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BIO 500 W1 Discussion Question One

BIO 500 W1 Discussion Question One


Search for 2 or 3 SPSS tutorials to help you learn how to use SPSS.  Answer the following about the websites.  Provide the website for the 2 or 3 tutorials that you found on SPSS?  What specific things were you searching for in these tutorials?  What did you like or dislike about the tutorials?  What did you find the most useful in these tutorials?


SPSS means “Statistical Package for the Social Sciences” and was first launched in 1968. Since SPSS was acquired by IBM in 2009, it’s officially known as IBM SPSS Statistics but most users still just refer to it as “SPSS”.

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SPSS – Quick Overview Main Features

SPSS is software for editing and analyzing all sorts of data. These data may come from basically any source: scientific research, a customer database, Google Analytics or even the server log files of a website. SPSS can open all file formats that are commonly used for structured data such as

  • spreadsheets from MS Excel or OpenOffice;
  • plain text files (.txt or .csv);
  • relational (SQL) databases;
  • Stata and SAS.

Let’s now have a quick look at what SPSS looks and feels like.

SPSS Data View

After opening data, SPSS displays them in a spreadsheet-like fashion as shown in the screenshot below from freelancers.sav.

SPSS - What Is It? - Data View

This sheet -called data view– always displays our data values. For instance, our first record seems to contain a male respondent from 1979 and so on. A more detailed explanation on the exact meaning of our variables and data values is found in a second sheet shown below.

SPSS Variable View

SPSS - What Is It? - Example 2

An SPSS data file always has a second sheet called variable view. It shows the metadata associated with the data. Metadata is information about the meaning of variables and data values. This is generally known as the “codebook” but in SPSS it’s called the dictionary.

For non SPSS users, the look and feel of SPSS’ Data Editor window probably come closest to an Excel workbook containing two different but strongly related sheets.

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