IBM SPSS Reviews

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Score 8.3 out of 101

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Reviews (1-25 of 53)

Craig West profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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We use SPSS in our research (couples program) and in a better understanding of our program development (MCAT). We provide mental competency to stand trial training and it is imperative that we monitor and track each person's progress to ensure that the program is working in increasing competency of the people enrolled in the program. We use the SPSS program to better understand our hiring procedures as well as marketing practices.
  • SPSS has a very nice interface and keeps their interface consistent, even after 20 years of use.
  • Analyzing data is very quick and easy there is no programming required.
  • Some coding and saving codes for further analysis saves time.
  • SPSS is not free and is fairly pricey.
  • For those requiring advanced procedures not on SPSS, programmable coding, like in R Statistics, may be more limited and not as robust and use of R or other programs might be needed.
  • Statistical Package for Social Sciences and can only be used to perform only statistical operations. Further purchases of other packages will be required.
  • Default graphics are far from publication quality. Generally, it’s better to use other programs for graphics.
  • Information about effect size and confidence intervals is missing for many techniques.
SPSS is most suited for most researchers, although for power size and other uses will require further purchases or use of other programs to account for the limitations that SPSS might have. It can handle heavy data and there should not be any limitations for multiple variables. It may not be suited for those looking for a more robust and programmable option. Also, for those on a budget, other sources like R-Statistics might be better suited.
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Chris Keran profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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SPSS is used only within our Member Insights Department and is used as our primary quantitative analysis tool. We use SPSS to handle all of our survey data needs, except for data collection. We use it to extract data out of our membership SQL database, pull a random sample of relevant members, match up to our collected survey data with relevant stored member data, and analyze the survey results to include in our reports and presentations. Our analyses always include descriptive measures (frequencies or means/medians), often include inferential measures (e.g., chi-square, ANOVA), and less frequently predictive measures as well (e.g., logistic regression).
  • Biggest advantage: allows us to save all of our data manipulation and analysis instructions (SPSS calls it "Syntax") so that we can understand what we did, say, one year from now. This can be critical, especially if you are conducting year-over-year comparisons, or re-analyzing data in a new way after the primary reporting has been completed. Pretty tough to understand what was all done, say, in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Has all of the analytic capabilities we have needed so far (well, except for Random Forest).
  • We use the Tables module a ton to create most of our crosstab kind of results, and SPSS gives you a lot of flexibility to create different kinds of tables with the same set of data.
  • I learned SPSS when only Syntax was available, but I really appreciate being able to browse through the menus, and then just paste the Syntax you need. It also comes in handy when you're just playing, trying out different ways to look at the data.
  • SPSS has for a long time touted it's "new and improved" graphing capabilities, and while they are that, they still have flexibility issues (or I just haven't found how to correctly use the software). For instance, why are data labels in a bar chart restricted to appearing only within the bar itself? Sure, you can have them at the bottom, middle, or near the top of the bar, but why not, say, just above the bar?
  • When dealing with qualitative data, say comments from survey respondents, occasionally we run into characters likely typed by the respondent, which SPSS doesn't know how to handle, so it converts it to a space. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn't a space at all, and was wondering why my Syntax wasn't working (still assuming it was a space). It would help if SPSS could convert unknown characters to something more obvious.
