Not to go too much into detail yet, but we’ve been spending some time with SPSS Desktop Reporter 4.0. Wow. Despite the price, it’s a great software package with a lot of extremely useful features and worth every penny.
What it allows you to do is to take an SPSS file (or any variety of other data files), create crosstab tables and charts (doing all sorts of fancy analysis along the way) and then save structure of what you’ve created so that you can then rerun all of the tables and charts against an expanded dataset later on. Makes it great for surveys that feature multiple waves. But it’s also great for ad-hocs. If you’re a fan of the SPSS Tables module you’ll absolutely love SPSS Destop Reporter, which is kind of like what you’d get if you built an entire application around SPSS Tables.
Like most SPSS products, you definitely pay for what you get and you’re probably looking at spending around $2,800 for one copy (the price goes down for additional copies). If you have the budget available, it’s definitely worth taking a look at.