Research Guides


Where can I use SPSS?

This is a guide to using IBM SPSS 22, which is available on some workstations in the Graduate Center. From the Start menu, choose "All Programs" then navigate to IBM SPSS 22.

If the workstation does not have SPSS installed, or if you are accessing SPSS from off-campus, log in to CUNY Virtual Desktop.


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. The following professional-grade software packages allow you to manipulate and visualize data in very complex ways:

  • SAS - Powerful statistical analysis and data management tool, uses command-line interface, particularly good for ANOVA
  • SPSS - Relatively sophisticated data analysis tool, with a user-friendly GUI, geared toward quantitative social sciences data
  • R - Free, versatile option for data analysis and visualization

All of these statistical packages are available through CUNY Virtual Desktop, except for R, which is downloadable from

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.