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SPSS help and info

  • What does SPSS do?

    SPSS started out as an acronym for "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences" in the late 1960s and has since then become one of the most popular software packages for user-friendly statistical analysis. It allows users to conduct a variety of statistical operations, from simple descriptive statistics to more complex bivariate and predictive functionalities.

  • Who is SPSS good for?

    The software package is most popular with social scientists, such as sociologists, psychologists, or economists, and market research professionals because its functionalities most closely respond to these groups' needs. As such, it finds application in both academic and business circles.

  • How user-friendly is SPSS?

    Statistical analysis can sound - and honestly, be - intimidating, but this software package does a good job at making it accessible to users of all proficiency levels. The different statistical operations are arranged logically in drop-down menus, and it takes a minimal amount of time to get used to what is where.

  • On what operating systems can I run SPSS?

    You can run this statistical package on any computer that runs Windows, Linux, or Mac OS by downloading the appropriate installation file. If you were planning to run analyses on the go, however, you will have to resort to carrying your laptop with you: Currently there are no versions of the popular software package for mobile operating systems like Android or iOS.

  • Can I use SPSS to analyze qualitative data?

    Although the package is primarily meant for quantitative data analysis, you can also tackle some qualitative analytical tasks with it. For instance, you can run automatic text analytics by adding a special module to your regular installation. You can also neatly quantify your findings afterwards, for example by summarizing and visualizing the word frequencies the text analysis returns.

  • Can SPSS handle large datasets?

    Yes, the software package is designed for large-scale quantitative analytics. If your sample sizes go into the tens of thousands, you might notice that more complex computational tasks take longer, but this effect is negligible overall.

  • Is SPSS free?

    No, the program comes in several packages and with multiple licensing options depending on the type of usage you envision for it. You have a choice between a single named user license or multiple concurrent user licenses, for a specified number of users.

  • Do I have to install SPSS on one specific computer?

    You can choose between a local client and a client / server installation. In the latter case, your software package resides on a designated machine or server, which you can access remotely from your device of choice. This is a great option if you run through a number of laptops in a short period of time but have a stable, powerful desktop which does the heavy lifting.

  • Can I use syntax instead of drop-down menus?

    Yes, the program comes with its proprietary programming language which is easy to use and great for sharing with collaborators, too.

  • Is SPSS safe?

    Yes, there are no known risks associated with running versions downloaded from trusted sources.

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