Written by Ester Mittermeier
I have been asked many times by our customers if there is a difference between Excel and SPSS, and why they should consider changing.
There's actually a very simple answer: there is a massive difference between SPSS and Excel. Excel is spreadsheet software, SPSS is statistical analysis software. The two are fundamentally different so the list is endless, but let me try to break it down to the most obvious advantages when it comes to SPSS:
The most important factor: prevent errors with SPSS!
When you use SPSS, you will not have to worry about overwriting any other information by accident. Sorting errors often occur in worksheets. In SPSS Statistics, on the other hand, records are handled as in databases, where IDs are attached to them. This avoids duplicate records and sorting errors. Functions in spreadsheet programs depend on the mathematical knowledge of the user. At the same time it happens very fast that formulas about required data are copied or incorrect formulas are created when inserting rows or columns. No formulas need to be entered in SPSS Statistics. And because SPSS Statistics separates results from data, there is no risk of damaging results when analyzing data. Errors are automatically detected and localized in syntax.
SPSS has more power!
In Excel, you can perform some Statistical analysis but SPSS is more powerful. . SPSS has built-in data manipulation tools such as recoding, transforming variables, and in Excel, you have a lot of work if you want to do that job. Microsoft Excel is a good software to use for data organization, but SPSS can provide you with in-depth, faster and accurate data analysis.
Graphical presentation of data!
Excel is very limited in the graphical representation of your data. SPSS Statistics makes it easy to visually analyze your data with built-in chart types. With box plots, pareto, stem leaf and many more diagrams, the possibilities go far beyond traditional business diagrams found in excel.
SPSS is meant for organizing data in an optimal manner. A row represents one case, whereas a column denotes one variable. It therefore makes data analysis quicker because the program knows the location of the cases and variables. When using a spreadsheet, users must manually define this relationship in every analysis.
SPSS is designed to ensure that the output is kept separate from data itself, by storing all the results in a separate file that is different from the file in which the data is stored. When you use SPSS, you will not have to worry about overwriting any other information by accident. However, in programs like Excel, results of an analysis are placed in one worksheet and there is a likelihood of overwriting other information by accident.
Though Microsoft Excel and SPSS have a similar look and feel, with menus, spreadsheets and built-in statistical functions, SPSS is a definite winner when it comes to data analysis, as this software is especially designed for statistics.