Import Excel into SPSS

This SPSS tutorial explains how to import Excel into SPSS.

Import Excel into SPSS

It is easy to import Excel into SPSS but you should note that SPSS will automatically define each variable, some of them can be correct and some incorrect (this is very similar to Microsoft Access). In this tutorial, I will demonstrate how to import Excel into SPSS and how SPSS guesses the variable types, I will try too cover the most common scenario.

Lets say we have the following table in Excel, which contains time stamp, date, date with blank records, text, number in text format, number with 2 decimal places, integer, integer with blank records.

spss excel 01

Open SPSS, navigate to File > Open > Data

The name “Open” is confusing. In fact it is not open, it is import. Any change you made in SPSS is in SPSS, it does not modify the actual Excel file.

spss excel 02

Under “Files of type”, select Excel, then choose the workbook you want to import

spss excel 03

Select the worksheet to be imported > OK

spss excel 04

After the worksheet is successfully imported, the Variable View pops up.

spss excel 05

Switch to Data View to have a look

spss excel 07

Lets compare them with the data we originally imported.

spss excel 01

Here are some observations of the import.

  1. All Type (numeric / date / string) are correctly converted even though there are some blank fields on the top (which means SPSS does look through all data in the field to make the guess, instead of just looking at the few cells on top)
  2. All Measure (scale / nominal)  are correctly converted, except ordinal data where manual correction is required
  3. Invalid Excel column names such as spacing are removed and convert in Name column
  4. Date / number format in Excel are not converted into SPSS, manual correction in Variable View is required

In conclusion, after importing Excel into SPSS, while the overall data quality is good, you still need to check carefully whether the fields are converted correctly.

Outbound References

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.