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How to Run and Interpret Descriptives in SPSS

  • SPSS is a very comprehensive and easy to use data management software package that can be used by business owners, statistical programmers and data analysts to interpret the data. Using the SPSS software, one can predict fraudulent claims and thus can make decisions in a smarter way. The statistics that were included in the basic software can be described as – Descriptive statistics, Bivariate statistics, prediction of numerical outcomes and prediction of identifying groups. The descriptive statistics can further be classified into – cross tabulation, Frequencies, Descriptives, descriptive ration statistics and explore.


    Descriptives can be defined as the procedures that involve numeric and graphics to summarize and present the data in an easy to understand way.  Descriptives can be used to simplify the huge amount of data in a simple and more meaningful form. The descriptives reduce the size of data by using numerical  and graphical method. One can analyze the descriptives to study the characteristics of the independent variables. Some of the examples of descriptives include – mean, variance, range, meridian etc. The first step in analyzing the data is summarizing the information about the individual variables in the dataset. One can find a number of statistics to summarize the data under the descriptives option from the statistics menu.

    Steps to Run and Interpret Descriptives in SPSS

    • In the data editor window, open the descriptive command from Analyze -> Descriptive statistics option.



    • The ‘Descriptives” dialog box will appear, where one can see the list of variables on the left side of the box. By using the add button, the desired variables can be moved to the right side table of the dialog box.



    • After selecting the variables, click on the options button to de-select the default options or selecting additional options. The items that are check-marked will be figured for the variables that were selected previously. One can also select the desired format of the variables to be appeared in the output.


    • After selecting all the things, click on continue to return to the “Descriptives” dialog box and click Ok.  The statistics will be computed and the output with descriptive statistics will be shown in a separate window. The output window will show two frames: one frame is for viewing the analysis and the other frame shows the results. Below is a sample output, which can be seen after selecting the ‘age’ and ‘score’ variables.


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