  • Biggest headache using SPSS is dealing with the IBM hierarchy when needing customer support or even upgrading to the new version (which comes out annually). In order to upgrade to v26 in April 2019, I eventually found out I needed not just an Authorization Code, nor a Full License Code, but also a Lock Code and spent way too many hours attempting to straighten this out with IBM customer support. I handle purchasing the upgrades too, and that task is not straightforward either. I miss the SPSS support before they were acquired by IBM.
SPSS is well suited to our survey data and analysis needs (but not data collection). It also works well for our data mining needs. Most of the staff I hire were exposed to SPSS in college, but either way, there is a learning period to understand how to document your work using Syntax (even if pasted from the menus) and I utilize mostly online resources to help them get up to speed.
Read Chris Keran's full review
Benjamin Plotkin profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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As an IT professional in the Student Affairs division of the California State University system, I recently had the opportunity to undertake a data research project examining the impact of computer- vs. paper-based administration on writing proficiency assessment scores, across a large number of demographic dimensions. Being fortunate to have access to a very large number of cases (greater than 40,000), I needed to upgrade from spreadsheet statistical analysis packages to a professional statistical product -- both to expedite the overall number-crunching, but importantly to take advantage of automation opportunities such software packages can provide. I chose SPSS as it enjoys substantial support on my campus.
  • SPSS has been around for quite a while and has amassed a large suite of functionality. One of its longest-running features is the ability to automate SPSS via scripting, AKA "syntax." There is a very large community of practice on the internet who can help newbies to quickly scale up their automation abilities with SPSS. And SPSS allows users to save syntax scripting directly from GUI wizards and configuration windows, which can be a real life-saver if one is not an experienced coder.
  • Many statistics package users are doing scientific research with an eye to publish reproducible results. SPSS allows you to save datasets and syntax scripting in a common format, facilitating attempts by peer reviewers and other researchers to quickly and easily attempt to reproduce your results. It's very portable!
  • SPSS has both legacy and modern visualization suites baked into the base software, giving users an easily mountable learning curve when it comes to outputting charts and graphs. It's very easy to start with a canned look and feel of an exported chart, and then you can tweak a saved copy to change just about everything, from colors, legends, and axis scaling, to orientation, labels, and grid lines. And when you've got a chart or graph set up the way you like, you can export it as an image file, or create a template syntax to apply to new visualizations going forward.
  • SPSS makes it easy for even beginner-level users to create statistical coding fields to support multidimensional analysis, ensuring that you never need to destructively modify your dataset.
  • In closing, SPSS's long and successful tenure ensures that just about any question a new user may have about it can be answered with a modicum of Google-fu. There are even several fully-fledged tutorial websites out there for newbie perusal.
  • SPSS syntax is somewhat archaic, no doubt due to its long tenure and a desire to maintain backwards compatibility, so it may add to the learning curve for otherwise experienced script writers.
  • The syntax editing window is somewhat unwieldy when compared to modern IDEs, and can be laggy; sometimes mouse cursor accuracy is unpredictable when one attempts to select a particular word or line of syntax.
  • Counterintuitively, perhaps, SPSS has so many ways to achieve the same ends -- GUI, syntax, legacy functions vs. updated functions for visualizations, etc. -- that it can be hard for new users to find the "right" (quickest, simplest, most transparent) way to do things; it's an embarrassment of riches that may confuse and overwhelm novices.
SPSS is well-suited for academic environments, given the strong foothold it has in the educational and research institutions of the world; it helps if your institution has a licensing agreement as it is not free to use indefinitely (although a 14-day free trial is available). As it is a powerful and complex statistical analysis package, it is a good fit for large and otherwise unwieldy datasets and analytical projects.

