## Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, students will be able to:

- Open datasets in their chosen statistical software programme
- Explore datasets and understand what data they have
- Use basic commands to edit their data

IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (or SPSS) is a user friendly software package for conducting statistical analysis. This does not mean that this software is only useful for social science data, the name is just a nod to its origins and the team of social scientists who developed SPSS v1 back in 1968. We are currently on SPSS v29 and the modern version of SPSS allows us to perform a wide array of statistical tests and it can handle the majority of situations, as you will see throughout this course. SPSS has a very intuitive user interface, it allows you to easily visualise your data, and it is very useful for students who have not had much experience of statistical analysis OR coding before, so you are not having to learn a programming language at the same time as learning how to do statistics. If you are planning to analyse large epidemiological datasets, or so a lot of complex statistical modelling, there are some functions you may need which SPSS cannot perform, or cannot do as well as one of the other software packages on this course. If this is your aim, you might be better learning to use Stata or R.

Once you have your software installed watch the below video and work your way through the practical exercise to set up and investigate your course datasets.

The instructions for this course assume you are using SPSS v29. If you are using an earlier version some of the instructions may not match exactly, but changes of core functions between versions are minimal and you should be able to follow along.

## A1.2.3 PRACTICAL: SPSS

Use the steps described in the video to open the FoSSA Whitehall data set in SPSS.

Visit the ‘Variables’ tab and classify each of the variables as ‘nominal’, ‘ordinal’ or ‘scale’ depending on the variable type. Refer back to the information on the course data within the course information section if you are unsure.

Categorical variables can be treated by SPSS as either **nominal**, where categories have no order (e.g. Yes/No) or **ordinal**, where categories can put put in a logical order from smallest to largest (e.g. age groups). **Scale** in SPSS means any continuous variable.

Then add your value labels for all categorical variables. This is where you input each value that is used to represent a category and assign that category a name. You can copy and paste value label sets from one variable to another. So if, as with this dataset, there are lots of Yes/No categorical variables, you can define that 0 = No and 1 = Yes in one variable, and then copy and paste that into all of the others.

Once you have completed all of your value labels, if you go back to the data tab and press the button, you will see the labels appear in place of the category codes. You can use this option to toggle back and forth between codes and labels whenever you need to, but the important use of labels is that they appear on your test outputs, so you do not need to keep referring back to your notes to interpret your results.

Once you have set up the FoSSA Whitehall dataset, use the same process to set up the FoSSA Mouse dataset.

**Answer**

Once you have set up your FoSSA Whitehall dataset, your variables tab should look like this.

Once you have set up the FoSSA Mouse dataset, your variables tab should look like this. Remember, even though BCS variables are considered ordinal, the numbers are not a code for anything else.

impressive course

Very straightforward presentation. Everything was clear. 👏🏽👍🏾

Although I use R, out of curiosity I clicked on the link to see the Introduction to SPSS, it took me to the login page as observed by Sayed 13 days ago.

When I click on the below link in the last sentence

You can download a copy of the slides here: A1.2.3 Introduction to SPSS

It is not going direct to document. It goes to the: https://login.canvas.ox.ac.uk/

Could you please solve the problem

Thank you for letting us know. This has now been fixed.

Thank you. There is no slides. Only one slide with Introduction to SPSS but no more information. Could you please put the complete presentation

I am sorry we actually do not have the slides for the video. We have now removed the link to the file.