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Tips for Coding Data in SPSS

Learning a few tips will make coding data in SPSS much easier. At first it’s probably pretty overwhelming, because many users of the software wouldn’t otherwise consider themselves developers. That being said, the program was primarily made with statisticians in mind, so most people can apply their existing mathematical know-how to the software.

statistical data analysis schema

Some SPSS Statistics Tips

Those who want to work on completing a SPSS statistical analysis should have a look at the following list in order to pick a few tips that might make things much easier for them:

  • Variable names are always limited to eight characters, and they can’t accept any special characters. Longer variable names might be included on the printout, but it’s best to keep them all short to avoid truncating data.
  • Data files are always given a .SAV extension, but output files are instead given a .SPO extension. Clicking on an output file to start the software will open an empty data file along with it.
  • Files are generally always multi-platform compatible with the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh versions of the software.
  • Those who use Excel spreadsheets can generally open an .XLS file right in the same window as everything else. This is great for those who are working with other people who might not have access to the main software.
  • Data analysis can be exported right to an HTML file, which can help for those who need to distribute the results. Some academic users of the software have used it to give output files to everyone via some kind of school Internet location.
  • Highlight a specific portion of a file that needs to be printed and this will print out without the rest of the data being present. It’s generally much easier to print in landscape mode than in portrait.

Take a look at some of the most useful commands for coding data in SPSS and code frame tips. The sort cases command is always good to find discrepant data points within an individual variable. Sorts can be preformed on more than one variable, which is a lot like Excel. The select cases command block is a great way to find things as well, as since the SPSS software selects all the cases to use by default.

Useful Other Commands

coding data in spss

Those who do a lot of SPSS statistical analysis projects will find Compute and Recode to be extremely valuable. Compute is always helpful when calculating aggregate scores and averages. The command will create a new variable and allow users to plug in the formula under a numeric expression section. Recode allows users to change a variable, which is also extremely helpful to correct earlier mistakes. Most people will find that they constantly need to rely on recode, which isn’t something that they should feel ashamed of at all. It’s extremely useful.

To get additional help feel free to use our statistical analysis services.

If you need an expert to assist you with coding data in SPSS, contact us right away!