SPSS is probably not a great fit for individual users doing simple statistical analysis, as much of this level of work can be accomplished at no cost using Google Sheets and an add-on such as the XLMiner package.
Read Benjamin Plotkin's full review
Shelby Bowden profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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We use IBM SSPS both as a department wide tool and within our smaller lab group. It is primarily used to handle larger statistical analysis problems than can be handled with more simple programs such as Microsoft Excel. The geospatial aspects of it are especially useful and are accessed very regularly.
  • Geospatial analysis functions
  • Large dataset capability
  • Smooth modeling
  • Difficult user interface
  • Hard to switch between programs
  • Better export of visual aids
IBM SSPS is one of the best geospatial analysis tools on the market, possibly only exceeded by ArcGIS. It is very good with handling large and complicated datasets and manipulating these for statistical purposes. Unfortunately it can be a little non-user friendly and takes quite a bit of time to get used to.
Read Shelby Bowden's full review
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November 02, 2019

SPSS

Score 8 out of 10
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I use IBM SPSS as a student and it is used by students and instructors in the PhD programs. It is used for research analysis by both instructors and students in various classes, as well as in personal data collection and presentation for dissertations. Since it is the major tool used for data analysis, it allows teachers and students to be on the same page and to also easily find resources to help when they need answers.
  • The categorizing and organization of large amounts of data.
  • Presenting data in easy to read charts and graphs.
  • Consistent data presentation and results.
  • The Mac versions struggles with crashing, etc.
  • It runs slowly and tends to use up a lot of processing power.
While SPSS is not perfect, there is no other tool as powerful for working with statistics. This tool is perfect for universities and students who are pursuing research. Honestly, most PhD students could probably not graduate without SPSS as their statistics tool. I think that this tool could also be useful for any corporate data that needed to be crunched.
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October 24, 2019

Rapid Insights

Score 8 out of 10
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The product has been used by a particular department. I was interested in using the product to perform predictive analytics to analyze equipment issues and determine root cause.
  • Cleaning datasets
  • Creating dummy variables
  • Importing from multiple datasources
  • Python scripting
  • R scripting
  • Jupiter notebooks
If you are interested in pulling data, cleaning the data, transforming the data, and creating statistical studies and viewing the results in tabular and graphical format in a quickly and easy manner then you found it.
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Score 8 out of 10
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SPSS is available throughout my organization. It's mainly used by faculty, staff, and students in the analysis of data.
  • Clear and user-friendly interface.
  • Potential to analyze large data sets.
  • The output graphics could be improved to make it more appealing to the eye.
SPSS is great for people starting out with statistical analysis because it is easy to use. SPSS may not be so great for people with a coding background who are more inclined to write codes instead of click on buttons.
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Jillian Papa profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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IBM SPSS is only used within the data and evaluation department at my organization. I am the director of the department and when I came on board 3 years ago, I made the decision to use this software based on my experience having used it in the past. I recently hired someone about 2 months ago and requested that she have a license for the software as well - luckily she also had experience with the software. In terms of solving business problems, SPSS helps us analyze large datasets. It is able to do a lot more than Excel or Salesforce - such as statistical testing. We have integrated SPSS with Salesforce and are able to push data into SPSS for easy analysis.
  • SPSS has both point and click as well as syntax options. I was trained by someone who had worked in SPSS for many, many years and only knew SPSS syntax so I learned how to write code myself. However, it is helpful to have both options.
  • SPSS has great resources online for syntax and defining certain functions/processes.
  • SPSS integrates with Salesforce and allows for a streamlined process by pulling data for easy analysis.
  • It's my understanding that SPSS cannot do very complex analysis like SAS can. But I personally have not had the need to use it so it hasn't affected me yet.
  • Sometimes SPSS has little quirks that are rules built in that are difficult to get around. Like when you set values to missing (or something related to this) the original string variable cannot be more than 8 characters long.
I would say if you are not proficient in other statistical software packages and only want to use point and click, SPSS is the product for you. If you want to do more complex analysis, SPSS may not meet your needs.

I think other than those two things SPSS is well suited and you can use SPSS in all scenarios
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Olayinka Awoyemi profile photo
March 20, 2019

Reliable companion

Score 10 out of 10
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IBM SPSS is used for various statistical analysis. It is a software that is mostly used throughout the company for varying degrees of research, analytical and some sorts of reporting. For the statistical department, it is mostly used for analyses such as regression analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), chi-square and more. Non statistical departments used it for more subtle analysis which are mostly descriptive.
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with IT infrastructures
  • Cheaper to own
  • easy to learn
  • Requires good knowledge of statistics for statistical analyses
  • It requires users to learn how to write CLEM codes
  • It is used by the research and development department for the entire benefit of the organisation. Some other individuals outside the research and development department also have it.
  • It is mostly used for data preparation, including coding and data migration; It is also used for data presentation.
  • It is used to prepare staging tables and platforms for other applications.
  • Above all, it is used for various statistical data analyses.
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Dennis Junius profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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We use SPSS to analyze our survey data. It is solely used by our research department. It helps us organize and analyze our data which we use to create reports.
  • Handles big datasets.
  • One can use either syntax or dropdown to create variables.
  • Does almost any statistical testing, equations, or modeling desired.
  • Can save datasets into numerous other file extensions.
  • Has various extensions that can be purchased to assist with analysis and visualizations.
  • Can be a steep learning curve.
  • Not that innovative.
  • Need to update versions every few years.
  • Some in the business say it is antiquated and would rather use other programs. Seems mostly used in survey research and psychology research.
Great for large datasets and running advance stats. Once you learn how to use it, it is nimble. It doesn't produce the best viz and is difficult to get into viz programs like Tableau.
Read Dennis Junius's full review
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February 08, 2019

