SPSS Made My Analytic Career
Lance Huntley profile photo
May 17, 2017

SPSS Made My Analytic Career

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • IBM SPSS Modeler
  • Custom Tables, Forecasting, Advanced Statistics, Regression, Amos

Overall Satisfaction with IBM SPSS

SPSS is only used in the Market Research department at this time. The business problems it addresses are: used as a data warehouse, used as a reporting tool, used as an analytical tool, calculates market size and market share, tracks and reports on construction activity at micro and macro levels, forecasts business KPIs and Leading Economic Indicators, tracks and reports on business activity from across the entire enterprise, feeds the GIS and sets up the datasets used for spatial analysis, general reporting of tables, charts and graphs.
  • Help desk with SPSS is PHENOMENAL. All of my questions, regardless of what it might be, get answered promptly.
  • I feel that IBM has done a good job of keeping SPSS affordable for cash strapped research departments.
  • I feel that IBM has done a good job of integrating SPSS statistics desktop and Modeler with their products.
  • I wish the help files were still bundled with the software and not "online" as you need to have internet connection to access the software's help files. Please make it an option at least during the install, or download package.
  • Like the answer previously, this is also tied to the internet, and the webpages for SPSS typically make me cringe when I have to use an online tool. IBM should have simplified this aspect of software a long time ago... perhaps Watson can help?
  • I don't like the trend where software is going into the cloud, and I know that IBM wants to push SPSS there. I prefer software installed on my laptop! I would consider keeping with whatever the last version of SPSS desktop was released and using that until I retire in the next 20 or 30 years.
Time savings on decision making is hard to quantify. However, we have greatly shortened the time it takes to answer questions about the business, from hours to minutes... from days to minutes. In my opinion where SPSS has served the most vital function is in making our c-suite SMARTER! The smarter the leadership the better the operational efficiency brought about excellent analysis. Also, since we capture and integrate data faster, using SPSS, we have sped up our response times and have increased the number of coworkers we serve throughout the entire enterprise.
As stated in the response before this, SPSS is vital to C-Suite decision-making. We have used it to identify new opportunities as well as measure competitive advantage. It would be hard to quantify a direct route between revenue and SPSS use though. But we do generate sales leads from disparate data sources that we use SPSS to collect, analyze and disseminate. I can't reveal the revenue generated via our technique but it has been significant!
I have used SAS, R, Systat, Stata, Excel, Access and I continually find myself using SPSS to do the same set of tasks I would be using the previously named software to do. It's an all encompassing software that is very easy to use but can become as powerful an analytical tool as you would need. Also, when it comes to statistical modeling packages, it's a lot like religion, what you grew up with, in my case SPSS while an undergraduate in pschology, it what you will practice throughout your life. So IBM, if you are listening, you need to get your converts in High School and Undergraduate programs... give it away so that when they are in the workforce they will buy it through their company. Also, keep improving SPSS, which in the last several generations have been AWESOME! Temporal Causal Modeling was a god send. The spatial component upgrades were great too, as I do a lot in GIS as well. If IBM keeps doing things like this and PROMOTING it, the product should see an increase in use, adoption and sales.
SPSS can do everything you need it to in a data science roll in a production environment. We are running our business on information processed via SPSS. I think IBM needs to get out there a lot more and aggressively push SPSS desktop and Modeler. It's simple AND powerful, you really do get it all when you use SPSS.


4 - Market Research
1 - Analysts capable of working with spreadsheet style datasets that need to run simple statistics and table generating output. Then we have one power user who uses SPSS for everything, he's the company's only data scientist and he has a PhD in Sociology and a lot of the high level business decisions that are made come from analytics this guy ran in SPSS. He's trained the rest of us on how to use SPSS.
  • Using SPSS to create a shadow data warehouse comprised of indicators central to running the organization.
  • Forecasting.
  • Table output.
  • Data mining.
  • Creation of a shadow data warehouse, as SPSS can literally sit on top of any database architecture and pull in data from a multitude of sources throughout the organization and assist in mining the data and ultimately reporting out what was found. SPSS is a one stop shop for analytics.
  • I am not going to say anything else on our innovation in analytics as leadership would probably prefer that I do not.
  • Modeler will become mainstream within the organization when the time is right.
  • More users of SPSS desktop.
It's super easy to use for newbies and super powerful for power users! It does EVERYTHING you are usually asked to do analytically. Their Help Desk is PHENOMENAL. And I find the upgrade and renewal price to be a good deal.

Evaluating IBM SPSS and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
I came to this organization SPECIFICALLY because they were an SPSS shop. It was already here when I arrived, and as a consummate user of the software and the organization's SPSS administrator I plan to keep on using it here. Truth be told, SPSS is THE analytics tool I use, and I won't work anyplace that won't allow me to purchase a license, if you are hiring me you are hiring IBM SPSS to do the analytics! And I think there need to be more analysts like us.
I wouldn't [change my evaluation and selection process]. SPSS For Life... no lie.

IBM SPSS Implementation

I implement and maintain SPSS at the organization. It was already here before I arrived, but I have since become the SPSS administrator.
  • Getting licenses to work with versions.

IBM SPSS Support

Over the years I have had my issues with the software and the helpdesk has ALWAYS come through for me in as quick a time as you could have! A++ for their level of skill and professionalism.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
No - Not aware of it. Also, I already feel I am getting Premium Support, they treat us really well. I love the SPSS helpdesk team!
Yes - Yes.
I was using one of the new features released with version 23, the spatial analytics modeling, and there was a problem involving how the file was named, that it took us some time to figure out, but the tech support person worked with me constantly and talked to other people and ultimately we were able to figure it out and get it working! And this has happened several times.

Another time was when I was first learning forecasting, I talked to Tech Support, who not only helped me understand the various facets of the forecasting module, but also suggested books I should read to become an expert in forecasting. Well I did buy those books recommended by my SPSS Tech Support and I have become a forecasting expert... but mostly because SPSS is an expert in forecasting.


Probably because I have been using it for so long that I have used all of the modules, or at least almost all of the modules, and the way SPSS works is second nature to me, like fish to swimming.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Statistical methods ie. regression, correlation, forecasting, etc...
  • Table creation
  • Graphs and charts
  • Not sure, I use it for everything.