How to Use SPSS

By Art Corvelay

SPSS is a statistical software package that is used to automatically run a large number of statistical tests. Many academic researchers rely on SPSS to analyze their data, but SPSS can be a useful tool for anyone interested in running statistical analyses on their data sets. This tutorial is not meant to teach how to run every statistical test and follow-up test, but instead is meant to provide a user with the basic procedure you can use to analyze your data set.

Things You'll Need

  • SPSS

Step 1

Open SPSS and import your data. You can import your data set from an Excel file or any other CSV file. To import your data, click "Open Another Type of File" and choose the file you would like to import. If you would like to enter new data, simply click "Type in Data". When you have chosen a data source, click "Ok."

Step 2

Edit your raw data in the variable view. There are two views in SPSS, (1) data view and (2) variable view. Click the "Variable View" tab located on the bottom of the application and edit your raw data. Here you can edit categories the name of your variable, type of variable and measurement category. It is important to properly edit your variables, as many statistical tests will rely upon properly formatted data.

Step 3

Choose a statistical test. Once you have entered and formatted your data, you will be ready to run a statistical test. The most common tests are found in the "Analyze" tab located across the top of the application.

Step 4

Paste your syntax. Before completing a statistical test, you should always paste your syntax by clicking "Paste" in the dialog box. This will copy your syntax into a separate file. If the application crashes, or you need to run the same test again, you can use the syntax file to initiate a statistical test.

Step 5

View your output. Once your statistical test has been run, you can view the results in an output file that will open in a separate window.