What is SPSS – SPSS is a Software which is widely used as an Statistical Analytic Tool in the Field of Social Science, Such as Market research, Surveys, Competitor Analysis, and others.
It is a comprehensive and flexible statistical analysis and data management tool. It is one of the most popular statistical package which can perform highly complex data manipulation and analysis with ease. It is designed for both interactive and non interactive users.
Functionalities of SPSS
Some of the functionalities of SPSS includes the following
 Data Transformations
 Data Examination
 Descriptive statistics
 General Linear model
 Reliability tests
 Correlation
 Ttests
 ANOVA
 MANOVA
 Regressions
 Factor analysis
 Cluster analysis
 Probit analysis
 Time series
 Survival analysis
 Graphics and graphical interface
The SPSS Consists of 2 Sheets – One Is the Data View and the Variable View
Features of SPSS
 It is easy for you to learn and use
 SPSS includes a lot of data management system and editing tools
 It offers you indepth statistical capabilities
 It offers an excellent plotting, reporting and presentation features
Benefits of SPSS
Here are few key points why SPSS is considered the best tool to use

Effective data management
SPSS in data analysis easier and quicker for you as the program knows the location of the cases and the variables. It reduces the manual work of the user to a great extent

Wide range of options
SPSS offers a wide range of methods, graphs and charts to you. It also comes with better screening and cleaning option of the information as a preparation for further analysis.
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Wide range of options
In SPSS the output is kept separate from the data itself. It stores the data in a separate file.
Variable View
It is the sheet where you define the Variable of the Data that you have, The Variable View Consists of the Following Column heading,
 Name: Enter the Unique Identifiable and Sorting Variable Name, Eg: In the Data of Students, The Variables can be ID, Sex, Age, Class, Etc, Note : This will not allow any special character or Space while describing the variables of the Data, and Once you enter the First Variable, Immediately you can see SPSS generating all the other information regarding how you want to set that Variable that you have entered to be,
 Type: You Can change the Type of Variable, Whether Numeric, Alphabets or Alpha Numeric by selecting the respective Type in this column, this will restrict the use of any other type being used under this variable column
 Width : Defines the Character Width this Variable Should allow, Especially helpful while entering Mobile number which allow only 10 character
 Decimal: Defines the Decimal point you required to display, Eg: Used in case of percentages
 Label: Since the Name Column Doesn’t allow you to use any Special Character or Space, here you can give any name as an Label for that Variable you wanted to assign
 Value : This is to define/ Label a Value Wherever you see in the Data, Eg: You can Label “0” in the data as ABSENT for Exam, So when you find 0 in the data, it will be labeled as ABSENT for Exam, You Can also Label the Employee ID Number with their Name, So that Using the value Label Switch Button you can view the Name of the employee, but in report the Name will not appear, only the EMP ID number will appear, This helps in reading the data better in data view
 Missing : You can mention the Data which you don’t want the SPSS to consider while analyzing, Like “0” Value is considered as Absent, so for analysis it will neglect “0” if its mentioned in Missing, which will be helpful in Mean, Mode Etc,
 Align : You can mention the alignment of the data in the data sheet, Left, Right of Middle,
 Measure: This is where you will define the measure of the Variable that you have entered, Whether Scale, Ordinal or Nominal type of Variable
Note: Shortcut – You can copy the Variable Type and Paste in the Next row, if it’s almost the Same type of Variable, Like Subjects Marks – Science, Maths, English, History – All these will have the same Type except for change in Name and Label
After defining all the variables of the data, Once you Click on the DATA View Sheet, You can See the Labels entered by you as the Columns Label,
Data View
The Data View is a Spreadsheet which contains rows and columns, The Data Can be entered in the Data View Sheet Either Manually or the data can be imported from the data file, SPSS can read the data file in any of the one format, which can be Excel, Plain text files or relational (SQL) Databases, Before importing the excel sheet change the excel file format to (.xls)
Note: SPSS can read the data file better in numeric than the String (Text), So it’s always better to convert most of the data as Numeric Variables Data, Eg: In case of Survey they Use more of Yes/ no, Good/Average/Bad, Male/Female, – Here in all these cases you can use codes in data file like 1 – Yes, 2 – No; Also make sure that the Excel data is arranged in such a way that Rows always contain Responses from Different people and Columns contains responses to different questions;
Importing Excel Data File into SPSS:
 Click File …. Select Open ….. Select Data
 In the Dialog Box, in Files of Type Drop Box Select .xls File
 Then select the excel file data that you have stored in your system and Select Open
 In the Dialog box, Ensure that you tick the “ Read Variable names from the first row of data”
 Click Ok
 SPSS data Editor will open and you can find your data file in it;
Analyze : After the data in imported or entered in the data view sheet, you can run the reports and analyze the data using the Analyze option on Top Toolbar, You can find All the Analytical tools in this option, Let Us take that we have to find the Mean, Median, Mode for the data that is entered,
 Go to Analyze option
 Select Descriptive Statistics
 Select Frequencies
 In the Dialog Box, on the left Side You will Have List of Variables That you have mentioned in the data, Select the Variables for which you have to find the Mean, Median, Mode and drop them in the right side box, using the drop button in the center,
 Click on Statistics Button,
 You will find the Check box of Mean, Median and Mode in the central tendency Dialog Box, Check them,
 Click Continue,
 In the Frequencies Dialog Box, Click the Chart Button, and select the type of Chart you want the data to be shown,
 Then click ok,
 The Output will be opened in a separate window, with List of Mean, Median, Mode and with pictorial representation of the chart that you have selected earlier;
Statistical Test Using SPSS
Quick Data Check
Before using any statistical test, It’s always advisable to do a data check to know how the data has been distributed and clearly defined, whether the missing values are neglected etc, Data Check is usually done using Charts, so that any abnormalities can be easily detected and data can be corrected,
Histogram – is widely used to check the data in case of One Variable Tests – Creating an histogram is already been explained;
Scatter Plot Chart – is used for Two Variable Tests:
 Click Graphs……… Select Legacy Dialogs…….. Select Scatter/Dot
 Select the Simple Scatter Chart
 Click define
 You will Find the X axis and Y axis for Comparison
 Drop the Variable for X axis and Y axis respectively
 Click Ok
Majorly Tests can be diversified based on the purpose, it can be 2 Types – Comparison Tests and Association Test, Comparison Test can be further divided into 3 types based on the number of variables you want to compare, one variable tests, two variable tests and multi variable test;
Comparison Tests – One Variable using SPSS

