SPSS Data Analysis


The IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 24 (SPSS) is an advanced statistical analysis tool. This guide describes the process of loading data from ATSD into SPSS and demonstrates how to calculate the value of a derived series using Weighted Consumer Price Indices as an example.

SPSS provides several options for loading datasets from external data sources, such as Excel files or remote databases. To complete this exercise, sample data must be available in your instance of ATSD.

SPSS Interface

Menu Item Description
File Import data from files, create and save datasets, connect to databases.
Data Prepare datasets: select rows, aggregate, merge, split.
Transform Transform data: calculate new variables, convert dataset into time series or other data structure.
Analyze Apply statistical functions to the dataset.

Load Sample Data into ATSD

  1. Log into the ATSD web interface
  2. Open Metrics > Data Entry, open the Commands tab.
  3. Copy the series commands into the form and click Submit.

The commands contain the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for each category of items in a consumer basket as well as a weight for each category in the CPI basket. The CPI is tracked from 2013 to 2017 and uses Year 2016 values as the baseline. Weight values are available for 2017. The underlying data is available in the following Excel file.

To calculate the weighted inflation index we need to multiply the CPI of each category by its weight divided by 1000 and sum the products.

Import Data into SPSS

You can import ATSD data into SPSS by configuring an ODBC data source on a Windows machine and retrieving the records with an SQL query. Alternatively, you can run the queries in the SQL Console, export query results into CSV files, and manually load them into SPSS from the local file system.

Import Data from Database


  • Configure an ODBC-JDBC bridge for ATSD:

    • Specify URL property compatibility=odbc2: jdbc:atsd://atsd_hostname:ATSD_PORT;compatibility=odbc2.
  • Disable UNICODE mode:

    • Launch SPSS Statistics.
    • Do not open any existing data file.
    • Select the Edit menu.
    • Select the Options menu.
    • Open the Language tab.
    • In the section labeled Character Encoding for Data and Syntax, select Locale writing system

Option 1: Load Prices and Weights As Separate Datasets

  • Open File > Import Data > Database > New query....
  • Select inflation.cpi.categories.price table, drag-and-drop datetime, value and tags into the list of selected columns.
  • Click Finish.
  • Save the imported data into the prices.sav file.

  • Open File > Import Data > Database > New query....
  • Select inflation.cpi.categories.weight table, drag-and-drop datetime, value and tags into the list of selected columns.
  • Click Finish.
  • Save the imported data into the weights.sav file.

Alternatively, you can execute SPSS scripts to load records from a data sources automatically.

Option 2: Loaded Merged Prices and Weights Dataset

  • Open File > Import Data > Database > New query....
  • Select the datetime column from both the inflation.cpi.categories.price and inflation.cpi.categories.weight tables.
  • Skip the next steps until a query editor is displayed.
  • Enter a FULL OUTER JOIN query to fill gaps with interpolated records:
SELECT T0."value" AS price,  T1."datetime" AS datetime, T1."value" AS weight, T1."tags" AS tags
FROM "inflation.cpi.categories.price" T0
  OUTER JOIN "inflation.cpi.categories.weight" T1
WHERE T0.datetime BETWEEN '2013-01-01T00:00:00Z' AND '2017-01-01T00:00:00Z'

  • Click Finish.
  • Save the dataset as prices_merged.sav.

Import from CSV Files

  • Export data from ATSD into CSV files as described in Exporting Data into CSV Files.
  • Open File > Import Data > CSV Data....
  • Select CSV files and click Open to import the prices.sav and weights.sav files.

Data from the CSV files are now available as SPSS datasets prices.sav and weights.sav. Proceed to merge datasets.

Merge Datasets

Change Names of Columns

SPSS merges datasets using equal column names, similar SELF JOIN in SQL.

To prevent the datetime and value columns from being merged, their names must be changed in the weights.sav dataset using Variable View tab, otherwise the merged dataset produced by SPSS contains data only for 2017.