IBM SPSS Review

Score 7 out of 10
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IBM SPSS is an analytics software, also used for data mining that enables users to conduct basic and advanced statistical analyses. I used SPSS departmental for a period of time to facilitate a team outside my main organisation to cross-validate results coming from different tools. The platform proved quite easy to get used to and the simplicity of the software made the research convenient.
  • Ability to handle large volumes of data
  • User-friendly that makes the software easy to understand
  • No special technical knowledge is needed since everything, from testing statistical models to predictive analytics, is already implemented
  • The simplicity of the interface make the teaching process to other members of the team very fast and efficient
  • There are other great statistical software packages that are open source
  • The simplicity and user-friendliness of SPSS comes with a functionality trade-off
  • The functions of SPSS lack in terms of graphical capability which can be a major obstacle to a novel data analyst
Overall, I can see how IBM SPSS can be used by teams with simple objectives when it comes to analytics. It is similarly very appropriate for teaching students about basic notions of applied statistics. However, compared with other statistical software and programming languages, it does not come with great advantages in terms of computational capabilities and customization.
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Score 9 out of 10
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We use IBM SPSS for our small start-up business. It helps us see where we started, what we have accomplished, what we need help on, and what is expected to occur next, according to our data.
  • Very easy to use. The interface is easy for beginners.
  • User-friendly.
  • It has a broad range of statistical uses, especially when dealing with large data sets.
  • The visual output depiction is not at the quality I would expect.
  • It has taken extensive amounts of time to find syntax issues.
  • I have to use other programs for things like visuals, and that is not time effective.
Overall, it is best suited for determining the value of our products and services, and determining how the value of those products will hold. It is also great, in that respect, for decision making. We rely on it a lot for the organization of our statistical data. Like I have mentioned before, we do not rely on it for visual representations of our data.
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Score 8 out of 10
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I am the only one I am aware of who uses SPSS for data analysis. It allows me to calculate statistics of dataset easily. So it saves me time.
  • Easy to use, the user interface is intuitive to me. Can be suitable for entry level analysts.
  • Easy to learn, I can drag and drop items in the interface. User friendly.
  • Does not have very technical features in R and other sophisticated statistics software.
  • Sometimes I experience lags to load large datasets.
  • Data visualization on SPSS can be improved now that we have Tableau as a competitor for data visualization
SPSS is suited for entry-level analysts and even managers who prefer to get a little more technical. It is not suitable for sophisticated stats analysis with a large data set.
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JESUS EDUARDO MEZA RAMIREZ profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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It is used by the engineering department to prepare reports, investigations, forecasts, systematization, analysis, presentation and for the organization of professional quality data for decision making.

Currently, it is used to carry out multiple linear regression analysis for the purpose of forecasting the value of goods and for the application of mathematical financial techniques in order to determine what the alternatives are thay pay towards the efficiency and profitability of the company.
  • Application of descriptive statistics technique to work with demography.
  • Application of inferential statistics techniques for the investigation of operations with aims that the company is every day more optimal.
  • It offers a spreadsheet for data entry, organization, analysis and reporting of results that allows understanding the behavior of the values, and consequently interpreting the results.
  • It facilitates the analysis of complex data sets for compliance with advanced statistical procedures, offering results of high precision and reliability.
  • It provides the possibility of importing and exporting different types of files, ignoring hidden Excel columns and rows, removing leading and trailing spaces from string values, exporting value labels to a database, and many specific options. that allow us to work in the analysis of data that support decision making.
  • I do not like graphics tools, I think they are very basic, it would be pertinent to evaluate the graphics tools of other similar programs in order to improve the image of such presentation.
  • Other aspects that I do not like very much is the quality of the results reports because they are not easy to understand and interpret accordingly. I consider that IBM SPSS should look for ways to design a module to improve the presentation of the results. Other things that are cumbersome is the historical results because it has to confuse because the information is disorderly. The reports are very basic, little colorful and confusing.
  • I have used graphics tools to show certain results, personally I do not like them very much, I think they can improve their presentation.
I would say that it is an ideal integral program for the application of descriptive and inferential statistical methods and for the systematization, analysis, evaluation and organization of data for decision making.

