Probability and Statistics Index > SPSS Statistics / SPSS Tutorial for Beginners

IBM SPSS Statistics is a software package that is geared towards the social sciences like federal and local governments and health care organizations. The software works similarly to Microsoft Excel, with a spreadsheet style entry field and easy-to-use toolbar. However, data entry in SPSS statistics is somewhat different, with columns used for variables.

## SPSS Tutorial for Beginners

This collection of SPSS How to articles gives you the basic tools to get you started with SPSS in a step-by-step format. You’ll find an introduction to the topic, videos and pictures to illustrate the points, and if you get stuck you can always leave a comment. I’ll try my best to help!

- How to Enter Data into SPSS and Define Variables
- How to Find the SPSS Mean Mode Median
- How to Find the SPSS Five Number Summary
- How to Find the Interquartile Range in SPSS
- How to Find the Standard Deviation in SPSS
- How to Make an SPSS Frequency Table.
- How to Make an SPSS Histogram.
- How to Make Crosstabs in SPSS (Contingency Tables).
- How to calculate the Pearson Correlation Coefficient using SPSS
- How to Make a Bar Chart in SPSS
- How to Make an SPSS Boxplot
- How to Make an SPSS Scatterplot
- How to Perform an Independent Samples t test in SPSS
- How to Perform a Chi-Square Test in SPSS
- How to Make a Pie Chart in SPSS

## SPSS Statistics Software: Advantages and Disadvantages for Statistics

The program, originally called Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, was released in 1968 and quickly became one of the most widely used statistics programs in the social sciences, including in healthcare, government, market research and surveying.

### Major differences Between Microsoft Excel and SPSS

Both Excel and SPSS have a similar feel, with pull-down menus, a host of built-in statistical functions and a spreadsheet format for easy data entry. However, SPSS is specifically built for statistics and surpasses Excel in many ways, including:

**Faster and easier basic function access**like descriptive statistics (i.e. mean, standard deviation or median). While Excel*does*have built-in functions, SPSS has these basic statistics elements in pull down menus.- Wider variety of graphs and charts in SPSS. Excel
*does*have a wide range of basic charts, but if you want to create complex graphs like contingency tables, this is*much*easier in SPSS with the pull-down menus. - Easier to find statistical tests. While Excel
*does*have a wide range of statistical tests built-in, the pull-down menus in SPSS make for faster access.

There are **several disadvantages** to using SPSS — especially for the casual learner–including the hefty price tag (at time of writing, a full version of IBM Statistics SPSS Standard costs $5270!). Therefore, unless you are attached to a university or other organization that has already purchased a multi-user license, you’re unlikely to find the program on a personal computer.

**Questions on SPSS Statistics or this SPSS Tutorial for Beginners?** Post a comment and I’ll do my best to help!

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