Also rename value to price in the prices.sav dataset.


Merge the two datasets by adding the weight column from the weights.sav dataset to the prices.sav dataset.

  • Open Data > Merge Files... > Add Variables...

  • Select weights.sav dataset.

  • Check Match cases on key variables.

  • Select time in the New Active Dataset pane, add to Key Variables Pane.

  • Click OK.

  • Remove time column using Variable View.

Save the merged dataset as a new file prices_merged.sav.

Analyze Dataset

To calculate the weighted CPI for each year, the CPI value for a given category must be multiplied by its weight and divided by 1000. The resulting products are summed to give the value of the weighted CPI.

Calculate Weighted CPI per Category

Open the prices_merged.sav dataset and create the new column categ_index.

  • Open Transform > Compute Variable...
  • Place the columns from the left into the expression editor and specify a formula.
  • Select the price and weight columns, divide weight by 1000 and multiply price by the adjusted weight.
  • Assign a name to the new column.

The categ_index column is now available in the dataset.

Calculate Annual CPI

SPSS provides two alternatives to aggregate data by period.

Aggregation using the Analyze Menu

  • Open Analyze > Reports > Report Summaries in Columns...
  • Move the categ_index column to the Summary Variables field and select the SUM aggregation function.
  • Set the datetime column as the break variable, which is used to group the resulting data. You can format aggregation columns in the dialog window.

  • Publish the report by selecting File > Export As a Web Report in the output window.

  • The output contains the processing log in the results window.

  • The report is also available in HTML format.

Aggregation using the Data Menu

  • Open Data > Aggregate....

  • Set categ_index as the summary variable and apply the SUM function.

  • Set datetime as the break variable.

  • Customize column formats and output options.

  • Create a new dataset with the break and aggregated variables.

  • Create a new dataset with final columns datetime and value.

Export Derived Series into ATSD

Create a new metric in ATSD to store new series calculated in SPSS.

  • Log in to ATSD, open the Metrics > Data entry page and send a metric command.
metric m:cpi_price

  • Open the previously created dataset in SPSS.

  • Select Transform > Compute Variable...

    • Enter entity in the Target Variable field.
    • Enter "bls.gov" in the Numeric Expression field.

  • Click Type & Label....

  • Set Type to String and click Continue.

  • Click OK to apply the changes. Column entity now appears in the dataset.

  • Open the File menu and select Export > Database....

  • Select ATSD data source, click Next.

  • Select Append new records to an existing table and click Next

  • Choose cpi_price table and click Next. The list of tables is based on the tables= driver property specified in the JDBC URL. If you do not see the table in the list, update ODBC data source as described here and re-open the export wizard.

  • Associate table columns with metric fields.

The result is as follows. Click Next

  • Select ODBC > Row-wise binding, select Paste the syntax and click Finish

  • Paste the following script into the dialog window:
  /TABLE='cpi_price' /APPEND
  /KEEP=datetime, value, entity.

  • Right-click the script window and select Run All to export the data into ATSD.

Verify Insertion

To check that data is successfully exported to ATSD, open the ATSD web interface.

  • Open the SQL > SQL Console page and execute a validation query.
SELECT entity, datetime, value FROM cpi_price

Exporting Data into CSV Files

The built-in SQL Console allows exporting query results into various data formats including Excel, CSV, and JSON, with optional metadata composed according to the W3C Model for Tabular Data.

If you do not have an ATSD installed, weights.csv and prices.csv are provided for your convenience. These files contain the output of the SQL queries listed below.


Load CPI price data.

SELECT entity, datetime, value, tags.category
  FROM inflation.cpi.categories.price
ORDER BY tags.category, datetime

Export query results into prices.csv.


Load weight records.

SELECT entity, datetime, value, tags.category
  FROM inflation.cpi.categories.weight
ORDER BY tags.category, datetime

Export query results into weights.csv.