Salstat: Lots being done! Charts, quick tutorials and unicode

Released: Wed, 14 May 2014 15:42:00 +0000

So what’s been happening with Salstat lately? Well quite a lot!

We’ve got a few videos explaining how to use Salstat here. They’re quite short because I personally prefer good text to videos and like to keep them concise and direct. Hopefully, they’ll explain how to get things done in Salstat in bite-sized chunks. We're going to use this YouTube Channel to place all of our videos. 

Charts are much better now. Legends work properly and you can select a variable to use as the x-axis labels. This means that more types of charts can be created which makes Salstat useful.

One really useful feature (which I’ve used a fair few times already!) is the ability to take a URL and scrape tables. I’m sure you know that tables are often used on web pages not just for displaying tabular data. Quite often, page layout is done using a table (though considered bad practice). But this new feature is very useful indeed. Once you see a table you want to analyse yourself, just grab the URL, press Ctrl-U and paste the URL in. Here's one of our videos to explain:

When you do an inferential test, we also help out by creating a test statistic quotes. Something like t(31)=-7.741, p=0.000, d=-1.368 which can be copied and pasted into an article directly. Most tests also show additional statistics like confidence intervals and a Cohen’s d statistic.

Salstat works better with Unicode now. It used to bork on the odd piece of Unicode (particularly from UNData []) but now it can cope with it. Unicode data used to interfere with charts and clipboard operations, but both of those seem fine now. 

It’s taken years to get this but columns and rows can be deleted and inserted properly now. Plus, if you block several columns and delete, Salstat will delete the lot! Insert works on the same pattern – if you want to insert multiple columns at once, just block and insert. 

But what’s next?

We’ve got a lot of ideas we want to implement. Among the ones for the short term are:

  • Saving CSV files with variable names
  • Save to Excel, LibreOffice and SAS formats
  • Proper variable meta-data
  • Link the Salstat grid to a database for persistent data storage
  • 3+ sample tests operational 

The 3+ sample tests required a lot of design thinking so they’re taking longer than anticipated. Fundamentally, we’ve had to scrap what we had and begin from scratch. The final result will definitely be good so keep watching.

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Salstat is an open source project fostered by Thought Into Design Ltd
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