Advise Analytics, a Chicago-based scientific software company, has launched a new intelligent analytics advisor named AdviseStat. With no need to rely on users’ expertise, the statistical software makes intelligent observations about the data and then determines appropriate methods and transformations. It features an intuitive, minimalist interface to help users direct the program with plain verbs like ‘predict,’ ‘compare,’ or ‘cluster.’ The program automatically transforms the data and addresses subtle diagnostic issues, before producing a whitepaper result with a customised explanation of the chosen methodology and significant findings within the data, complete with interactive graphs and full bibliography.

As the name suggests, AdviseStat does all the heavy statistical thinking for the user. Many analysts who have previously resisted statistics can now have access to more sophisticated tools. Even statistics experts can use AdviseStat to guard against common pitfalls (outliers, anomalies, and other violations of statistical assumptions) that can trouble even the savviest researchers.

Leland Wilkinson, founder of Advise Analytics  and creator of the original Systat statistics package, commented: ‘The first generation of statistics software gave us a great deal of capability, but these programs more or less function like scientific calculators. You have to know exactly what buttons to push or what commands to program and you can’t make a mistake. If you receive any help at all, it comes from restrictive, lock-step calculation wizards. We’re now building statistics expertise right into the program, so that researchers can have more confidence in their findings.’