Introduction to IBM SPSS Statistics course

Introduction to the course

Lesson 1a: Introduction to SPSS and the course

Learning outcomes

  • Introduction to this course
  • The history of SPSS
  • Who uses SPSS
  • What this course will cover
  • Overview of SPSS add on modules

Video lesson

Lesson notes

Welcome to the first part of our Introduction to SPSS Statistics training course. There follows a series of videos which are designed to be a video accompaniment to printed materials available from Smart Vision Europe detailing a two-day Introduction to IBM SPSS Statistics course, so the idea is that the video simply describes what’s in those written materials and will provide demonstrations of the various topics covered in those materials as if you were in a classroom yourself.

To that end we’re going to start at Section One Part A. I’m going to break Section One down into three different sections: Part A, Part B and Part C. I’m going to start by talking about SPSS statistics in a general sense and provide an overview of it.

The first thing to note is that SPSS is a very long-established analytical package. It’s been around since 1968 and it’s one of the most popular and widely used statistical analytics packages available in a quite busy analytical software market. As such it’s used for a very wide range of different things. It’s difficult to talk about a typical user of IBM SPSS statistics. There are medical researchers using it for epidemiology studies, people working in market research doing survey research, people working in many different sorts of commercial B2B and B2C businesses who are using it as a business intelligence tool or an analytical reporting tool. There are people using it working within credit risk, within predictive modelling and in asset management. It’s a very widely used tool across the commercial, non commercial and educational world.

Typical things that you’re going to find in this course (and find within SPSS Statistics) are an overview of some basic statistics such as descriptive statistics, such as cross tabs which are very widely used so we’ll see demonstrations of those, such as frequencies which will give us a breakdown of counts within our data. The focus of this course is on descriptive statistics that describe variation within data.

This course is not about teaching you multivariate statistics or significance testing but we will still touch on a couple of statistical tests. The statistical tests one would expect to find in SPSS are things like T tests or chi-square, more complex tests such as analysis of variance are available, and tests such as correlation values which allow us show the relationship between continuous fields. There are also predictive algorithms available to users, all within SPSS Base, as well as multivariate procedures such such as factor analysis or cluster analysis which can be used to identify groups of variables or groups of records within the dataset of interest.

SPSS statistics has the capability to be enriched by adding a number of additional functional packages onto it. These packages are referred to as modules. This is quite typical within the analytical world. It reflects the fact that there are many different users and you may have somebody, for example, who’s interested in time series analysis in which case they would have the Forecasting Module, or people who work within market research who do a lot of tabulation and require complicated tables so would add the Tables Module. There is the Advanced Statistics module for people working within an area such as medical research.

There are lots of different modules that you can access and add on at additional cost to SPSS Statistics in order to enrich the functionality. Elsewhere on our website you can see a two-minute video overview of each of these modules so it’s worth looking at if you’re interested in finding out the differences between them and how they all work.

We’re now going to start talking about how SPSS Statistics actually organises itself and the various windows within it.

Additional resources

There’s more information about each of the additional optional modules elsewhere on our website.
IBM® SPSS® Advanced Statistics
IBM® SPSS® Bootstrapping
IBM® SPSS® Categories
IBM® SPSS® Complex Samples
IBM® SPSS® Conjoint
IBM® SPSS® Custom Tables
IBM® SPSS® Data Preparation
IBM® SPSS® Decision Trees
IBM® SPSS® Direct Marketing
IBM® SPSS® Exact Tests
IBM® SPSS® Forecasting
IBM® SPSS® Missing Values
IBM® SPSS® Neural Networks
IBM® SPSS® Regression
IBM® SPSS® Text Analytics for Surveys