SPSS Analysis – Getting to know the basics

December 3, 2016

Statistical analysis or better known as SPSS is a commonly used method for thesis, dissertations and research papers worldwide. It is a statistical package developed to implement statistical inference and draw out meaningful conclusions.

 

 

In the academic field be it UAE, UK, Australia, USA or any other country, students and researchers have been and are trying hard to decode the challenges of using SPSS software successfully. However, given the low awareness and the inability of students to come to grips with using this numerically intensive program is astonishing.

 

If you are a student in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, or Al Ain in UAE, you will definitely know how important it is to use SPSS in your quantitative analysis. If you have not reached that stage, you will sure do… one day. Here, at Writing Expertz, we discuss some of the common things that you should know about SPSS and how to run the test yourself.

 

Why exactly should you use the SPSS tool?

 

If you have a research paper, a dissertation or thesis for your MBA, MSC, PhD or DBA to be submitted to a UK based university, you will either use a qualitative method, or a quantitative method or both. Qualitative is non-numerical and is quite easier to analyze, however, the quantitative data is hard to analyze and will require to be decoded using a tool such as SPSS in to possible trends.

 

What is the most commonly use SPSS tool used by students for UK universities?

Globally, students for various levels of education use SPSS software for conducting the tests. However, a simple alternative is the MS Excel statistical package too which can be used for smaller quantities of data. Be aware that the method of executing the test in these two platforms is quite different.

 

Steps to conduct the SPSS Test

 

Step 1: Coding the Data

Collect the quantitative data for your thesis / research paper / dissertation in an excel format. Now, if you have options for the questions in your questionnaire in non-numerical format such as strong agree or Yes/no, replace them with numerical. This is the coding process. NOTE: SPSS NOR EXCEL ACCEPTS DATA FIELDS THAT ARE NOT NUMERICAL, EXCEPT FOR HEADINGS.

 

Example of coding a 5 point Likert scale is shown below:

                1 = Strong Agree

                2 = Agree

                3 = Neutral

                4 = Disagree

                5 = Strongly Disagree

 

To know how a coded data sheet looks like, check the image below.

 

 

Step 2: Uploading the Coded file to SPSS software

Once you are done coding the data fields in your excel sheet, open your SPSS program. Once it is opened, go to file and open a new file which is your excel sheet. Once the data is loaded into the SPSS program, you can view the data on your SPSS program screen. This step is also called importing the data to your SPSS program from excel. A screenshot of the uploaded sheet is shared below.

 

 

Now, it is important to know that there are two sheets on your SPSS program: 1. Data view and 2. Variable View. 

 

 

Step 3: Identifying the variables  

Before you attempt running a SPSS test, make sure you group your data. This grouping is based on the dependent and independent variable, which form your hypothesis. Independent variables in your research do not change based on other variables, whereas it is the opposite for the dependent variable.

 

Example 1: If we want to find the relationship between family income and education outcome, family income is assumed as independent variable as family income is independent of whether or not the educational performance increases or decreases.

 

Example 2: If we say that children from low income families struggle more than children from high income families, the dependent variable here is the performance as it changes.

 

Now for the grouping, find questions that link to your independent variables and dependent variables and note them down. This will be required when running a test.

 

Step 4: Running a test

In SPSS there are various tests that you can execute based on your research requirement, and this goes from the very basic Cronbach alpha test to Descriptive statistics, Regression, T test, ANOVA. Based on the relationship you want to identify, you need to choose the test.

 

For example, if you want to find if there is a relationship between price and consumption, you can either do a correlation test or regression. Correlation test allows you to identify if there is a positive /negative / no relationship between two variables. However, regression allows you to find the factor to which the relationship relates.

 

You can choose the test you want to run by clicking on the ANALYZE tab.

 

 

If you need expert help in executing a SPSS test for your research, please get in touch. We support MBA /PhD students needing SPSS support for their thesis too. Call us today to speak to our SPSS consultant in UAE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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