SPSS is the abbreviation of Statistical Package for Social Sciences and it is used by researchers to perform statistical analysis. As the name suggests, SPSS statistics software is used to perform only statistical operations.
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SPSS software is used to perform quantitative analysis and is used as a complete statistical package that is based on a point and click interface. This software has been widely used by researchers to perform quantitative analysis since its development in the 1960s by Norman H. Nie, in collaboration with C. Hadlai Hull and Dale Bent.
SPSS software can read and write data from other statistical packages, databases, and spreadsheets. When entering data into the software, one has to click on “variable view.” The variable view enables the user to customize it by data type and consists of the following headings: Name, Type, Width, Decimals, Label, Values, Missing, Columns, Align, and Measures. These headings enable the user to characterize the data.
SPSS is most often used in social science fields such as psychology, where statistical techniques are involved at a large scale. In the field of psychology, techniques such as crosstabulation, t-test, chi square test, etc., are available in the “analyze” menu of the software.
There is also an option in the software called “split file,” which is given in the “data” menu. This option is very useful for researchers who are performing comparative studies. Suppose researchers want to know the literacy rate of three regions. In this case, the split file option will help them get the result of three regions separately so that they can interpret and compare the literacy rate of the three regions.
SPSS software has a technique called missing value analysis, and this technique helps in making better decisions about the data. This technique enables the user to fill in the missing blanks in order to create better models to estimate the data. The analysis provides the user with procedures for data management and preparation.
SPSS involves some sophisticated inferential and multivariate statistical procedures such as factor analysis, discriminant analysis, analysis of variance, etc. SPSS, as the name suggests, is software for performing statistical procedures in the social sciences field. The major limitation of SPSS is that it cannot be used to analyze a very large data set. A researcher often gets a large data set in the field of medicine and nursing, so in those fields, the researcher generally uses SAS instead of SPSS to analyze the clinical data.
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