Intro to SPSS Guide
This guide will help you:
Where can I use SPSS?
This is a guide to using IBM SPSS 21, which is available on some workstations in the Graduate Center. From the Start menu, choose "All Programs" then navigate to IBM SPSS 21.
If the workstation does not have SPSS installed, or if you are accessing SPSS from off-campus, log in to Citrix. You'll find SPSS in the Statistics folder.
IBM SPSS Statistics (formerly SPSS Statistics) is software for managing and analyzing data. It can calculate a wide variety of statistics, including descriptive statistics (e.g., frequencies, central tendency, plots, and charts), as well as sophisticated inferential and mutivariate statistics (e.g., factor analysis, cluster analysis, ANOVA).
Other statistical software
SPSS requires some degree of technical savvy, but allows a significant amount of flexibility when you're analyzing quantitative social sciences data. Other analytical software, offering more or less similar functionality, and requiring more or less technical proficiency include:
- SAS - Powerful statistical analysis and data management tool, uses command-line interface, particularly good for ANOVA
- Stata - Powerful statistical analysis, not as strong at data management
- R - Free, versatile option for distributing, mapping, and some analysis of spatial data
If you're performing text analysis or a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, these software packages are available:
- NVivo - Text analysis and mixed methods tool
- Atlas.ti - Text analysis and mixed methods tool
Why use SPSS?
SPSS has a very helpful graphical user interface, which makes performing complex statistical analyses easier. It also supports syntax commands and programming, which allows more flexible and time-efficient manipulation of data.