In this section, we cover the essential functions that will allow you to get started right away with your analyses. Before a research procedure is created, it is important to understand how to manage the data file.

Reading and Importing Data

Data can be entered directly into the spreadsheet or it can be read by the SPSS program from different file formats. The most common format for data to be imported to SPSS is through such data programs as Microsoft Excel or simply an ASCII file where data are entered and separated by tabs. Some large data files, like General Social Survey (GSS), have already been converted into SPSS file format and are available simply by downloading the data from the Web site.

Using the drop-down menu command “File-Open-Data” (initiated in the upper left of the main menu ribbon in either Data View or Variable View) creates a screen that enables the user to specify the type of data to be imported (e.g., Excel, Text, etc.). The user is then guided through an import wizard that will translate the data to the SPSS spreadsheet format.

Figure DMUA.1 shows the screens that allow you to select among a number of “Files of Type” when you want to import data to SPSS. These menus resulted from choosing “File” in the main menu and then “Open Data.” The small drop-down menu allows you to choose a number of different file types to import data. As you can see in Figure DMUA.1, there are many common types ...

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