Review of IBM SPSS for Marketing Analytics and Metrics

The following is a brief review of IBM SPSS for marketing analytics and metrics.

I first heard of and used IBM SPSS for the first time towards the end of my second year of university. The context for using and learning about SPSS was marketing analytics and metrics. The module introduced students to various descriptive and data analysis techniques which will allow students to design research projects appropriately and conduct the necessary data analysis within the context of marketing-related questions. Learning to improve the quality of marketing decisions, by grounding those decisions in metrics rather than the gut feelings or preferences of decision makers.

The module incorporated IBM SPSS during workshops, where data sets were provided along with marketing-related questions. Every student had access to download the latest version of IBM SPSS for free due to it being provided through a license as part of the module.

The Basics

The first week began by introducing the SPSS software; covering the basics such as, how to:

  • Open a dataset
  • Save datasets
  • Make changes to datasets
  • Identify variables in an SPSS dataset

In the beginning SPSS doesn’t appear to be technically challenging. This was short lived when moving on to more technical challenges. The overall appearance and navigation of the software is very outdated and to someone not in the tech field it seems like there would be a quicker way of achieving the same result.

SPSS Data Entry

The class was given a simplistic questionnaire to fill in individually, the task was to then enter the data into a spreadsheet. From the questionnaire the individual decided how to code and label each variable. With a walk through provided by the lecture it was straight forward enough. However, I don’t think I would feel confident trying to do it without instructions.

  • Descriptive Analysis – Generating basic descriptive statistics, determination of measures of central tendency and dispersion, how to describe kurtosis and skewness.
  • Hypothesis Testing – Hypothesis testing, categorising of hypothesis tests, hypothesis testing for  cross-tabulation and cross-tabulation practice.
  • Testing for Differences
  • Exploring Relationships – Using regression analysis.

Presenting and Reporting Results

An important element of using SPSS for marketing analytics and metrics is being able to present and report results. This of course included displaying data in graph formats. However, throughout my experience with SPSS I found it frustrating that there was not a compatibility with Microsoft Word. This was worsened by the fact a lot of us were using windows computers… If you want to copy and paste graphs or tables, find a way to screenshot what you want to copy across, or input all of the data into excel and make a graph in that and copy to word. I know, I’m annoyed just thinking of having to do all of that too!

Andy Field, Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics

As you can probably tell I am not confident in my knowledge of SPSS when not following instructions on how to conduct a variety of tests. I ventured the library search site and immediately typed “IBM SPSS” and the fantastic, Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics, came up as one of the top choices. After flicking through the book I knew it was going to help.

Field writes in a way that is just easy to understand. If he can help you understand ANOVA then I am confident he can help you with anything. He manages to bring a humorous side to statistics, which is something I wouldn’t have ever though possible. With a whopping 1,057 pages of content including; how to use the book, 21 chapters covering a whole load of different topics, and more.

Using illustrations he creates an interesting story whilst providing a unique form of key to understand the different features of the book. Illustrations are used throughout to draw the readers attention to a particularly useful or important piece of information. Another great feature is the clear display of graphs and data tables. 

The combination of IBM SPSS, Field’s Discovering Statistics, and marketing analytics made for the perfect combination. Field’s book clearly explains how to perform particular tasks on IBM SPSS, delving a lot deeper than what the module was covering. This is very useful for students who are studying business but want to understand more about statistics.

I personally feel confident about using IBM SPSS to do basic tasks such as testing for differences, descriptive analysis, and presenting and reporting results. However, I will be taking my Discovering Statistics book for support.

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