Statistics are the useful numbers that get called upon in any number of situations. Sadly they're often misused and abused mainly by politicians, spin-doctors and the media who have an agenda. Statisticians per se are a fairly honest bunch (at least those I've met, and I'm including myself in that!).
I mainly use two statistical software packages, Stata and the Open Source R, sometimes one at a time, but will often cross-validate work done in one package by repeating it in the other. Whilst statistical packages are great at analysing data databases are far more suited to the task, particularly when there is a large amount of data and multiple tables and I've opted to use PostgreSQL. Detailed below are tips and tricks on getting things done in these software packages.
Notes on using either package can be found at…