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New Post 12/20/2010 11:11 AM
User is offline Alessio
2 posts
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Re: What types of software tools do you use? 


I am new to this forum, so I may not follow completely the standard way of doing analysis here. However, I do think something I have to say is interesting.

The software I use is:

Sqlite - for database needs. For me it handled more than half million records.

R - for statistical needs. It is a programming languange. It is easy to learn for the basic features and it is really flexible

Latex - for reporting needs. It is much better than Word and you can learn in a week or so.

Inkscape - for diagram needs. I don't know Visio, but I believe Inkscape does its job when it comes to simple diagrams. I also think it would be good for advanced stuff, but this is not tested.

Python - for scripting needs. I don't like repiting my analysis over and over again. I usually write a script and do things automatically. This is faster and more reliable. I used python to generate automatically reports, graphs and statistical analysis using data from Sqlite.

Pyqt - for interface needs. At some point I grew tired of writing code everytime, so I used Pyqt to create small programs. For example, a program I did was able to make graphs directly from the database using SQL language.

I used those softwares to analyse pricing and I had good results. I am fond of scripting now, it just improves your life when you get it to work. Besides, with Python you can create your own programs and this is just really useful when you do similar analysis many times.

New Post 12/29/2010 6:37 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: What types of software tools do you use? 

 I have just been using Jama's RM tool Contour. It seems easy to use and helps manage the ad hoc-ness of discovery pretty well.  (free 1 month trial at their website.)

As for Visio - if you aren't using it as a plug in to something more in depth, why not just stick with ppt for simple diagrams like flow charts and activity diagrams?

New Post 6/14/2011 9:29 AM
User is offline josh
1 posts
No Ranking

Re: What types of software tools do you use? 

I'm with Quest Software, so I'm biased, but Quest offers a tool designed specifically for analysts called Toad for Data Analysts. It is basically as a cross-playform SQL query and analysis tool that enables you to write high performance queries without being a SQL expert. It has advanced features like:

  • Connects to virtually any source (RDBMS, BI systems,, Excel, Hadoop, NoSQL)
  • Cross-platform data comparison
  • Visual query builder
  • Data visualization
  • Advanced analytical function
  • Data cleansing

The 15-day trial can be download from or you can download the freeware/lite version at


New Post 2/24/2012 1:56 PM
User is offline Sandy
74 posts
8th Level Poster

Re: What types of software tools do you use? 

The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) publishes a very nice comparison of requirements management tools by feature-set, in Excel format:

I've used a number of tools and have my own preferences - I find that some tools claim to be 'requirements management' tools but are in reality just requirements repositories. 

As a consultant, my choice of tools usually comes down to the tools that are available at my client's organization.  Most of these requirements management tools are enterprise products (not just a matter of installing them onto your desktop off a CD and going from there) - it usually takes someone familiar with the tool to setup, configure, and continue to administer it on a central server. (Most have some form of browser-based access and/or desktop client access).

Outside of requirements management tools, there are business process modeling tools (Enterprise Architect, for example) - but as above, these are an enterprise / organization investment.  So the old-fashioned tools (when you can't get post-it notes and scotch tape) like Visio still work well.

There are also tools for creating nifty screen mockups like Balsamiq's Mockups, and there are some freeware tools as well.  I'm not as familiar with these (outside of the Balsamiq product), and would be interested to hear about people's experiences with these types of tools.


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