SPSS is a very easy-to-use and powerful data management and analysis software package that performs a wide variety of statistical procedures. The original acronym stands for ‘Statistical Package for the Social Sciences’. SPSS runs on Windows, Macintosh and UNIX platforms.  

SPSS provides a comprehensive set of flexible tools that can be used to accomplish various data analysis tasks, and has the option of using drop down menus or scripting. It is well-suited to accommodate different exploration strategies such as surveys and experiments in diverse fields of enquiry. SPSS is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in business, government, health, education, research and academic organisations.  

The Digital Skills Lab  is currently running a two-part Introduction to SPSS. Workshops will take place online and in person throughout the year. Click on the links below to book your place or express an interest so that you are notified as soon as workshops are available to book. 

Please note that the content for the online and in-person workshops are the same. Unless (online) shows up in the workshop booking link, the session will take place on campus in LRB.R.08 in the lower ground floor of the Library following current government guidelines, i.e. masks and social distancing measures will be in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. If you are booking an online workshop please make sure you meet the technical requirements

The Department of Methodology also has some online tutorials in SPSS that were produced in 2011 that students have found useful along with a YouTube training channel. The Department of Methodology also provides training for PhD and MSc students as well as staff in the design of social research and in qualitative and quantitative analysis. Information on this can be found on their Methods training page.

If you can't find what you're looking for below, please email digital.skills.lab@lse.ac.uk or attend one of our drop-in sessions for advice. 

We also have workshops and self-study courses in Stata, Python and R. See below if you're not sure which is right for you. 

SPSS vs Stata: Which is right for you? 

SPSS is similar to Stata in that you can either use drop down menus or use coding to do analysis. SPSS deals better with very large datasets but is more expensive than Stata. Stata generally has better support available from various sources such as the statalist forum, documentation online and built-in help. 

SPSS vs R or Python 

SPSS is easier to learn than R and Python, providing easier access to running some types of analysis. It is still a popular choice in the social sciences, but R and Python are catching up. R and Python are open-source and freely available, where SPSS needs a licence, which can be expensive. R and Python are better options for data visualisation and machine learning but you will have to learn to code in order to fully utilise them.  

Introduction to SPSS (Workshop)

Introduction to SPSS (Workshop)

SPSS is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in social science, used by health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, and can help you with:

  • statistical analysis
  • data management (case selection, file reshaping, creating derived data)
  • and data documentation (a metadata dictionary is stored in the data file)

This workshop is divided into two parts and by the end of the first part you will be able to:

  • Manage data sets in SPSS
  • Run descriptive statistics in SPSS

By the end of the second part you will be able to:

  • Run inferential statistics in SPSS

Click on the links below to book your place or express your interest so you are notified as soon as a new session is scheduled. 

If you don't have any prior knowledge of statistics or need a refresher, please have a look at Seeing Theory before attending this workshop. 

SPSS: Introduction to SPSS Part 1 

SPSS: Introduction to SPSS Part 1 (online) 

SPSS: Introduction to SPSS Part 2  

SPSS: Introduction to SPSS Part 2 (online)