SPSS is a software package that can be used to perform data entry and statistical analyses.
Saving your files in SPSS in the vLab
It’s really important you learn first up where to save your files in SPSS in the vLab so you don’t lose them.
If you were using the vLab prior to the upgrade in March 2019, you may have been familiar with the H drive, which has changed.
This video, which also appears on the Start Here page of the vLab explains the difference for you:
Once you have an understanding of Citrix, it makes uploading and saving files in SPSS in the vLab much easier.
Please watch this video on how to get files in and out of SPSS:
If you'd rather read the information in brief, click the drop-down box below.
How you upload files into SPSS in the vLab depends on if you're using Citrix Light or the full Citrix receiver. Citrix Light and the full Citrix have been detailed elsewhere – go here if you aren’t sure of the difference between the two.
If you are in Citrix Light, the ‘hamburger’ icon will appear when you hover over the three little lines at the top of the SPSS once you open it. You can then click ‘upload’ and you’re away!
You’ll be able get files into SPSS straight from your computer – you don’t need to upload them into the vLab first.
So in SPSS, if you hover on these three lines,
… click on that, which becomes…
and the fourth icon along is the ‘upload’ button.
If you are in the Full Citrix, the ‘hamburger’ icon won’t appear, but that’s fine. You don’t need it. Just click on ‘open another file’ and you can upload your files in there easily.
‘Local disk” is your computer (see image below). So just click on that and open up the file you want to upload.
It helps to put the file you want to upload directly on your Desktop, because then you can just click Local Disk > Desktop and find the file easily (otherwise you may have to dig around a little in the Local Disk folder - for example, you may need to look in the 'Users' folder).
Also notice in the image above SPSS is just looking for a particular file type – SPSS Statistics Files.
If for some reason you want to be able to see all your files, change the Files of Type to ‘all files’ like in this picture below (keeping in mind you’ll only be able to upload files that fit with SPSS – the ones in the picture above).
So if you can’t seem to find the file or get it into SPSS, there’s a chance it’s not saved as the right file type. If you have taken your data out of Qualtrics, have a look on the Qualtrics page here to make sure you downloaded the file in the right format. That page will show you how to do it!
Please watch the video below on where to save your files in SPSS in the vLab:
An Introduction to SPSS
The video below provides an introduction to SPSS. It shows how to navigate between Data View and Variable View, and how to modify properties of variables.
When using SPSS you work across three file types, although most people will primarily use the first two:
- Data file is where all your variables and cases sit. You can enter many types of variables depending on your needs, such as numbers, dates, times and words.
- Output file. When you run an analysis, SPSS produces an output file. This is where you can see all the results from your analysis. The output file can be a large file to save so it is common practice to export the output as a pdf. We recommend saving the output as a pdf because you can open and read it on any computer, whether it has SPSS installed or not.
- Syntax file is used to write the analysis instructions for SPSS. When you run an analysis from the drop down menu e.g. descriptives, SPSS runs a pre-defined set of instructions. The syntax file is where you can manually build your own instructions for SPSS.
There is also a journal file (jnl file) that acts as a "journal" or history of sorts. This is a comprehensive file which is autogenerated and acts as like a browser history storing all your point and click movements as well as any syntax commands you have run. This is not a file type you will commonly use but can be helpful in certain contexts.
- Familiarise yourself. If you have minimal knowledge of the SPSS environment we recommend you spend some time becoming familiar with the platform. Having an understanding of the SPSS processing environment will assist you when the time comes to analyse your research data.
- Check your connection. SPSS is a sophisticated program that requires a significant amount of memory to run. If you have a slow internet connection, SPSS will be slower to respond. For SPSS to run efficiently ensure you have a strong internet connection.
- Read carefully the How to open and save files section that follows.
SPSS is a widely used tool by researchers across a wide variety of fields which means there are some great online resources that you can use to help you perform your data analysis. Some of these include:
- SPSS Statistics Essential Training by Lynda.com. Monash students and staff can access this excellent SPSS statistics course using their university account. Lynda.com is a constantly growing library of more than 1400 courses and 82,000 videos in streaming video format. It offers training for all kinds of popular software products.
- IBM SPSS Statistics Website. This provides a good overview of the SPSS program with access to IBM specific FAQs and support.
- Statistics Solutions. A comprehensive website with a variety of videos and instructions as well as links to one-on-one tutoring and support.
- SPSS Beginner Tutorials. A great website that takes you through the basics of SPSS.
- Keith McCormick. He has posted lots of useful advice over the years. Some of it is at an intermediate level.
- Raynald’s SPSS Tools. This SPSS-related blog that has been popular for decades.
- Udemy. Udemy offers several SPSS classes for a variety of topics and at varying lengths and prices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Process is an independent macro that has been installed in SPSS and can be found under "Analyze" -> "Regression".
If you cannot see PROCESS on your system please follow the next steps:
- Please log an issue with eSolutions. You can log the issue here: eSolutions Service Desk
- In the meantime you can download the PROCESS extension from the Hayes website, and upload the extension every time that you use it. You can do so by following the below instructions:
If you are using the light version of Citrix, SPSS will run a little slower than if you are using the full version of Citrix, which is why we recommend using the full version.
SPSS can also take a little bit of time to first open up, but once it’s open, it’s generally fast!