It offers multiple options for analyzing results that allows individuals or organizations to understand or present a report of a certain situation.

I would tell you if you want to make quality charts and easy to understand report look for another program.

It contains a multifunctional easy-to-use and understandable spreadsheet that offers the possibility of working with any database, as well as options that allow a lot of content to be left in rows or columns and perform the respective statistical analyzes.

I recommend inferential statistics tools because they are very complete, which allows people or organizations to obtain complex results ideal for making strategic decisions.

Read JESUS EDUARDO MEZA RAMIREZ's full review
Mark Jackson profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We use SPSS to analyze data and generate information for reports. We use it to facilitate communication with contacts. Our department is one of the only ones in the organization using SPSS.
  • SPSS creates helpful output that can be adapted for producing report and presentation content.
  • SPSS allows the novice to use drop-down menus and the expert to use syntax. It also helps novices become experts by allowing you to paste and adapt syntax to meet needs.
  • SPSS has a wide variety of analytical techniques that are available in the statistical package. It is user-friendly.
  • A visual presentation of output in SPSS is lacking. I would never use graphs and charts as they appear in SPSS output unless I had no other alternative.
  • If I am working from a file that is located on a networked drive and I leave the network, SPSS frequently crashes.
  • SPSS is a large application that consumes significant resources. Especially if certain errors are present in complex and lengthy syntax, SPSS can take several minutes to process, even on a top-tier computer system.
SPSS is useful in analyzing quantitative data to evaluate relationships among variables or groups of variables, to evaluate group differences in individual variables or groups of variables, to evaluate the psychometric properties of a measure or item, to manipulate and process data for use in reports and articles, to document analytical processes, and creating easily digestible analysis output. I use it in studies with thousands of participants responding to hundreds of questions. It enhances my ability to manage and use data.
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Rafael Mejias profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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The product is used by the entire organization as a tool to detect deficiencies and efficiencies in productivity and improve decision making through statistical reports on the productivity of workers. In the field of business, you can detect failures through statistics and solve them on time.
  • Generation of charts and graphs with statistical precision.
  • I get what it takes to perform data analysis without using other similar software.
  • It adapts to the needs of the statistical study that is intended to be carried out.
  • It slows down when using large volume of information.
  • The license seems expensive to me.
  • Being a specialized software requires prior knowledge in the area of statistics to make the most of it.
It is suitable for analyzing statistical data and formulating statistical quality analyzes. Suitable for generating charts and graphs that represent or summarize the statistical study. Highly suitable for performing complex statistical studies. Inadequate to perform simple tasks, this software is specialized and to make the most of it, it is best to use it in studies that require statistical precision.
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Rebecca Lynn Kouroupis profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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SPSS is used by the entire organization for our data analytics after retrieving the data from the field (online or phone surveys), as well as used for sample management. Its capabilities are used to discover trends and percentages of the data.
  • High capabilities - crosstabs, frequencies, descriptive statistics, quartiles, automatic recoding, etc.
  • Easily understood - it may take a moment to understand its capabilities, but once you start to understand, you can pick up fast.
  • Powerful - can handle a lot of data at once.
  • Outdated - the aesthetics are pretty bad and the functionalities aren't descriptive enough sometimes.
  • Doesn't always perform the way you want it to - sometimes I would run something while the file was split, but it wouldn't work.
  • Syntax is not always intuitive - finding an error in the syntax is difficult
  • Data is needing to be configured in excel after pulling from the SPSS output - there's a lot of formatting that takes place and isn't adjustable in SPSS.
I can't think of any scenario where SPSS isn't appropriate. Each tool has a different function, and this platform covers a lot of tools.
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Jared Hansen profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I was in the School of Communications at BYU, and for statistical analysis, SPSS seemed to be the standard. While I didn't ask every professor about it, SPSS was the only tool taught in the quantitative methods class at the graduate level, as well as the undergrad research class. It is a powerful tool used for running statistics for research, and while not the most user-intuitive, it is a standard in the academic community. Much like a calculator, it allows for researchers to run numbers and decide if their hypothesis is true or not.
  • Regression analysis
  • Chi-square analysis
  • One-way ANOVAs
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Huge data sets
  • The user interface is unwieldy
  • Macros are used to fill holes in the functionality of the software (which is good and bad, these things should later be implemented)
  • The learning curve is ridiculously steep
IBM SPSS is well suited for quantitative analysis of academic research. In doing qualitative research, it falls rather short. It has great tools and functionality to meet the needs of both students and professors (across all skill levels) when doing statistical analysis. It works great with Qualtrics which allows you to download your data as an SPSS save file.
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June 18, 2018

