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Alternative To SPSS That Students Can Use For Data Analysis


Data analysis is the most time-taking process in research. It defines the success as well as the quality of research. Based on the types of research, either qualitative or quantitative, the process of data analysis varies to a greater extent. The selection of statistical tools is a crucial step, especially in quantitative research. In this regard, many students think that SPSS is the only statistical analysis tool and no other tool can take its place. But this article will discuss a few alternatives to SPSS for data analysis like Excel, Python, Stata. More, it will also discuss which one is more appropriate for students based on technicalities.

Is It Necessary To Use SPSS For Data Analysis?

SPSS stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. It is a widely used statistical analysis tool. Due to its great number of applications, students often think they cannot complete their data analysis without using SPSS. But in reality, there are several data analysis tools that can replace SPSS for the data analysis process. The alternative to SPSS includes Excel, R, Python, and Stata. All these alternatives to SPSS have their own features and can help students in data analysis in a variety of ways. Consequently, for students, it is not necessary to use only SPSS for data analysis. 

Is SPSS Free For Students?

SPSS is not a free tool;rather, it is copyrighted software. In fact, if you are a student or faculty member at a reputed university, then through your institute, you can access SPSS at no cost. At the same time, you can contact the official SPSS vendors for getting inexpensive access to commercial SPSS. Moreover, some universities allow students to download SPSS from their official website, but this is not the case at all. In simple words, SPSS is unpaid for students and teachers, while for others, it has subscription charges. 

Is There A Free Version Of SPSS?

SPSS beinga commercial software is not freely available for all. However, some universities provide free SPSS access to their faculty and students for research. Further, the older versions of SPSS with fewer interference options are available for free download. Experts of a dissertation writing help firm have suggested that those who want to use some basic features of SPSS can try its free version called PSPP. PSPP is an open source version of SPSS. PSPP is a free replacement of SPSS with only a few exceptions.  

Can I Use Excel Instead of SPSS?

Another commonly asked question about the statistical analysis tools is whether students can use Excel instead of SPSS. The most appropriate answer to this question is yes, but only in some cases as SPSS and Excel are both statistical analysis tools that provide graphics for better data interpretation. In general, Excel is common for simple data analysis, while SPSS is preferable for complex data analysis. The reason is that the SPSS graphics provide more analytical features than the graphics produced by Excel.

Further, SPSS allows its users to highlight data or ranges in its graphics. Even SPSS also features to provide the graphics as HTML5/.mht files. On the other hand, Excel allows users to save information in tabular forms. Also, excel is more user friendly and can sort or filter data by using a number of formulas and forming tables. Excel’s interpretations help users to create new insights.

Based on the features of the SPSS and Excel, it is up to the user to select any of these choices. Further, if a student can use Excel instead of SPSS can be answered in two ways. First, if your study involves complex data analysis, then switching to Excel is not advisable. Second, if your research deals with a relatively small data set or simple analysis methods, then Excel seems a more convenient data analysis tool for students. 

Which is Better, SPSS or Python?

A common misunderstanding about SPSS or Python is that they both are the same things. But the point to be corrected is that they both are two different programmes. More often, Python is used as one of the best alternatives to SPSS. Here, it is important to understand that Python is a programming language famous due to its flexibility and extensive library’s collection. Plus, its built-in analytics tools make it the best tool for complex calculations. It is good for knowing patterns, correlating extensive data sets and providing insights for drawing a conclusion. Furthermore, Python can handle several tasks and is effective in writing, reading, modifying text Excel, SPSS, and other text files. As far as the matter of comparing SPSS with Python is concerned, Python has much more advanced functions than SPSS.

It is due to the fact that Python provides greater flexibility to its users than SPSS. It enables users to write their own extensive code, data manipulation and analysis. But SPSS users’ experience restrictions in this regard. In addition, if you want to perform statistical calculations and data interpretations, then SPSS will be the best option. But in case you want to become a data scientist and aim to deal with big data sets, then Python will be the best fit. Consequently, both SPSS and Python are tools to deal with large and complex data sets. 

Which is Better, Stata or SPSS?

As SPSS is a tool to analyse and edit a variety of data, it has a large number of applications in social sciences research. It sorts out the data gathered from a variety of sources like websites, customer database, credible websites, and Google Analytics. At the same time, Stata, just like excel by having limited analytical features. In terms of complexity, SPSS is the best statistical analysis tool. But on flipping the picture, Stata is more effective for normal analysis procedures. 

Further, Stata is good for research and analysis in Management Sciences. But for the medical or social science field, SPSS is a statistical analysis tool that has no parallel. Many professionals use SPSS for the direct generation of outputs of reports. Again, the comparison reflects that SPSS is better than Stata. The reason is that SPSS can handle a variety of data (complex as well as simple data) that Stata cannot. 

Whenever we talk about data analysis, SPSS comes at the top of the list. No doubt, SPSS is a powerful statistical analysis tool, but for many, it is not free. Hence, students can go for some free alternatives to SPSS like PSPP. Based on the nature of the task, you can select Stata, Python and even Excel for data analysis.


  1. For simple data analysis, Excel is frequently used, while SPSS is preferred for complicated data analysis. The SPSS visuals offer more analytical tools than the graphics created by Excel,
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  2. Data analysis is the most important yet the most effort-taking process which is why most students try to avoid it by hiring professional writers to do it on their behalf. I have also hired a professional writer to write my dissertation for me UK-based for the very same reason of data collection.

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