SPSS has been conducting a survey for the last couple of weeks to help them develop SPSS Statistics 18 (the “new” name of what has formerly just been known as SPSS 17). One generally imagines that the questions that are asked provide insight into the types of new features they are considering,
- Sources of Data (in-person surveys, online survey, etc)
- Import Data Formats (SPSS data files, Excel, CSV, database)
- Average number of variables in the file
- Average number of rows in the file
- Other SPSS products used in conjunction with SPSS Statistics 17
- Menu/Dialog use vs. Syntax
- Use of advance programming features (Python, R, .Net)
Last question offers a list of possible new features for SPSS Statistics 18.0:
- Additional enhancements to programmability
- Improvements to charts and graphs
- Better tools for automatic data preparation (auto transformations)
- Continued development of the customer dialog builder
- Additional enhancements to the Syntax Editor
- Campaign/Direct Marketing Tools (e.g., customer lifetime value)
- Enhanced integration with other SPSS applications
- Updates to existing procedures (e.g., add updated analytics & options)
- Continued enhancements to multiple imputation procedure
- Interactive tools for viewing, exploring, and manipulating output from predictive models
You are also given the opportunity to sign up to become a beta tester of SPSS Statistics 18, as well as the opportunity to discuss your answers with SPSS.
Personally, as someone who deals with literally hundreds of variables at a time, I would really like it if SPSS 18 allows you to (a) color code your variables and (b) put variables into folders (preferably with the ability to put folders inside folders).
I would also love SPSS Statistics 18 to have the ability to easily make a copy of a variable complete with all of the data. You know — just copy a variable on the “Variable View” page and paste it to the bottom as a new variable with everything exactly the same (except maybe that the variable name now has the word “Copy” appended to the end.
I would also like SPSS 18 to get out of Java and go back to the traditional Windows interface. I think it is fair to say that while everyone in my department has SPSS 16 installed, we all prefer to use SPSS 15 because the interface isn’t as weird feeling (we’re still waiting for SPSS 17 to arrive).
If you’d like to participate in the development of SPSS 18, take the survey.