Analyzing data is a critical aspect of public health marketing. Marketers need to keep track of current data trends, evaluate program effectiveness, and justify further spending on outreach. Statistical analysis in particular is key because it can help to separate between apparent trends and real trends. Statistical software can assist in this analysis, but not all software packages are the same. It is important to make sure that you are using the right tool for the job.
Microsoft Excel is an excellent place to start. Excel being part of the Microsoft suite of programs is widely used and easily accessible. Excel allows for basic statistical analysis and data visualization; however, it is not recommended for more complicated analysis.
IBM SPSS is considered to be quite user friendly and is widely used across industry and academia. Although it is a bit more expensive than Excel, it can deliver results for more complex datasets and graphics. SPSS however has its own limitations and cannot handle meta-analysis.
SAS is considered to be one of the best software packages for advanced data analysis. Although there is a steep learning curve for this software, it works with most file types making it easier to transfer data. Since SAS is quite expensive, it is recommended for organizations that specialize in data management.
Comprehensive data analysis is critical for public health marketers, finding the right software for your company depends on some factors. There is no one right answer, you need to find what works best for you and your organization.