SPSS Great Tool

Score 8 out of 10
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SPSS is used by a variety of our senior-level scientists and Directors to perform ad hoc analysis of data. The sources of data include manufacturing information, clinical trial information, and preclinical information. It avoids having to go back to our consulting biostatistician for items that we are straightforwardly able to accomplish. This results in lower cost and more fluid turnaround time.
  • A broad variety of statistical tests
  • Handles various types of data
  • Relatively easy to use and share
  • Some degree of validation assurance - ala an FDA perspective on validation of the system - would be very helpful
  • More cost-effective options in using SPSS
Ad hoc analysis when you need a quick answer as to whether a particular pathway is worthy of pursuing further. It can provide quick assessments of various multiple paths for analytical considerations -- many may prove to not be worthy of further pursuit in depth. This allows the user to provide rapid feedback and avoid additional downstream costs.
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Ho'omana Nathan Horton profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I'm an instructor in the English Department and the IT/research tools staff in the Linguistics Lab. I use SPSS to analyze linguistic data and I also help students use the software. We use SPSS in our Linguistics Lab primarily for statistical analyses of social sciences data, especially related to Sociolinguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language.
  • SPSS offers powerful functionality for virtually any statistical operation one needs (at least in my field, the social sciences).
  • There's also tremendous and versatile online support from both IBM themselves and others who have created helpful walkthroughs for performing various statistical analyses.
  • The output also looks nice and is fairly customizable.
  • The interface isn't very intuitive at all and is mostly just a bunch of drop-down menus with little direction. Bottom line: You really need to know about stats before you use this software. However, because it is the leading GUI stats software, there is abundant documentation for this software both from IBM and from universities and others that detail how to do various operations (and interpret the output).
If you already know about statistical tests - which to choose, how to run them, and what they mean - this is an outstanding basic statistical suite. I feel that it's prohibitively expensive for an individual unless you're really doing a huge amount of complex stats, but for a university or other institution, this is a nice tool.
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Rebecca T Barber, MBA, PHD profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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SPSS is used in various pockets throughout the institution by both researchers and administration. It is far from the only statistical tool in use, but because many of the administrators were trained in colleges of education it is the most commonly used tool. Further, as a menu driven tool, the learning curve is easier for new users who enter administrative departments. Note that in MOST cases SPSS is being used as a desktop product.
  • Menu-driven interface allows for new, non-programming users to become productive quickly. This capability is significantly stronger than competing products, whose menu-driven interfaces often lack many important analytical features.
  • Syntax (code-based) interface allows for coding of repetitive analysis and automation. While most tools have this, it is an invaluable piece of the software that allows for access to less common options and provides a clear way of documenting any process. Further, SPSS puts the syntax for each command into the output file, making it easy to see exactly what command resulted in what output.
  • The output from SPSS commands has been enhanced to provide most of what an analyst needs in order to make a decision. This is helpful for new analysts, as it can guide them in the direction of a more complete analysis.
  • SPSS is rock solid. This is a well-established product with 24 versions under it's belt.
  • While substantial improvements have been made, the graphic capabilities remain opaque syntax-wise and relatively rigid through the menu driven interface. You need to know what you are doing, and even then the graphs created are not necessarily the best looking. I tend to extract the data and build presentation graphs in other tools.
  • Data mining capabilities are provided, but at a HUGE cost in a different tool. As a non-profit, SPSS Modeler is out of our price range.
  • Picky thing - SPSS does not compute marginal effects. Tools like SAS, STATA and R either provide those calculations automatically or at the very least make them trivial to get at. SPSS can't do it at all. From an econometric perspective, this is a HUGE drawback.
  • I'm not sure we need a new version with new licensing every single year. This is especially the case if you aren't pushing the limits of the feature set.
[IBM SPSS is well suited for] Statistical analysis, fast descriptive statistics and crosstabs, and any area in which those tasks are to be performed by an inexperienced or non-technical analyst. I would lean toward places that are new to applying statistical tests to their analysis, and send people with specific needs for highly complex analysis to other tools.
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Angela Falisi, MPH profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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At my current and previous organizations, SPSS was used primarily for data analysis, typically for small to medium sized data sets. From what I know, SPSS is one of several statistical software packages used at my current and previous organizations.
  • Very user friendly - the point and click interface of SPSS allows users to complete their activities simply and efficiently. Unlike other statistical programs, SPSS doesn't require knowledge of specific code.
  • Very easy to pull in data from multiple sources or enter in data manually.
  • Clean, simple format and it's clear where to go when you to view data and where to go to view the variables and their labels.
  • Limitations with incorporating weights (when using data from nationally representative samples).
  • From what I understand, SPSS doesn't handle large amounts of data particularly well.
  • I find it more useful as an analysis tool than a data management and cleaning tool.
From my experience, SPSS is particularly well suited for the analysis of small to medium sized data sets. Also, it is particularly useful for individuals with a good understanding of statistics and the tests that they want to run on their data, but aren't familiar with coding formats (like R or SAS).

