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Why you should learn SPSS syntax- Intro tutorial & demo video

SPSS syntax

Why you should learn SPSS syntax

For more than a decade I’ve been teaching people SPSS syntax, macros, and scripts.   Somehow throughout that time I never wrote this post to help explain some of the main benefits of using syntax over the GUI interface.  To me there are lots of reasons why you should make it a priority to learn how to code in SPSS.  I’ve made an attempt to prioritize them and demonstrated many in the below video.

  1. Without any real additional work you can reuse:
    • renaming of variables
    • setting variable labels
    • define format (numeric, scale, dates, % etc)
    • regroup variables
  2. Work ahead-
    • Export small amount of data on initial kick-off and work on the data file/format.
    • Have the frame-work of your report done.
    • Then, when done collecting data, export and write-up analysis
  3. @from Jon Peck- Review what analysis was run in the past.  Determine what you (or perhaps a colleague scratching his head) did  right/wrong or just borrow from the past.  (Hint* did you know there is a log file you can check which might have all GUI/syntax you have ever run?  I mention it in this video.)
  4. Redo analysis done on different data set
  5. Create macros (special type of SPSS syntax) to re-purpose code for an amazing time savings!
  6. Apply similar re-coding / analytics on multiple variables
  7. Macros– True gems of saving time
  8. Some things are only available in syntax
  9. Allow for re-applying settings
  10. Use from other sources (labels from questionnaire ,database, etc.)

In the video below I explain the above concepts and I firmly believe that, after watching the video, you’ll understand why learning SPSS syntax is a great next step for you.


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