Frequency analysis with SPSS

By Priya Chetty on February 2, 2015

The previous article “Introducing Data” discussed importing files and creating data sheets in SPSS.  Moving further, this article will be discussing the most basic technique which can be applied within SPSS i.e. Frequency analysis.

Running the frequency analysis test

After entering the data, click on “Analyze”, then “Descriptive Statistics”, and then “Frequencies”.

When you run a procedure in SPSS, such as frequencies, you need to select the variables in the dialogue box.  On the left side of the dialogue box, you see the list of variables in your data file.  You click a variable name to select it and then click the right-arrow button to move the variable into the Variable(s) list.

Run a procedure in SPSS
Figure 1

Then click on the statistics shown in Figure 1 and a new window will open as shown below (Figure 2):

Click on statistics
Figure 2

Based on your requirement you can select the Test Statistic i.e. Mean, Median, Mode etc. Then select it by placing a check in the available box next to the statistic.  Then click ok and you will return to the main frequencies box i.e. Figure 1.

Once you click “OK”, the output will be displayed as shown in the Figure Given below:

Table 1
Table 1

If you want to change the data in the tables then double click a pivot table (Table 1) in order to activate it so that you can make modifications.  When activated, it will appear to have “railroad track” lines surrounding it.  Double-click to activate an object for editing.  If the object is a pivot table, you can obtain detailed help on items within the table by right-clicking on row and column labels after the table are activated.


Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).