool for you, then please contact us to discuss this further.
We've invested heavily in rebuilding our website from the ground up, working with software group Green Custard to create a platform from which we can offer our free online analysis tools. In the process, we believe that we've created a more user-friendly website, as well as a stronger brand that we hope will take Prism forward to even bigger and better things!