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The Net Takeaway: The SPSS Book you need to have...


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The SPSS Book you need to have... · 03/19/2008 01:46 PM, Analysis

And its free.

UPDATE 03/19/2008:
Things got moved around a bit. The “description” page is now here at Programming and Data Management for SPSS 16.0: A Guide for SPSS and SASĀ® Users and the direct link to the PDF is here:

The new version features some additional help around the Python interface, as well as more on how to link to R. It also includes more command magic for more powerful fixing of output issues.

Original Post:

SPSS Programming and Data Management, 4th Edition
A Guide for SPSS and SASĀ® Users
by Raynald Levesque and SPSS Inc.

Now, you guys know my complaints for how SPSS treats its users (with disdain in the best of times). They continue to ignore many of the needs of power users, for years. And then, almost by accident, good stuff comes out.

You should recognize the name Raynald Levesque from the Raynald’s SPSS Tools site, which is your go-to starting point for all tricks with syntax, scripting, etc. Well, he’s taken lots of that knowledge and, together with some folks at SPSS, has created a fantastic guide to actually getting stuff done with SPSS. Its also a great “translation” for SAS programmers who are transitioning to SPSS (I don’t think that’s an overwhelming number, but they’re out there) or for SAS solutions that you want to duplicate in SPSS. Finally, it includes some useful chapters on Python scripting, which is slowly replacing the “Sax Basic” scripting that previous versions emphasized.

(BTW, Sax Basic is no longer sold by Sax (though WinWrap is still doing a VB-alike scripting drop in). I suspect that is part of the reason for the push away from Basic: when your vendor drops support, you need to look for other options.)

The fact that this is a free download is amazing, and one of the shining stars from SPSS. They do sell a print version if you are not a screen reader or don’t want to print all 520+ pages.

So, with folks like Raynald and Jon Peck, there continues to be hope that SPSS will start to recognize the needs of its power users and do some of the things we’ve asked for over all these years. (BTW, look for my “Things SPSS is STILL missing” post soon in case you need some workarounds).

Download the book. Thank Raynald and visit his site. And keep pushing SPSS to expand its support of the power users.

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