# GETTING STARTED WITH SPSS

## GETTING STARTED WITH SPSS

SPSS stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and it is used for analyzing the data from a statistical researcher’s point of view. It is designed primarily for the researcher or statistician. Essentially, we need to learn basic statistics and its application before using this program. SPSS works with numbers, so the data needs to be able to be quantified. The following steps are to be followed to get started with SPSS.

Step-1: Open up SPSS

Step-2: A screen will come up with 5 different options to choose as follows.

Step-3: Select Type in data. It will present a screen that looks like an Excel page as shown below. At the top we will see tabs names var; indicating the columns for the sample data. Consequently, the numbered rows represent the number of data points for each variable in the data.

Step-4: At the bottom of the page there are two tabs: Data View and Variable View (below screen). The variable view brings us the page where we can enter the variables into the program. The data view is the tab where we enter the raw data into the program.

Step-5: Open up the variable view tab for entering the following data for the calculation of mean weight, median weight, mode weight and standard of five students selected randomly from a class.

Table-1: Sample Data

Each variable should be a numerical value for SPSS analysis. It is better to assign the numerical values for the variables Age and Gender.  The following table shows the data set for coded variables.

Code=1 for female and code=2 for male,

Code= 1 for age under20, Code=2 for age (20-22), Code=3 for age (22-24), Code=4 for age (24-26), Code=5 for age above 26

Table-2: Input Data

The variable view tab brings up the following screen.

Step-6: Each column of this page has an abbreviated name. The variables Age, Gender and Weight are to be entered under the column ‘Name’ without giving space. It is advised to determine at least the ‘Label’, ‘Values’ and ‘Measure’ of the data. The ‘Label’ column is the full name of the variable, which we can enter with spaces. Under the ‘Values’ column, we can set the numerical values for nominal data (gender) and ordinal data for (age). For the ‘Measure’ column, we need to set Nominal option for Gender and Ordinal for Age. The data so entered in variable view tab of SPSS is given below.

Step-7: Open up the data view tab. Now we need to enter the data (table-2) into the work-area. Each data set (row of table-2) can then be assigned to its respective row. This means that data source 1 (the first student surveyed) will be entered in row 1, and data source 2 will be entered in row 2 and so on. The following screen now represents the fitted data for analysis.

Performing the Analysis with SPSS

For SPSS Version 11, click on Analyze ⇒ Descriptive ⇒ Frequencies. This will bring up the SPSS screen dialogue box as shown below.

After clicking Frequencies, this will bring up the following SPSS screen dialogue box.

Select the variables and Click to move them to Variable(s) box.

Click Statistics and select Mean, Median and Mode under Central Tendency and Standard deviation under Dispersion and then Continue to return the main dialogue box.

Finally click OK of the following main dialogue box to get the output.

Output Window

The Output window is separate from the main window which shows the results of our analysis. There are two sections of the output window. The area on the left is a record of all the data we have generated in our study. The area on the right is the visual output of that data. The output of the particular problem is shown below.

SPSS Output:-

The SPSS outputs are then copied to word document as given below.

Interpretation of the Results

Age

The mean age =3 means the average age belongs to (22-24).

Median age = 3, Mode age=1, Standard Deviation = 1.58114

Weight

The mean weight =59 kg, Median weight = 58 kg., Mode weight = 52 kg

Standard Deviation = 5.47723

The results for gender cannot be interpreted as it is not quantitative in nature.

Summary

SPSS is for analyzing the data from a statistical researcher’s point of view.  The name SPSS stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. This program is best suited to the surveys using statistics. It is designed primarily for the researcher or statistician. Essentially, if we need to use this program, we have to learn basic statistics and its application before using this program.

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