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In manufacturing Minitab and JMP are used for data analysis (histograms, control charts, DOE analysis, etc.) They are much easier to use and provide helpful tutorials on the actual analysis.

What features or workflow does R or Pandas/Numpy offer to manufacturing that Minatab & JMP can't?

R, Numpy, and Pandas are all FOSS. Probably not much of a practical concern, but it might be preferable in some cases.

I don't know anything about Minitab/JMP scripting myself, but my understanding is that R is generally the most intuitive of all the aforementioned (although that would basically boil down to individual preference).

Here's a review including Minitab and R that might be of interest: http://www.prostatservices.com/statistical-consulting/articl...

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