Importing data and creating datasheet in SPSS

By Shruti Datt on November 11, 2013

SPSS spreadsheet helps in entering respondent data and conducting statistical tests just like one does using Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This article will discuss about the process of importing data in SPSS from external source and create datasheet. However, in many ways SPSS spreadsheet is superior and easier in comparison to Excel spreadsheet. It includes two windows, i.e. data view and variable view and Excel spreadsheet includes only single data sheet. The SPSS spreadsheet is made of rows and columns wherein any kind of data can be entered. This can be analyzed using formulas which are available in the software. On the other hand, in case of MS Excel, the researcher will have to apply the formula for every row and column.

Opening the SPSS file and importing data

This article focuses on the aspect of importing data from different applications including MS Excel. To begin with, once the SPSS file is opened, the software will ask for one of the six options to choose from (see Figure 1.1 given below). The user may select a tutorial where they would be taught about the various statistical tools. Other than that the user may also open existing SPSS file or create new query. One can also open files which are in other formats.

Fig 1.1: First dialogue box while opening the SPSS application
Fig 1.1: First dialogue box while opening the SPSS application.

Importing excel spreadsheet in SPSS

If one needs to import the MS Excel Spreadsheet, user will first select the option, “open another type of the file”. When this command is selected one may specify the worksheet in which the coded data is saved. Now the SPSS file has two views, the Data view and the Variable view. In the Data view, the coded or non-coded data will be imported. On other hand in the variable view (see figure 1.2), one needs to fill the information related to variable selected in the study.

Fig 1.2: The variable view in SPSS
Fig 1.2: The variable view in SPSS.

Creating a new data sheet in SPSS

However, if the data is not saved in the Excel spread sheet and new file is to be prepared in the SPSS spreadsheet then, we may first click on “type in data” in the dialog box. To begin the process of adding data one needs to first fill the variable sheet (refer to figure 1.2) and then move to data sheet. While filling the data sheet, click on the first cell and enter the value just like in a MS Excel Spreadsheet. Once the data has been entered the file should be saved for future reviews. Although a large number of possible formats are available however, if one intends to only use SPSS for analysis then (.sav) format is to be selected.

The resulting data files appear in the data editor like the following:

Fig 1.3: The data view in SPSS.
Fig 1.3: The data view in SPSS.
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Shruti Datt
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