Tools of the Trade
A multitude of tools are available to perform statistical tests and I am not going to try to cover many of them here. They fall into four categories and I will just choose one or two examples from each. The categories are using a calculator, a spreadsheet, dedicated statistical software or an online calculator. For spreadsheets I will give instructions for using Excel, because it is so widely available, but if you have no access to Excel you can use ‘LibreOffice Calc’ which is free. For the dedicated software I will use SPSS (IBM SPSS Statistics), because it is widely used by geographers, and R Commander because it is very powerful and free to use. Online calculators are very convenient but need to be treated with caution, and there is no guarantee that they will remain active after publication of this book. For most tests I provide a table with some sites that I have checked together with some notes on how they perform. I have also produced a set of simple spreadsheet-based calculators that will perform most of the tests in this book. They are no substitute for a real statistics package but they will allow you to apply your chosen test, or a combination of tests, quickly and easily without having to learn how to use any fancy software.