# Extensive Definition

SPSS is a computer
program used for statistical analysis and is also the name of
the company (SPSS Inc.) that sells it.

## Statistics program

SPSS (originally, Statistical Package for the
Social Sciences) was released in its first version in 1968 after being
founded by Norman Nie, then a political
science postgraduate at Stanford
University, and now Research Professor in the
Department of Political Science at Stanford and Professor Emeritus of
Political Science at the University
of Chicago. SPSS is among the most widely used programs for
statistical analysis
in social
science. It is used by market researchers, health researchers,
survey companies, government, education researchers, marketing
organizations and others. In addition to statistical analysis, data
management (case selection, file reshaping, creating derived data)
and data documentation (a metadata dictionary is stored
with the data) are features
of the base software.

Statistics included in the base software:

- Descriptive statistics: Cross tabulation, Frequencies, Descriptives, Explore, Descriptive Ratio Statistics
- Bivariate statistics: Means, t-test, ANOVA, Correlation (bivariate, partial, distances), Nonparametric tests
- Prediction for numerical outcomes: Linear regression
- Prediction for identifying groups: Factor analysis, cluster analysis (two-step, K-means, hierarchical), Discriminant

The many features of SPSS are accessible via
pull-down
menus or can be programmed with a proprietary 4GL command syntax
language. Command syntax programming has the benefits of
reproducibility and handling complex data manipulations and
analyses. The pull-down menu interface also generates command
syntax, though the default
settings have to be changed to make the syntax visible to the user.
Programs can be run interactively, or unattended using the supplied
Production Job Facility. Additionally a "macro" language can be
used to write command language subroutines and a
Python programmability extension can access the information in
the data dictionary and data and dynamically build command syntax
programs. The Python programmability extension, introduced in SPSS
14, replaced the less functional SAX Basic
"scripts" for most purposes, although SaxBasic remains available.
In addition, the Python extension allows SPSS to run any of the
statistics in the free
software package R.
From version 14 onwards SPSS can be driven externally by a Python
or a VB.NET
program using supplied "plug-ins".

SPSS places constraints on internal file
structure, data types,
data
processing and matching files, which together considerably
simplify programming. SPSS datasets have a 2-dimensional table
structure where the rows typically represent cases (such as
individuals or households) and the columns represent measurements
(such as age, sex or household income). Only 2 data types are
defined: numeric and text
(or "string"). All data processing occurs sequentially case-by-case
through the file. Files can be matched one-to-one and one-to-many,
but not many-to-many.

The graphical
user interface has two views which can be toggled by clicking
on one of the two tabs in the bottom left of the SPSS window. The
'Data View' shows a spreadsheet view of the
cases (rows) and variables (columns). The 'Variable View' displays
the metadata dictionary where each row represents a variable and
shows the variable name, variable label, value label(s), print
width, measurement type and a variety of other characteristics.
Cells in both views can be manually edited, defining the file
structure and allowing data entry without using command syntax.
This may be sufficient for small datasets. Larger datasets such as
statistical
surveys are more often created in data entry
software, or entered during
computer-assisted personal interviewing, by scanning and using
optical character recognition and optical
mark recognition software, or by direct capture from online
questionnaires. These datasets are then read into SPSS.

SPSS can read and write data from ASCII text files
(including hierarchical files), other statistics packages, spreadsheets and databases. SPSS can read and
write to external relational
database tables via ODBC and SQL.

Statistical output is to a proprietary file
format (*.spo file, supporting pivot tables)
for which, in addition to the in-package viewer, a stand-alone
reader is provided. The proprietary output can be exported to text
or Microsoft
Word. Alternatively, output can be captured as data (using the
OMS command), as text, tab-delimited text, HTML, XML, SPSS dataset or a
variety of graphic image formats (JPEG, PNG,
BMP
and EMF).

Add-on modules provide additional capabilities.
The available modules are:

- SPSS Programmability Extension (added in version 14). Allows Python programming control of SPSS.
- SPSS Data Validation (added in version 14). Allows programming of logical checks and reporting of suspicious values.
- SPSS Regression Models - Logistic regression, ordinal regression, multinomial logistic regression, and mixed models (multilevel models).
- SPSS Advanced Models - Multivariate GLM and repeated measures ANOVA (removed from base system in version 14).
- SPSS Classification Trees. Creates classification and decision trees for identifying groups and predicting behaviour.
- SPSS Tables. Allows user-defined control of output for reports.
- SPSS Exact Tests. Allows statistical testing on small samples.
- SPSS Categories
- SPSS Trends
- SPSS Conjoint
- SPSS Missing Value Analysis. Simple regression-based imputation.
- SPSS Map
- SPSS Complex Samples (added in Version 12). Adjusts for stratification and clustering and other sample selection biases.

SPSS Server is a version of SPSS with a
client/server architecture. It has some features not available in
the desktop version, such as scoring
functions.

## Versions

SPSS version 16.0 runs under Windows, Mac OS 10.5 and earlier, and Linux. The graphical user interface is written in Java. The Mac OS version is provided as a Universal binary, making it fully compatible with both PowerPC and Intel-based Mac hardware.Prior to SPSS 16.0, different versions of SPSS
were available for Windows,
Mac OS
X and Unix. The Windows
version was updated more frequently, and had more features, than
the versions for other operating
systems.

SPSS version 13.0 for Mac OS X was
not compatible with Intel-based Macintosh
computers, due to the Rosetta
emulation software causing errors in calculations. SPSS 15.0
for Windows needed a downloadable hotfix to be installed in order
to be compatible with Windows
Vista.

## SPSS Inc.

The program SPSS is sold by SPSS Inc., a company that sells a wide range of software for market research, survey research and statistical analysis. These include AMOS for structural equation modeling, SamplePower for power analysis, AnswerTree used for market segmentation, SPSS Text Analysis for Surveys to code open-ended responses, Quantum for cross-tabulation, Clementine for data mining and mrInterview for CATI and online surveys. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.## References

- SPSS 15.0 Command Syntax Reference 2006, SPSS Inc., Chicago Ill.
- Raynald Levesque, SPSS Programming and Data Management: A Guide for SPSS and SAS Users, Fourth Edition (2007), SPSS Inc., Chicago Ill. PDF ISBN 1568273908
- George Argyrous, Statistics for Research: With a Guide to SPSS, Second Edition (2005), SAGE UK, London. ISBN 1412919487.

## External links

- SPSS Inc Homepage - support page includes a searchable database of solutions
- Raynald Levesque's SPSS Tools - library of worked solutions for SPSS programmers (FAQ, command syntax; macros; scripts; python)
- Archives of SPSSX-L Discussion - SPSS Listserv active since 1996. Discusses programming, statistics and analysis
- UCLA ATS Resources to help you learn SPSS - Resources for learning SPSS
- UCLA ATS Techical Reports - Report 1 compares Stata, SAS and SPSS against R (R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics).
- Using SPSS For Data Analysis - SPSS Tutorial from Harvard
- SPSS Developer Central - Support for developers of applications using SPSS, including materials and examples of the Python programmability feature
- SPSS Wiki - A wiki on SPSS statistics (since December 2005)
- SPSS Log - A blog posting answers on SPSS questions (since March 2006)
- SPSS Experts - Profiles of six SPSS experts around the world
- comp.soft-sys.stat.spss - SPSS Usenet newsgroup via Google Groups
- SPSS Forum - A forum for SPSS users (since June 2007)
- GNU PSPP - PSPP is a free SPSS replacement (latest release is August 2005)

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