This LibGuide contains written and illustrated tutorials for the statistical software SPSS.
Before doing any kind of hypothesis testing or model building, you should always examine your data for unusual features or patterns
In Part 1, we discuss how to explore quantitative data using the Descriptives, Compare Means, Explore, and Frequencies procedures. Each of these procedures offers different strengths for analyzing and comparing continuous variables.
Descriptives (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Descriptives) is best to obtain quick summaries of numeric variables, or to compare several numeric variables side-by-side.
- Compare Means
Compare Means (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Descriptives) is best used when you want to compare several numeric variables with respect to one or more categorical variables. It is especially useful for summarizing numeric variables simultaneously across multiple factors.
Explore (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Explore) is best used to deeply investigate a single numeric variable, with or without a categorical grouping variable. It can produce a large number of descriptive statistics, as well as confidence intervals, normality tests, and plots.
- Frequencies Part I (Continuous Variables)
Frequencies (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies) is typically used to analyze categorical variables, but can also be used to obtain customized information about percentiles that isn't otherwise included in the Descriptives, Compare Means, or Explore procedures.
In Part 2, we describe how to obtain descriptive statistics for categorical variables using the Frequencies and Crosstabs procedures.
- Frequencies Part II (Categorical Variables)
Frequencies (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Frequencies) is primarily used to create frequency tables, bar charts, and pie charts for a single categorical variable.
The Crosstabs procedure (Analyze > Descriptive Statistics > Crosstabs) is used to create contingency tables, which describe the interaction between two categorical variables. This tutorial covers the descriptive statistics aspects of the Crosstabs procedure, including and row, column, and total percents.
- Crosstabs: Statistics
(Coming Soon) The Crosstabs procedure offers fifteen different statistics options, each of which are suited to very different situations. This tutorial walks through each different option and discusses when and how each statistic should be used. Reference links to the official IBM SPSS Statistics guide are given.
In Part 3, we talk about several dedicated graphics procedures in SPSS that can be used to explore data.
- P-P and Q-Q Plots
- Chart Builder
- Graphboard Template Chooser
- Legacy Chart Tools
Our tutorials reference a dataset called "sample" in many examples. If you'd like to download the sample dataset to work through the examples, choose one of the files below: