# Perl advantages in data management/statistical analysis?

I've frequently read that knowledge of Perl or Python complements SAS or R, and seen that Perl is a desirable language in job advertisements.

Can anyone clarify this a bit more? Is Perl limited to text mining & database updates or does it have other applications in the statistics world? Thanks!

• Since Python was discussed enough on CV, I took the liberty to focus this Q on Perl. – user88 Sep 7 '12 at 17:28
• This doesn't seem like a CrossValidated question (it's about computing rather than statistics), but I'm not quite sure where it does belong ... – Ben Bolker Sep 7 '12 at 19:11
• Hopefully, @Karl (website) or Vincent Zoonekynd (website) will come to rescue here; otherwise, check this JSS article: Using Perl for Statistics: Data Processing and Statistical Computing. – chl Sep 7 '12 at 20:11
• I belong to the "use Perl to prepare data to make it easily readable for R" group. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Feb 14 '13 at 11:13
• Perl can be used to accomplish all sorts of tasks - it's not only about regular expressions. For example, CPAN, which is akin to CRAN for R, contains a whole host of perl modules. Basically, you can think of perl modules as R packages. – Graeme Walsh Feb 8 '14 at 15:44

• I once used python to fit a specialized GLM with $> 500$ million observations and an a priori unknown number of parameters. It would have been impossible to do in R, in a number of respects, and the statistical needs were far from light, indeed they were the integral aim of the utility. :-) – cardinal Feb 14 '13 at 3:25