Quick and dirty statistics tool for the UNIX pipeline
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Quick and dirty statistics for the Unix pipeline


I'm a big fan of using Unix tools in my data analysis workflow. The only thing I seemed to be missing were a few simple tools for computing descriptive statistics from the command-line. A found myself redirecting output to a file and then starting R just to retrieve simple summary stats. So, I started this project to make a small command-line executable to include in a Unix shell pipeline to help me and any other data analysts out!

Example usage

This tool reads one column of data (separated by newline). A simple usage of to compute mean would be:

echo -e "5\n1\n3" | qstats -m

qstats also takes a filename (or multiple filenames) as an argument. This line will compute summary statistics on two files, each containing only one column of numeric data, and print them both out preceded by the file name (so you know which one is which)

qstats -s a_file.dat another_file.dat

A more realistic example would be to subset a CSV by a condition, extract one column (with cut or awk), remove the header and grab summary statistics:

grep "COND1" mycsv.csv | cut -d , -f 2 | tail +2 | qstats -s

If you need to get stats on, say, a comma separated text file of numerical values that is not in column format, you can use tr (translation) to substitute commas for newlines and pipe it to the program:

tr , '\n' < file.txt | qstats


Read "INSTALL" file for more information

$ make
$ make install