I don't find SPSS to be as well suited for managing larger or more complex (weights) data sets.
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Elizabeth Minton profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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It is being used across the organization. IBM SPSS is used for analyzing quantitative data. Specifically within our department, it is used to conduct t-tests, various types of ANOVAs, regressions, and mediation/moderation analysis. It provides the opportunity to conduct statistically rigorous data analysis that can then inform trends in the field of marketing. We use it for publications in academic journals. The problem it addresses is identifying new ways to conduct marketing that are more effective than previous methods. By running experiments to look at product evaluations before and after marketing changes, we can use IBM SPSS to identify if one marketing tactic is better than another. It helps academics, students, and practitioners alike.
  • Dialogue boxes. I love that IBM SPSS has drop down menus, which are much better than some of the other statistical packages that require you to write purely in code.
  • Customizable. You can add in dialogue boxes of your own or from other users in your field. Specifically for the field of marketing, a macro known as PROCESS is used to conduct mediation analysis. This is not standard with SPSS, but the program is customizable so I can add this custom dialogue box to my set of menus.
  • Dual Licenses. I appreciate that when I purchase SPSS, I get a license for my laptop and another for my desktop. This helps keep costs down, but enable accessibility from wherever I need access to the program.
  • Fast. The speed of SPSS has definitely improved over the last several versions. Running stats tests are very quick, usually just a matter of seconds.
  • Renewal licenses. I didn't like when SPSS turned from purchasing the program outright to 6 month licenses. In the long run, it makes things more expensive as each change seems to be incremental. I could still run all of my necessary statistical tests on a version that was 2 or 3 versions ago.
  • If you are running structural equation modeling (SEM), you may find it easier to operate solely in another program. While they do allow data transition from AMOS to SPSS, sometimes it can be clunky.
  • Processing capabilities. If you have a slow computer, SPSS is going to be a pain to run. Installation takes up all the memory on one of my even faster computers, so I have to not try to run excess items while running SPSS.
IBM SPSS is well suited for basic data analysis for market researchers, academics, and students. It performs all the basic functions (t-tests, ANOVAs, regression, correlations) that people would need to do. However, if you want to get into hierarchical modeling or assessment of data within groups, it can be tougher to run in SPSS and other programs may be more beneficial.
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Anissa Harris profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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I use SPSS Statistics 23 to complete and to guide personal as well as student research projects at the doctoral level. The entire graduate school has access to this software and most graduate students choose to use it in assignments and projects. We use it to analyze data and to teach research. In an educational environment, it is essential that students be provided guided experiences when learning about statistical analyses. For many graduate students, a capstone project, doctoral study, or dissertation is their first opportunity to do independent research. Across our university, SPSS is the go-to software that we provide access to and that we recommend for student researchers. It provides a uniform platform for educators and students alike to explore different analyses and learn to interpret their findings and results. As there are many ancillary supports and guides available, it is easy to find tutorials or support for students (or colleagues!) that may need guidance in using SPSS or in learning a new analysis.
  • SPSS provides a menu-driven board from which to select the appropriate analysis and variables. Having user-friendly processes is key in creating accurate data analysis, especially with new researchers.
  • SPSS offers advanced analysis processes for advanced users; novice users can simply "ignore" these bells and whistles until they are needed. Having the versatility to support experienced and new researchers is an important niche in education.
