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SPSS 16 New Features

Click here to see my review of SPSS Statistics 17.0, the new version of SPSS.

In the upcoming SPSS Directions User Conference in Prague (May 16) Product Management Director Kyle Weeks will discuss some of the new features in SPSS 16. These include:

  • SPSS 16 has a new Java interface allowing for Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of SPSS, a searchable Output Viewer, resizable dialogs and more;
  • Improved data editor (adds find and replace capabilities to both variable view and data view). Also unicode support, import/export of Excel 2007 data, and an improved data editor;
  • Syntax to change string length and data types; ability to set a permanent default working directory; elimination of short/long string distinction; ability to suppress the number of active datasets.
  • More powerful statistics, including a new Neural Networks add-on module, a new Partial Least Squares algorithm, a new Cox Regression for Complex Samples module, support for algorithms written in R and improvements to Generalized Linear Models and General Estimating Equations;
  • Latent Class Analysis in Amos 16
  • SPSS 16.0 has improved programmability (see below)
  • More integration with SPSS Predictive Enterprise Services, allowing you to store/retrieve and query to/from the Predictive Enterprise Repository via both the user interface and syntax
  • Multi-threaded procedures for improved performance and scalability.

Other sources also report that SPSS 16.0 for Windows will use a new syntax editor. We can also assume that it will support Vista (since they still haven’t released a patch for SPSS 15).

SPSS has also indicated that some of the original functionality of SPSS Trends and SPSS Tables that has since been superceded by newer functionality will be eliminated. In SPSS Trends 16, the Exponential Smoothing, Autoregression, and ARIMA dialogs will be removed, while the more flexible Create Models; Apply Models; Seasonal Decomposition and Spectral Analysis dialogs will remain.

In SPSS Tables 16, Basic Tables, General Tables, Multiple Response Tables, and Tables of Frequencies will be removed, while the more flexible Custom Tables and Multiple Response Sets will remain.

It is worth noting that all of the functionality offered by the removed dialog boxes will continue to be available through syntax.

Details on the new Programmability of SPSS 16.0:

  • EXTENSION command for user procedures with SPSS syntax
  • Dataset features for complex data management
  • New dataset class extends Python transformation program capabilities to multiple datasets
  • Similar to INPUT PROGRAM but can read and write datasets
  • Multiple input and output datasets
  • User code written in Python
  • Ability to use R procedures within SPSS through R Plug-In
  • Provides ability to run R code within SPSS
  • Use to take advantage of statistical capabilities in R
  • Access active SPSS datset
  • Write results to SPSS Viewer
  • Improved implimentation of User Procedures
  • Can be written in Python but specified using SPSS traditional syntax
  • User never writes or sees Python code
  • Used as if a built-in SPSS command
  • Python module called with syntax already checked and processed by SPSS
  • More general PLS module
  • Dialog box interface tools coming in SPSS 17

I still wish it would be nice if they added the ability to organize variables in folders…maybe in SPSS 17?

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