SPSS define variables in Variable View

This SPSS tutorial explains how to define variables in Variable View.

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Types of data in statistics (Interval, Nominal, Ordinal)

SPSS – Variable View

In SPSS, understanding the Variable View is the first step before using any analytic functions. The purpose of Variable View is to define variables.

In Excel, you don’t have to define whether a column is number, date, or text, because Excel guesses the data type for you but of course it could be wrong in some cases. However, you still need to do the Cell formatting such as how many decimal places to display or add the dollar sign. In SPSS, these can be done in Variable View (it is very similar to Design View of Microsoft Access).

spss variable view

Define Variables in Variable View

Attribute Explanation
Name A unique field name without space, the first character must be a letter
Type spss variable view 2

Numeric: Number in standard format or in scientific notation
Comma: Format a number with thousands separator using comma
Dot: Format a number with thousands separator using dot
Scientific notation: Format a number with E or D
Date: Format a number in Date or times tamp format
Dollar: Format a number with $
Custom currency: Format a number in custom currency defined in currency tab
String: Text, can be number, letter, or a mix of both
Restricted Numeric (integer with leading zeros): Pad a positive integer with leading zero

Width Length of integer / string
Decimals Number of decimal places
Label Description of the field to display in output
Values Define a number to represent a label, the Data View uses number as input but using label in output report

spss variable view 3

Missing Define what values are deemed as missing to exclude in analysis

spss variable view 4

Columns The column width in Data View
Align Left, Right or Center
Measure Scale: number
Nominal: text
Ordinal: text with order
Role Input: Independent Variable
Target: Dependent Variable
Both: Dependent and Independent Variable
None: No role
Partition: The variable will partition the data into separate samples
Split: Only applicable for SPSS Modeler

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