  • SPSS provides exportable graphics that can enhance external reports and communication of findings. This feature is super helpful, especially for new researchers who need to include graphics but who may not know how to make them from scratch.
  • SPSS continually updates their software, enhancing it to meet user needs or changes in the research field. As educators working in an ever-changing environment, having software that keeps pace with the culture and field is imperative.
  • Some new researchers are still overwhelmed by "all the choices" and menus in SPSS. Students may feel insecure or indecisive about how to explore it and properly complete assignments or research outcomes.
  • Although there are many external you tube how-to videos and support via a quick Google Search, the internal "help" tools are sometimes as complicated as the original problem. Creating "How to Run SPSS for Dummies" that is available INSIDE the product would be wonderful! Any support that is "on-site" builds confidence and security in new users.
  • Sometimes the terminology inside SPSS does not exactly mirror the research language a student or novice researcher finds on other websites. If SPSS provided a glossary of research terms and interchangeable meanings etc it would be a great support.
  • I have found many resources to support or explain SPSS integration into research courses. I think it would be a tremendous benefit to have some of these ancillary support websites or services noted and recommended from within SPSS. Although this offering may require collaboration or partnership with other organizations or products, I see the relationship as an opportunity to enhance the user-friendly nature of SPSS and also improve SPSS's reputation as a software for educators.
Not to be cliché, but SPSS suits ALL MY RESEARCH NEEDS. It is advanced enough to manage the most complicated quantitative parametric or non-parametric analysis and also clear enough to run a simple t-test for a graduate homework assignment. I have used it departmentally to run metrics on student interactions and academic progress as well as to determine department functionality in working with our students etc. I suspect it would not be suited for someone without any research basics as the menu choice would not make sense at all. I just returned from a week long national conference and everyone I talked to uses SPSS. It is the "go to" in educational research!
Read Anissa Harris's full review
Bernardo Cavalheiro profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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In my workplace, we tend to gather as much data as we can about our coworkers. By doing so, there's plenty of data to be analyzed. Even more, I also do research and data analysis regarding client's briefings. As such, SPSS helps me analyze relationships among variables, by performing regression analysis, ANOVAs, etc.
  • SPSS is a pretty easy to use software.
  • It comes with many available actions that will allow you to do many analysis.
  • It you feel like something is missing, you can always do some coding on the syntax in order to "tell" SPSS specifically what you are looking for.
  • It allows you to download and use addons that make it an even more complete software.
  • The data visualization options are really poor. The software is great for data analysis, but when you think about making a presentation or something like that, you will have to rely on other softwars to do so.
  • It can take a while for a newbie to master it.
  • The price is a bit high, specially for a single customer.
SPSS is well suited for work in which you have to establish several relationships among variables (regressions, ANOVAS, MANOVAS). It is also suited to work side by side with Excel, since they complement each other. Therefore, SPSS is suited for both academic and professional/organizational setups, as if provides different ways to solve many problems.
Read Bernardo Cavalheiro's full review

About IBM SPSS

IBM SPSS is a predictive analytics software solution that aims to provide users with more meaningful insights from their data and predict what is likely to happen next. This solution offers advanced techniques designed to help companies find new opportunities, improve efficiency and minimize risk.
Categories:  Predictive Analytics

IBM SPSS Competitors

SAS Advanced Analytics, SAS Financial Management, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) Platform

IBM SPSS Technical Details

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