With an increased popularity over recent times, there are many who are trying to learn SPSS. However, SPSS assignments are not necessarily the easiest thing to deal with in your academic career. There are plenty of reasons why you might be struggling with your assignment. Tight deadline, inadequate knowledge and improper time management skills are just a few of those. Regardless of the reason, you should definitely seek proper assistance particularly when it concerns with something like SPSS.
What is SPSS?
Before everything else, you might actually want to know what SPSS actually is. It is an abbreviation derived from Statistical Package for Social Science. This software was designed utilizing statistical ideas. It helps in transforming raw data into the required information, thus allowing the formulation of a specific decision. SPSS is one of the most widely used and well-known software used all over the world.
The software application package of SPSS can be effectively used for analysis and management statistical and quantitative information. It provides tools that allow users to easily view information, make hypotheses for additional screening and take actions. This helps in clarifying the relationship between variables, find out patterns, forecasts and develop clusters.
With all of this, it is no wonder that students look for some help on the internet to know more about SPSS. It is a detailed and versatile tool that can be used for information management and statistical analysis. It is one of the most popular statistical tools that can be utilized for making extremely detailed analysis and adjustment of information without much trouble. The best part is that it is made for both interactive and non-interactive users.
All of this might sound confusing to you, particularly if SPSS is something new to you. This data collection tool is highly useful for researchers, but you have to learn about it first. It is better that you get aid from classmates, professor, etc. and take some time to learn about it.
Features and strengths
Purchased in 2009 by IBM, it was originally produced by SPSS. The common users of the tool include market scientists, business studies, federal government, information miners, health scientists, educational scientists and a lot more. Some strong points of the software include:
- Modelling and showing of information graphically
- Capability of handling, evaluating and controlling information
- The integrated functions and formula minimize the chances of mistake.
Apart from these, some features of SPSS include:
- The Graphical User Interface or GUI offered by the software provides a wide array of options for the users. It can even generate syntax that you can edit and save
- As you will learn when you dig about it on the internet, SPSS makes data management a lot easier. It allows you to record and transform scores, select cases based on the values of the scores and combine files through addition of variables and cases
- You can use geo-mapping information to build Time Series model with Geospatial Modeling Wizard.
- The command language used in SPSS is easy to learn. You can easily get the explanation for subcommands and keywords on the Internet.
- It also utilizes Spatio-Temporal Prediction, which is a technique that makes linear models when the data has been attained from different locations over a time period.
Statistical methods used
Since you are likely looking to know more you would be interested in the statistical methods that the software uses. These include:
- Descriptive statistics:
With descriptive statistics, the basic features of the gained data are described in the study and summaries of measures and sample are provided. Descriptive radio statistics, cross tabulations, frequencies fall under this category.
- Bivariate Statistics:
It is basically a type of quantitative statistical analysis. This helps in determining the empirical relationship that exists between 2 variables, which are often denoted by X and Y. Non-parametric tests, correlation, means and ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) are some of its tools.
Apart from these two statistical methods, SPSS also incorporates prediction to identify groups. This includes factor analysis, numerical prediction of outcome like linear regression and cluster analysis such as hierarchical, two-step and K-means.
Advantages of SPSS
Some biggest advantages of SPSS include:
- It is one of the most robust statistical software available. It has many statistical tests
- It comes with some great tools for modifications and data management
- It also provides functions for reporting, discussion and outlining
- It simplifies the work that needs to be done on behalf of the user to a great extent. The results are interpreted quickly
- It displays data tables with ease, even allowing expansion with the help of Syntax feature and purchase of add-ins.
With so many advantages, you would definitely want to use the tool to the greatest extent possible. Even if you need some aid you should try to learn how to use the software and get acquainted to it.
Some of the reasons why SPSS is considered one of the best statistical tools include:
- Effective management of information:
It makes the analysis of information much easier and faster for you. This is because the software understands the variables and the cases. It greatly reduces the manual labor for the user.
- Wide range of alternatives:
It offers a wide range of alternatives, in terms of techniques and charts to you. You can learn about these techniques going through different concepts and explanations which you can find online. Likewise, it offers much better alternative for cleansing and screening of details, thus allowing you to prepare for extra analysis.
- Better output company:
With this software package, the information is kept different from the output generated. The information is kept in different file.
The software package that is more commonly seen today is actually called IBM SPSS statistics. It is available in market along with various other items like IBM SPSS Modeler and IBM SPSS Data Collection. This user-friendly program application is designed to accomplish complex statistical tasks.
