I recently came across Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath story, and I couldn’t help but think of the fight that Intellectus Statistics is having with taking on IBM’s SPSS. In Gladwell’s version of the story, he lays out that giants often have a tumor grow on their pituitary gland that is associated with vision impairment. In his telling, Goliath maybe couldn’t see a few feet in front of him. For David’s part, he had a sling that, when used well, achieved the speed of a 45-caliber bullet. 

Analogously, big companies like IBM have vulnerabilities such as “I don’t have to adapt.”  They have a failure of empathy of what students go through in learning statistics. Meanwhile, underdogs like Intellectus Statistics have the characteristics of success; as Gladwell says, underdogs are “nimble, driven by entrepreneurial ideas, motivated, persistent, excited, and have faith.” Further, Intellectus Statistics is driven by “the spirit of technology” (using the popular R-program and wrapping with features that students need), and we continue to adapt that technology to create a practical statistical tool that meets the needs of our users.

SPSS has been around for over 60 years and yet they have not adapted to obvious student needs. These needs include an easy platform to navigate, guidance on assumptions of analyses, and support to interpret the output. Conversely, Intellectus made their tool intuitive with scroll overs that help students navigate and select the appropriate analyses. Statistical test assumptions are not only automatically run with each test, but the assumptions are interpreted, and non-parametric tests are suggested when assumptions are violated. The output is interpreted in plain English prose with recommendations to accept or reject the null hypotheses, and then that prose is presented in APA 7th edition style. 

Intellectus Statistics has been innovating for 8 years, adding support like 70 built-in videos, interactive textbook, curated glossaries, and in-depth user manual. We understand what students need to learn statistics and rigorously conduct and interpret their analyses. Intellectus’ employees put the effort into introducing the tool, outwork their SPSS counterparts, and are committed to making real their idea of providing students a practical tool to conduct and report statistical analysis.

James Lani, PhD | CEO Intellectus Statistics

When we first moved to using statistical software from using calculators and doing things by hand, it was syntax driven. You had to be a coder to conduct your analyses. The first advance in this field was adding a graphic user interface, allowing users to select their actions with a drop-down menu. While this advance was helpful, and certainly made conducting statistical analyses available to more users, there was still a learning curve to understand which of the hundreds of options were appropriate to produce the output you need. Then, once that output was created, it took even more expertise to decipher that output and convert it into a narrative interpretation, allowing you to present the results of your research in an understandable way.

Twenty years later, the next advance in statistical software is here, and it’s changing the face of research. Gone are the days of wasting semesters learning where to click, and how to decipher confusing output. We don’t require students to use an abacus to do basic math, why are we forcing them to use antiquated statistical software to conduct their statistics?

The point of conducting research is to understand and solve real world problems, not to prove you know how to navigate and interpret confusing output from antiquated software. We’ve built Intellectus from the non-statistician’s perspective and provide output in an understandable format. This next generation in statistical software is starting with the correct interpretation and allows student-researchers to focus on the implication of their results.

If your using Intellectus and finding that students are loving it, please share it with colleagues. Thank you.

We’re excited to keep improving Intellectus Statistics.  Please send your comments and feedback to me at [email protected]. Enjoy!

Warm regards,

The Intellectus Statistics Team