Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

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What Does Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Mean?

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is a software package used in statistical analysis of data. It was developed by SPSS Inc. and acquired by IBM in 2009. In 2014, the software was officially renamed IBM SPSS Statistics. The software was originally meant for the social sciences, but has become popular in other fields such as health sciences and especially in marketing, market research and data mining.

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Techopedia Explains Statistical Package for the Social Sciences

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences is a widely used program for statistical analysis in social sciences, particularly in education and research. However, because of its potential, it is also widely used by market researchers, health-care researchers, survey organizations, governments and, most notably, data miners and big data professionals.

Aside from statistical analysis, the software also features data management, which allows the user to do case selection, create derived data and perform file reshaping. Another feature is data documentation, which stores a metadata dictionary along with the datafile.

Statistical methods usable in the software include:

  • Descriptive statistics — Frequencies, cross tabulation, descriptive ratio statistics
  • Bivariate statistics — Analysis of variance (ANOVA), means, correlation, nonparametric tests
  • Numeral outcome prediction — Linear regression
  • Prediction for identifying groups — Cluster analysis (K-means, two-step, hierarchical), factor analysis
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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.