Use of SPSS for social science
In a social science experiment, some statistical methods that may be required to check a hypothesis include mean, mode, media, Z-Tests, T-Tests, regression line and connections. So, with adequate assistance you can also learn how to implement SPSS for social sciences. Experts in Social Sciences make use of SPSS to precisely and effectively analyze and collect information for research purposes.
How is SPSS different from other software applications
As compared to other software applications available nowadays such as a spreadsheet or a word processing software, SPSS differs in one important element. It makes use of at least 2 distinctive windows on a constant basis. One of the windows displays the current information matrix and it is called the Data Editor Window. The other window has the arise from statistical treatments known as SPSS Viewer.
Types of SPSS Files
When you are taking some help, you have to get accustomed to the types of SPSS files. Primarily, there are three files related to the software program:
- Information files:
These include the information that has to be examined. These files have a ‘.sav’ extension, and appear similar to a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, with cells, rows and columns. The cells and the value that it contains are basically the information stored in the file.
- Syntax files:
These are nothing but command files that indicate exactly what SPSS needs to do with the information. They have a ‘.sps’ extension
- Output files:
These are the files that are created when SPSS runs an analysis on a set of information.
You might not know exactly how these files work, but surfing the internet and reading various articles will help you understand their importance. For instance, if there is something wrong in the syntax file, only a warning is produced by SPSS, without any additional output. A lot of the output file is available in table format, with charts being an exception.
The usefulness of SPSS can only be witnessed if you use it yourself. The extensive statistical software application package will assist you in evaluation your thesis information or argumentation. In fact, the argumentation information can be imported for analysis from almost any kind of file, including Excel file.
More specifically, for making charts in SPSS, Charts command is used. Typically, SPSS develops utilized graphics in social science fields, including pie charts, regression line,, scatterplots, and a lot more. SPSS can be used for making arranged argumentation reports, circulations, plots of patterns and charts. Apart from that, you can use your own information for performing a complicated statistical analysis. You can use online data to learn all of this.
Limitations of SPSS
Despite so many benefits and uses, there are still certain limitations that can be associated with SPSS. Some of them are:
- As compared to some other popular statistical software like Stata and SAS, SPSS is more on the expensive side
- The graphic feature it has is not as simple as that of Excel
- It doesn’t have the various pooled cross-sectional time series regimen like that of Stata
- For getting the best out of the features, some additional training is required, which you can obviously avail from books, the internet or some other way.
Fields of use
Even though you consider its set of limitations, it cannot be denied that SPSS serves as one of the most extensive tools to collect, manage and analyze data that is collected. SPSS performance has been improving over time, and there are better opportunities for a career in different fields, including:
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Research Programmer
- Research Associate
- Research Analyst
- Statistical Analyst
- Research and Evaluation Specialist
For your own grown in career, you can opt for any professional path you like. However, before all of that, you need to get good grades in your academics as well. You need to get a good grip of SPSS first. You will also be required to submit a well-researched and properly written assignments as a part of your curriculum. That is why you need to go through various topics, different books, even take help from friends if possible.
Why do students struggle?
Here are a few reasons why students might have a hard time dealing with SPSS assignments:
- As it is not necessarily a conventional field of study, the explanatory material is not that readily available. As such students don’t have what they need for understanding the important concepts. Eventually, they turn to the internet for detailed information
- Not every student is well adept to the world of computer programming. For these students, getting an actual explanation of the entire process might be difficult. They require putting extra hours to understand everything better
- To understand the graphical representation, there is a requirement of mathematical knowledge to a certain extent. If you are not naturally inclined towards mathematics, you might face difficulties in future
- Students hardly take time to solve problems on their own. Like with everything else, the more time you spend using SPSS software, the better you will get at solving the related problems.
With so many reasons why a student would struggle, thankfully books, information on the internet, professors, friend, etc. exists. The right assistance can help you write a proper assignment and also excel with your grades.
Topics you may need help with
When you are dealing with SPSS, some of the statistics topics you may need assistance with include:
- Analysis of covariance
- Factor analysis
- Chi-squared tests of association
- Discriminant function analysis
- Applied Econometrics
- Nonparametric Methods
- Panel and cross-sectional data
- Panel data analysis
- Friedman Test
- Hierarchical multiple regression
- Propensity score analysis
- Canonical correlation analysis
These are just a few topics or concepts you may need to go through when completing assignments. With online data available these days, you shouldn’t find it difficult to get help on the topic you are struggling with.
Susan Anderson is a well-known academic expert with years of experience in the field of teaching. Statistics is her field of expertise, and she has guided numerous students in her field over the years. Her passion for teaching and unique teaching methods make her a popular figure among students. She provides online academic assistance in Statistics on a regular basis.