A.Chi Square Test
 Click Analyze…. Select Non Parametric Tests… Select Legacy Dialogs
 Select Chi Square Test
 In the Chi Square Dialog Box, Drop the Variable that you want to run the test in the “Test Variable List” using the Drop Button in the center
 In Expected Range Tick “ Get from Data”
 In Expected Values Tick “ All Categories Equal”
 Click OK
 Chi Square result will appear in the Output Window

B. One Sample T Test
 Click Analyze…. Select Compare Means…
 Select One Sample T – Test
 In the One Sample T Test Dialog Box, Drop the Variable that you want to run the test in the “Test Variable List” using the Drop Button in the center
 In the Test Value enter the Population value
 Click Paste – Syntax will appear with all the conditions
 Click OK and run the Test
 One Sample T – Test result will appear in the Output Window
Comparison Tests – Two Variable using SPSS

C. Paired Sample T test:
 Click Analyze…. Select Compare Means…
 Select One Paired Sample T Test
 In the One Sample T Test Dialog Box, Drop the Two Variables that you want to run the test in the “Paired Variable List” using the Drop Button in the center one by one
 Click Paste – Syntax will appear with all the conditions
 Click OK and run the Test
 Paired Sample T – Test result will appear in the Output Window
Comparison Tests – More Variable using SPSS

D. Repeated Measures ANOVA
 Click Analyze…. Select General Linear Model…
 Select Repeated Measures
 In the Repeated Measures define Factor Dialog Box, we are going to define the multiple variables that we going to run,
 Give a Name to the Set of Variables that you going to compare (Factor Name) – Like Courses, in the “WithinSubject Factor Name”
 Enter the number of Variable under this Factor in the “ Number of Levels”
 Click ADD
 Give the Measure Name, Like Rank, Rating,
 Click ADD
 Click “Define” to Define the Variables under the Mentioned Factor Name – Courses
 Drop all the Variables you wanted to include below the Factor Name ( Courses) to Within – Subject Variables
 Click Option and select descriptive Statistics
 Click Paste – Syntax will appear with all the conditions
 Click OK and run the Test
 Repeated Measures ANOVA – Test result will appear in the Output Window
Associate Tests – Two Variables

A. Correlation Tests
 Click Analyze…. Select Correlate…
 Select Bivariate…
 In the Bivariate Correlation Dialog Box, Drop the Two Variables that you want to run the test in the “Variable List” using the Drop Button in the center one by one
 Ensure You tick “Pearson” Correlation Coefficients
 Test of Significance tick “Two Tailed”
 Also Tick Flag Significant Correlations
 Click Paste – Syntax will appear with all the conditions
 Click OK and run the Test
 Bivariate Correlation – Test result will appear in the Output Window

B. One Way Anova Test
 Click Analyze…. Select Compare Means…
 Select One Way Anova…
 In the One Way Anova Dialog Box, Drop the Variables in the Dependent List and the List of variables in the Factor List, Example: Weight of Children in the dependent List and the Health Drinks in the Factor List
 Select Option and Select Descriptive
 Click Paste – Syntax will appear with all the conditions
 Click OK and run the Test
 One Way Anova – Test result will appear in the Output Window
SPSS Output Window
This Window Contains all the Output which is run after the Statistical Tests, The output of the Statistical Test will be displayed in the Output window in the Table and Chart/graph format only;
The Output Window consists of 2 Segment – Left hand side you can see the output outline and the right hand side is the Actual Output, Output Outline will show the Titles and the subtitles of the Output organized in a hierarchy tree structure, by clicking the title or the subtitles you can view the actual output; You can hide or delete the branch of the tree structure,
The Table can be easily copied and pasted in the Word or Excel Sheet, Same is the Graph or Chart that is displayed in the Actual Output can also be copied and pasted
The Data Editor Window will be saved in (.sav) format as an SPSS data File, SPSS Syntax file will be saved in (.spv) format as an SPSS Syntax file and Output Viewer Window will be saved in (.spv) or (.spo) format as an SPSS Output File,
How to Open Saved SPSS file and run the output Again
 Click File …. Select Open ….. Select Data
 In the Dialog Box, in Files of Type Drop Box Select (.sav) File
 Then select the SPSS data file that you have stored in your system and Select Open
 Click Ok
 SPSS data Editor will open and you can find your data file in it;
 Make the necessary changes if you want to edit the data or in the Variables and run the test required
The bottom line is though Excel offers a good way of data organization, SPSS is more suitable for in depth data analysis.
If you wish to learn about SPSS in detail, do try our online training on SPSS – Analyze Data for Statistical Analysis.
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