What is SPSS?

According to the official SPSS user's guide, SPSS is a comprehensive and flexible statistical analysis and data management system. It started as a mainframe software which was later introduced into the Windows OS as SPSS for Windows. SPSS provides a user interface that makes statistical analysis intuitive for all users. Easy to use menus and dialog boxes make it possible to perform complex analyses without the need to learn difficult program languages. High quality charts and plots can be created and edited with ease using the built-in chart editor. Using the SPSS Viewer, you can handle the output with greater flexibility. SPSS can take data and use them to generate reports in the form of tables, charts, descriptive statistics, and conduct statistical analyses. SPSS can take data from almost any type of file and use them to generate tabulated reports, charts, and plots of distributions and trends, descriptive statistics, and conduct complex statistical analyses
In other words SPSS is for you and me, so welcome to my world of SPSS. I have written a book in the tradition of SPSS: easy to use, yet comprehensive enough for what needs to be done.

About the book

In 1998, when I was about to begin my Part 2 Fellowship Project, I bought my first computer, a veritable millipede with a VIA 266 Mhz and 256 MB RAM. I did this because I wanted to do all my statistical analysis myself, even though prior to this, all I knew about computers was very little, (I had a week training by people who did not know what they ought to lay emphasis on), my knowledge of statistics was small, and my trepidations great.
The first statistical package I learnt was Epiinfo version 6, a great program whose main attraction was that it was free. But because it was DOS based, it took some getting used to. I became reasonably proficient at it after obtaining some great tutorials from a friend at the Demography and Social Sciences Department of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. Later, after I have completed my project, I came across SPSS and I immediately fell for it. Because it is Windows based, it is far easier to use than the DOS based Epiinfo 6.
Fast forward to 2004 and I had this brain wave to write a monogram on the program for my medical colleagues. As we all know, the help files that come with the software takes some getting used to. I belief they were written by professors for professors, all in the arcane field of statistics.
The book, "Getting to Know SPSS: a Step by Step Guide" which is now in its third edition, is geared towards those who are new to SPSS. It takes them from the basics of how to get into the program to data transformation, modification and analysis in easy to understand step by step procedures. For information on how to obtain the book please send an e-mail to me at oluwadiya@gmail.com.

About the third edition of the book

The third edition was released in November 2011. This new edition has been updated with new contents. Most of the chapters have been re-written. the illustrations are now in colours and many have been updated. The scope of the book has also been enlarged to make it a more comprehensive manual for researchers in developing countries. Two new chapters, one on EndNote, the reference manager and the other on Internet searches with HINARI, PubMed and google Scholar have been added. The changes include:

  1. Graphics: More graphics have been added, the existing ones have been upgraded. The graphics are in colours, so that they bear closer resemblance to the computer display.
  2. Layout: The layout has been improved. Each page has two columns. The wider one con-tains the main text. The smaller one contains tips, highlights and exercises for a more effective learning process.
  3. Quotations: Each page contains a memorable quotation in its footnote. Most of these quotations are on statistics, and I have selected them for their pithiness, humour and their uniqueness. At the very least, I hope some of them will make you laugh, but the real reason why I have included them is that some should give readers a new insight into the topics they are reading, and serve to ginger them.
  4. Chapter 5: Contains a new section on creating new variables with Automatic Recode.
  5. Chapter 6: Date and Time Transformations contains a new section on how to subtract two duration variables.
  6. Chapter 7:Multiple Response Set now includes a section on Multiple Response Crosstab procedure.
  7. Chapter 11: Multiple Regression has a new section on terms and concepts. The sections on checking assumptions and interpreting the output have also been re-organized to make it easier to understand.
  8. Chapter 14: The section on Chart Builder has been re-written.
  9. Chapter 17: A new chapter on Endnote.
  10. Chapter 18:A new chapter on searching the Internet with HINARI, PubMed and Google Scholar.
  11. Appendix C: A list containing the description of all the files that are on the this website.
  12. Appendix D:Tools of the trade. This section contains examples of software, websites and other things that will make life easier for an academics in a resource challenged setting. These were the tools that I have found very useful in my work.
  13. Index:More detailed and better organized.

This book will be most useful if you are sitting at a computer, following the steps for working with SPSS as you read and follow the illustrations. Therefore, to get the best from the book, you should download the compressed files from here.
The downloaded zipped file contains files that are useful for all editions of the book. The frontpiece as well as chapters 1 and 2 can be downloaded from the links below:

Frontpiece

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Download the required files for SPSS and EndNote by clicking here

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED

CHAPTER 2: SOME BASIC STEPS IN SPSS

CHAPTER 3: READING DATA FROM OTHER PROGRAMS

CHAPTER 4: ENTERING, SORTING AND FILTERING DATA

CHAPTER 5: TRANSFORMING DATA I: RECODING AND COMPUTING NEW VARIABLES

CHAPTER 6: TRANSFORMING DATA II: DATE AND TIME

CHAPTER 7: TRANSFORMING DATA III: MULTIPLE RESPONSE SET

CHAPTER 8: UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 9: MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 10: NON PARAMETRIC TECHNIQUES

CHAPTER 11: MULTIPLE REGRESSION

CHAPTER 12: LOGISTIC REGRESSION

CHAPTER 13: RELIABILITY ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 14: CREATING GRAPHS/CHARTS IN SPSS

CHAPTER 15: EDITING TABLE PROPERTIES

CHAPTER 16: EDITING CHART PROPERTIES

CHAPTER 17: ENDNOTE BASICS*

CHAPTER 18: SEARCHING THE INTERNET WITH HINARI, PUBMED AND GOOGLE SCHOLAR*

CHAPTER 19: CHOOSING THE APPROPRIATE STATISTICAL TEST: A QUICK GUIDE

Appendix A: Instructions on How to Manually Enter the data in SPSS_Demo sav

Appendix B: List and Description of the Files you can Download from the Internet

Appendix C: Glossary

Appendix D: Tools of the Trade*

Index

Chapters new to the third edition are starred (*)

SPSS resources on the web