SPSS is a powerful program for statistical analysis and data management. For over 40 years the suite remains the choice of many advanced statistics professors and an outstanding number of researchers. Standard and advanced statistical analysis with enormous datasets can be carried out with this trusted application.
The installation process is very easy and the installer itself is quite beautiful. Downloading the software, however, is quite troublesome: you have to choose the correct platform, register for an IBM username and read a lot of info. A license for this software is costly - nearly 3,000 for one. But the program does not have limits when it comes to statistical analysis.
The suite can be used to interpret an already existing dataset, or be used to input new data into the program. There are two interfaces available: data view and variable view. It is wise to define your data set with the variable view before inputting your data.
While it can be used for high-school/college entry statistics classes, its potential is highly underused in this case. The program can easily visualize distribution (histogram, bar chart), find a central tendency (mean, median, mode), dispersion (st. deviation, range), and much more. Advanced tools include ANOVA, MANCOVA, regression, correlation analysis and much more. SPSS can do just about any existing test on a dataset, the only problem is it can't interpret it for you - maybe, sometime in the future?
Overall, if you are an analyst, or a researcher, or a graduate student, chances are you have heard of SPSS and even used it. For most others, Microsoft Excel or some other datasheet program is enough.
- Extremely powerful
- Runs on Java - stability issues are possible