# Excel Formula For Finding Last Name From A Full Name SPSS Help – An Introduction to Using SPSS

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## SPSS Help – An Introduction to Using SPSS

Need SPSS help? This article is a brief introduction to the program. SPSS, also known as PASW (Predictive Analytic Software), is a program for working with statistics. It is a popular program for those doing research, analyzing data, and working on thesis projects. Since SPSS and statistics go hand in hand, you should know about statistics.

Statistics is a set of mathematical techniques that can be used to summarize research data and determine whether or not the data supports the researcher’s hypothesis. When working with any type of research, there are specific steps that each person should be expected to complete.

The first step is the planning and design phase that will take place before starting SPSS. During this phase, you will focus on a specific area of ​​research, develop a hypothesis, and identify a sample population to conduct your research.

The second step is data collection. Fieldwork such as observation and handing out surveys and questionnaires are common at this stage. The collected data will be input into SPSS for interpretation.

The third step, data analysis, and the fourth step, reporting, are the only steps in which SPSS is used. Analyzing data involves running various types of tests while reporting involves writing some type of finished paper or report.

To start working with SPSS, first start the program. These instructions assume that you are working with the program on a computer with a Windows operating system. Please note that individual steps may vary. To start, click the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen. Show mouse in all programs. SPSS Inc. Point to then PASW Statistics 17 (or whatever version of the program is installed on your computer). Click on PASW Statistics 17 to start the program. After the program starts, the PASW Statistics 17 dialog box will appear. Click the Cancel button to close this window. This will place you inside an empty data file titled “Untitled1”.

For those looking at SPSS for the first time, the program interface can be overwhelming. In reality, it’s no more difficult to use than your average spreadsheet program. We’ll now review the interface so you can understand how to navigate your files. As with all programs, the top bar includes a title bar that indicates the program is running and the file name it is working on. At the top right of the window, there are buttons to minimize, maximize/restore and close our program window. Directly below the title bar is a menu bar that groups program functions into groups of common features with an inner working of submenus and options to analyze our data. Below the menu bar is the toolbar, an array of commonly used features derived from the menu bar are placed in clear view for easy access and use.

Do the rows and columns in a program window remind you of another program interface? SPSS uses rows and columns like Excel. In SPSS, by default each column is labeled “var” which is short for variable. Variables are survey items or questions you ask respondents. Each row of the spreadsheet corresponds to a case. A case contains all responses for each participant in your survey, questionnaire, etc.

Whereas Excel can have an unlimited number of tabs, SPSS is limited to just two: Data View and Variable View. These two tabs are visible in the lower left part of the SPSS window. The Data View tab is where users will input raw data collected from surveys, questionnaires, observations, or other forms of collection. The variable view tab can be thought of as a management window. This is where the variable is defined. On this tab, you’ll assign variable names, types, and choose related attributes.

The variable type will determine how cases are entered. The string type is used when responses contain “strings” of characters, or in other words, “words”. Use the string type for recording variables such as the respondent’s name. A numeric type can be used when numeric responses are expected. Variables such as GPA and age will often use a numeric type. Another variable type name is dollar. This type would be used with variables such as salary or cost. There are other variable types such as date and scientific notation. Assign these types when recording dates and numbers in scientific notation, respectively. In the variable view, users are also able to assign a variable label. In this cell, enter a phrase that explains what the variable is. You can also enter your own survey question. A variable label is optional.

After assigning variable names, types, and labels for each variable in your survey or questionnaire, users can begin inputting data for analysis. Remember to save your data file often by going to the File menu and clicking Save. SPSS uses its own file type called “.sav” files. Make and store a backup copy of your files on a flash drive or external hard drive in case of emergency.

Although this article will not go into the specifics of individual tests and analyses, keep in mind that the results of the tests will appear in a separate subroutine section called the Output Window. All results should be saved separately, such as tables or charts in the output window. If you close SPSS and do not save the results of your output window, you will have to recreate all charts, tables, etc. So be sure to save any results in a separate “.spv” file.

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