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What is SPSS and its features?

SPSS usually stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. It is an IBM tool that was originally launched in 1968 by SPSS Inc. but was acquired by IBM in 2009. It is one software package that various researchers mainly use for statistical data analysis and for complex statistical data analysis.

SPSS is mainly used in the following areas such as healthcare, research companies, education researchers, data miners, marketing and healthcare researchers and many others.

Features of SPSS

Here are the features of SPSS for students:

  • All data in SPSS is stored in SAV format. This makes the process of processing, analyzing and extracting data very easy.
  • SPSS helps you unambiguously get data from your mission-critical data. This is done through trend analysis, assumptions and predictive models, as well as some characteristics of SPSS.
  • SPSS offers users deep statistical capabilities to analyze accurate results.
  • It helps to get the data management system and editing tools easily
  • SPSS is a tool that helps you more visually design, build, report, and present functions.
  • SPSS is easy to learn, use and apply.

In addition to statistical data analysis, SPSS software also provides data management functions. It allows the user to make choices, create data, execute a file, etc.  Another feature of SPSS is data documentation. Essentially, this function stores a metadata dictionary along with the data file.

This metadata vocabulary acts as a centralized repository for data-related information such as meaning, relationships with other data, origins, usage, and format.

What is SPSS software used for?

SPSS software is used to perform quantitative analysis and complete a point-and-click statistical package.

Various statistical methods can be used in SPSS, namely:

  • Descriptive statistics, including SPSS methodologies, are statistics of frequencies, crosstabs, and descriptive relationships that are very useful.
  • Two-dimensional statistics, including techniques such as analysis of variance (ANOVA), means, correlation, nonparametric tests, etc.
  • Predicting various data to identify groups, including methodologies such as cluster analysis, factor analysis, etc.
  • Predict a numeric result, such as linear regression.

As its name suggests, SPSS statistics software is only used to perform statistical operations.

Main functions of SPSS

SPSS offers four programs to help researchers solve complex data analysis problems.

No. 1. Statistical program

SPSS statistics program provide many basic statistics functions, some of them include frequencies, cross-tabulation, two-dimensional statistics, Count, Sum, Do if , Do Repeat, data stacking, data restructure, weighting etc.

No. 2. Modeler software

With SPSS Modeler software, researchers can create and validate predictive models using advanced statistical procedures.

No. 3. Text analytics software for polls

This provides reliable feedback analysis, which in turn provides insight into the actual plan. SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys helps survey administrators extract valuable insights from responses to open-ended survey questions.

No. 4. Visualization designer

The researchers found that this visual designer data makes it easy to create a wide variety of visual effects, such as density charts and radial box charts.

How does SPSS work for students?

SPSS software helps researchers conduct quantitative analyzes. Basically, SPSS software can read and write data from other statistical packages, databases, and spreadsheets.

How SPSS works.

When entering data into the SPSS software, you must click on Variable View.

SPSS software variable view
SPSS software variable view
  • Variable View allows the user to customize it by data type and consists of the following headers: Name, Type, Width, Decimal, Label, Values, Missing, Columns, Alignment, and Measures.
  • These headers allow the user to classify or characterize the data.
  • SPSS, as the name suggests, is software for performing statistical procedures in the social sciences.
  • Consequently, researchers use SPSS in areas of the social sciences such as psychology, where statistical methods are widely used.
  • In such a situation, methods such as cross-tabulation,  T-test ,  chi-square test etc. are available in the “Analysis” menu of the program.
  • Another option that exists in the software is the “Split File”  which you will find in the “Data” menu.
  • Comparative researchers find this option very useful.
  • The SPSS software also has this technique: “Analysis of missing values”.
  • This method gives the user access to fill in the missing gaps in order to create better models for evaluating the data. In practice, it helps you make better decisions about any data.
  • Most importantly, the analysis provides the user with procedures for managing and preparing the data.
  • In addition, SPSS includes some complex logical and multivariate statistical procedures such as factorial and discriminant analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), etc.
  • Indeed, SPSS is a good tool for researchers, but there is a serious limitation.
  • The main limitation of SPSS is that users cannot use it to analyze a large dataset. It affects medical researchers.

Thus, in such areas, the researcher can use SAS instead of SPSS to analyze the clinical data set.

SPSS Software data View
SPSS Software data View

Is SPSS free for students?

IBM SPSS software is commercially available with copyright and is not available free of charge. As a student, you can only access SPSS for free through your university or sign up for a free trial. There are the websites where you can get a commercial or free trial of statistical analysis software:

Is there a free version of SPSS for students?

  • Yes, there is a free SPSS trial that students can use for 30 days.
  • You can use all the features of SPSS Statistics, including all add-ons.
  • IBM SPSS software offers best practices in an easy-to-use package to help you discover new opportunities, increase efficiency, and minimize risk.
  • Note: This free trial version of IBM SPSS has severe limitations (one free trial per computer per year) for those who register.
  • After 30 days, they will automatically debit the equivalent amount from your account.
  • How much does SPSS cost for students?

The IBM SPSS subscription plan is $ 99.00 per authorized user per month.

How can students get SPSS for free?

For free trial you can visit IBM website .

As a student, you can get a free trial and take advantage of a 30-day free trial of IBM SPSS.


Yes, it is true that the IBM SPSS software is commercially available with copyright and is not available free of charge.

However, you can download it for free from your university’s website (if available) or sign up for a free trial.

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