Generally speaking, there are three main ways to get data into SPSS:
A full list of file formats that SPSS can read is available on the IBM SPSS website.
Data View displays the actual data values or defined labels (you can toggle back and forth using the Value Labels button).
Each column = a variable (or field); each row = a case (or observation).
Variable View displays variable definition information, including defined variable and value labels, data type (e.g., string, date, or numeric), measurement level (nominal, ordinal, or scale), and user-defined missing values.
In both views, you can add, change, and delete information that is contained in the data file.
Variable Names- For spreadsheets, you can read variable names from the first row of the file or the first row of the defined range. The values are converted as necessary to create valid variable names, including converting spaces to underscores. Variable names can be up to 64 characters long and may not contain spaces.
Variable Type specifies the data type for each variable. By default, all new variables are assumed to be numeric. Common data types include:
Variable Label provides a more descriptive name for the variable. You can toggle between cell values and labels by clicking the Value Labels button.
Variable Values allows numerical values to be assigned to nominal or ordinal data, so that it can be analyzed in SPSS.
Variable Measure describes how the data can be measured (nominal, ordinal, scale).