Data and SPSS

Now that I had the New Hire’s questionnaires, I could enter the data into SPSS, which is a statistical program. Excel can do statistics, but other stat programs like SPSS would be programs like STATA, SAS, and R, although don’t tell that to other statisticians who don’t use SPSS, because, for various reasons, some people don’t like SPSS.

However, the point-and-click nature of SPSS makes it ideal for analyzing small data sets–well, at least it makes it so that I don’t have to learn a syntax language to run the analysis like in other statistical programs. One of the critiques of this though is that anyone can point and click and may find “effects” but can’t describe them correctly because they really don’t understand how statistics works. This is easily remedied by knowing what statistics to use and then pointing-and-clicking (‘easily’ being a loosely stated word ;).

Since SPSS runs off of numbers and not words, I have to code the data using numbers. For example on the demographic questionnaire under gender; male = 1, female = 2, or race; white = 1, African American = 2, Hispanic = 3, Other = 4. Then enter the questionnaire data, which is all based on a likert scale of 1-7. Easy as apple pie (baking is way harder than statistics!).

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