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SPSS (Now called IBM SPSS)

General Information

Short Description: SPSS is an integrated collection of quantitative analysis software that is particularly popular with social science researchers.  In late 2009, IBM acquired SPSS and then changed  changed the name to PASW for a short period of time. It is now called IBM SPSS.

Long Description:  SPSS is a desktop and larger computer based quantitative analysis package produced by SPSS Inc. Using SPSS you can perform many data management and statistical analysis tasks. With base SPSS you can manage data with case selection, file reshaping, and creating derived data. A metadata dictionary is stored with the data. Statistical analysis tasks that can be performed with the base package include the generation of descriptive  statistics, bivariate statistics, prediction of numerical outcomes, and prediction of identifying groups. Although SPSS is very popular with social science researchers, its ease of use and add on modules allows it to operate as a cross-disciplinary software  package. It is used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, and others. The advantages of using SPSS as a statistical package includes a choice of using pull-down menus or a proprietary 4GL "command syntax language" to quickly perform basic statistical analysis. More specialized statistical procedures are available as SPSS add-on modules. (adapted from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spss)

Note:  Due to continued significant  SPSS price increases, Research Services is encouraging faculty and students to consider using other statistical software such as Stata.

Category: Quantitative Data Analysis.

Programming Language:  Python, SPSS Syntax Language.

Installation Information

Version: SPSS 20.

Version Date:   Fall 2011

Technical support:  Please contact Rani Dalgin (dalgin@bc.edu) or researchservices@bc.edu.

Terms of Use/Purchase Information:   Available for teaching and research in computer labs in the departments listed below and on BC-owned computers including through a Web interface on apps.bc.edu.  Our annual site license includes these modules:

IBM SPSS Statistics Base
IBM SPSS Advanced Statistics
IBM SPSS Regression
IBM SPSS Custom Tables
IBM SPSS Data Preparation
IBM SPSS Missing Values
IBM SPSSForecasting
IBM SPSS Decision Trees
IBM SPSS Direct Marketing
IBM SPSS Complex Samples
IBM SPSS Conjoint
IBM SPSS Neural Networks
IBM SPSS Bootstrapping
IBM SPSS Categories
IBM SPSS Exact Tests
IBM SPSS Visualization Designer
IBM SPSS SamplePower

If additional modules are required, they may be purchased from SPSS at:

    www.spss.com/stores/1/Software_HigherEducation_C91.cfm

Or the basic modules may be rented on a six month or yearly basis by BC students and faculty at:

    estore.e-academy.com/

Distribution: To order SPSS for a BC-owned computer, please contact your local TC to schedule a time. 

SPSS and Home Installation

Effective June 30, 2012, SPSS will no longer be available through BC for installation on student home computers.  The license will expire on existing home computer installations.  We cannot renew the license for students. There will still be student home use options:

  • Students will be able to access SPSS through apps.bc.edu from both on campus and at home. They will need an Internet connection to use apps.bc.edu
  • For those students who want SPSS on their home computer, they will be able to lease SPSS for 12 months for less than $100  (www.onthehub.com/spss). 
  • Students will be able to access SPSS for academic use on BC owned computers, such as computers in offices and labs.   

We have provided home computer installation to students for the past two years.  When we purchased SPSS for apps.bc.edu, it included home computers.  Even without the home installation, the cost of SPSS has more than doubled in three years.

Note:  apps.bc.edu is not a good place to use SPSS with sensitive or secure data. If you have sensitive or secure data and are using SPSS, please contact researchservices@bc.edu to discuss how best to accommodate you needs.

Not including home installations is the only change to the license.  The new license will still permit SPSS to be installed on BC-owned computers.    There is a limited number of licenses available for installation on faculty home computers.  Faculty members should contact Michael Spinello (michael.spinello@bc.edu) for information on the availability.

License Information

Number of Licenses:  Site licenses for BC-owned computers  with the modules noted above.

Type of License:  Annual site license.

Installed Sites: Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), Connell School of  Nursing (CSON), Carroll School of Management (CSOM), Lynch School of Education (LSOE), Gasson 09, and O'Neill 245, BC-owned computers (see Terms of Use/Purchase Information above.)

SPSS is available through a Web interface via BC's Windows's Application Server (apps.bc.edu).

Installed Platforms: Windows, Mac.

Vendor/Developer:  IBM

Vendor Website: www.spss.com

User Guide:  Documentation is available at: https://www-304.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27021213.  Manuals can be purchased from: www.spss.com/estore/softwaremenu/book.cfm.