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What does The Column and Row Symbolize?
The data from each case are represented by the rows of SPSS; on the other hand each of the columns is used to represent different variables. The junction of the rows and the columns are presented by the cell i.e., for example, the data for case 2 and variable 2 would be included in the second empty cell.
Enter Data into The First Column of Cells:
When entering the data, one is required to start typing the information into the cells. A label var00001 will be given automatically to each column by SPSS. This can be explained by the following example.
The data below show the length of ear-head for 8 years of a variety of wheat:-
In order to enter the above data, starting from 11.5 to 10.7 enter the given data into the first column of cells. After typing each of the length the enter button is hit for typing the next length, i.e. when one hits enter it helps to move the cursor to the next cell.
Name Your Variables:
As mentioned earlier each column will give an automatic label var00001. However such name creates confusion because one would face problems to identify what the var00001 actually was. The problem is solved by giving a particular name to the variables. Thus naming the variables is important. By double left clicking on any one of the column head the Variable View could be obtained. An alternative way is to click on Variable View which is at the bottom left corner of the screen. In Variable View, Name is the first column. Earlier version of SPSS permits names of 8 characters length, however in the advanced ones there is no such restriction. But for the ease of reading, one should define short names to the variables.
By double clicking on the box named var00001 one can rename the variables. A Define Variable box will be obtained after this. The box allows one to modify and change the things regarding the variables, and also the variable names. In the box "Define Variable box "the variable name var00001 needs to be modified by giving a meaningful name.
Thus for alteration of names one need to type another name in the box. The name should have some sense i.e., it should be named in such a way that it describes the variable and also meaningful. If one considers the example of the length then the variable name length is an appropriate name. It is good and preferable to give short names. One can for example omit the vowels in the names to make it short. One should also avoid the characters which SPSS doesn't allow.
There exists other options in the Define Variable box .Scale; ordinal and nominal are present there.
As soon as the renaming of the variables is done click ok. This will alter the variable name automatically. By default the variable name will be in lower case.
For the analysis the data is now ready in hand. This can now be analyzed for central tendency and dispersion. However, before that there is another vital and final step which needs to be performed.
SPSS consists of two files, first for data and second for the outcomes of the analysis. One thus needs to save the data file before performing the analysis. This is done because saving the data helps one to avoid the losing any unsaved data files that are required for analysis.
Where to Save Your Data:
The procedure here is simple. Click file on the top left of the screen, then click save. Select the option given by the computer that is meaningful. Give a meaningful name to your saved data:
For the data files appropriate and meaningful name should be given. This allows one to use the same data file in future.
File extension relates to the extension part of a file name, which consists of a suffix (filename separator by a dot) followed by the code which indicates the format of the file. This helps one for determining the files one is looking for. In SPSS different file extensions names are given for output files and data files. Different file extensions are used by SPSS for data files and the output files. The extension '.sav.' is given for the data files in SPSS. So if the name of the file is length, then its official name would be length.sav.
To Check whether Your File is Saved or not
One can check this easily. To do this just have a look at the left corner on the top of the screen. If the file name given appears there, then the file is saved successfully.